Today the United States celebrates Veterans Day. We honor all our veterans, living and dead, who served our country in peace and war.
My family has a proud history of service. My father told me that his great-great grandfather served in both the Union Army and Navy during the Civil War. My paternal grandfather served during World War I (my mother’s father had not yet emigrated from England). My uncles Jim and Marty were awarded Purple Hearts for the wounds they received in the terrible action of World War II. My uncle Steve served in the Navy during that war, as did my aunt Gen. Her work as a Wave included decoding messages. How cool is that?!
My father served in the Army from 1946-1947, spending much of that year in Germany. He was part of a group that searched buses, trains and abandoned buildings for bombs.
My uncle, Warren, served in the Air Force during the Korean War and Jim, my brother-in-law, fought in the Vietnam War. My uncle, Bernie, was in the National Guard in the late 1950’s. John, my brother, served in the Navy during the peace of the 1980’s. Larry, my cousin Maureen’s husband, served in the Army Airborne Division. We have two current members in service: My cousin Danny’s son, Sean, is in the Air Force and Andy, cousin Anne’s husband, is a Navy lawyer.
Several of my college friends were in R.O.T.C. and went on to fulfill their commitment to the Army, Navy and Air Force after graduation. My dear friend Tom was one of them. He was serving our country with honor as a Naval officer when he passed from cancer in 1994.
I am proud of the service of my family and friends and am thankful to them and all veterans for honorably answering the call of duty to our country. Let’s all pause and think of our veterans today, with a special thought for the men and women in active duty.