Friday, November 12, 2010

Flashback Friday - A Salute to Our Veterans

Yesterday was Veteran's Day, so this is a good opportunity to reflect on the veterans we knew and loved in our early years.

Were/Are either of your parents or other family members active military personnel or veterans? What branch? When did they serve; was it during wartime or peacetime? Did they share much about their experiences with you or others? When you were growing up, was the USA (or your country, for those outside the US) involved in a war? What do you remember about it and how did it impact you? Are you, your spouse, or any of your children veterans?

My daddy was a Navy Seabee in World War II. A year or so (I think) into his service, they sent him to The University of Texas for officer training and a degree in mechanical engineering. The war ended near the end of his college days, so he never had to go back. Because of the Navy, he was the only one in his family to attend college. They were poor sharecropper farmers who never could have afforded it. And while he was at UT, he met my mom and they married when he graduated. So his service had quite an impact on me. . .my very existence!

He didn't talk a lot about his days in the service. Part of that, I've come to realize is because he felt his experience was so minor compared to his brother's. My uncle was in the Army, if I remember correctly, and he received several medals, including a Purple Heart. He didn't talk much about that either, and I never knew about the medals until they were displayed in a shadowbox at his funeral.

One thing I would love to ask my dad now that I've visited a number of battleships with my man and my boy is how he managed on those ships. He was 6' 4" and those old ships had lots of low ceilings and short cots! I'm sure he bumped his head quite a bit!

I was in early elementary school during the VietNam War. I vaguely remember my family looking in the newspaper to see if my brother's number had been called up and he would be drafted. Other than that, I remember all the protests that were shown on the news. And the song Billy, Don't be a Hero.

My FIL was in the Air Force for a couple of years after he graduated from A&M in the early 1950's, but it was the tail end of the Korean War and he was only stationed in Colorado and California.

No other members of my extended family or my man's family have served. Nevertheless, I am so very thankful for those who have served our country, both in peace and wartime, to protect our freedoms.

What about you? Share your memories and link up here!


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Kathy said...

I'm so glad I saw your prompt before I posted on Thursday! I just saved my post until today.

I'll bet your dad did have a time on those ships-they aren't built for tall people! LOL

Thanks again, for hosting :)

sara said...

I remember in middle school wearing the POW bracelets and MIA bracelets. At the time, it was "the thing to do". I wish now that I had realized the importance of wearing those bracelets.

Barbara H. said...

Oh, I had forgotten about the POW and MIA bracelets until I saw the above comment.

None of our relatives in military service ever talked much about it, either, and now that they're gone there is so much I wish I could ask them.

Andi said...

My ex was a Seabee for the last 7 yrs of his enlistment and they don't go on ships they are flown to where they are going. My dad was active for 30+ he was in electronic warfare and he was on different ships. He retired at 20 and 5 yrs later the Navy called him back and he went to 32. He was a Master-Chief the highest rank you can go on the enlisted ladder.

Joyce said...

I would have loved to participate in this one. I was at my moms this week and she likes my full undivided attention : )

My dad was a career Marine...retired as a Colonel, served in three wars and won many honors. My hubs and I were both born in Army hospitals on opposite sides of the earth. His dad got out after just a few years. Military life was good for my dad. He lacked discipline in his youth and the military really did straighten him out!

quilly said...

My grandfather briefly served in WWI — almost immediately upon arriving in Germany he was wounded by an officer having a temper tantrum. My grandfather — then 19 — was assigned to drive some General’s jeep. The general stormed out of headquarters angry about something and in a fit of temper he kicked the driver’s door on the jeep, not realizing my grandfather had his leg sticking out. My grandfather’s shin bone shattered. He walked with a pronounced limp the rest of his life.

My mom and my Aunt both worked at Farragut Naval base in Northern Idaho (yes, I said that correctly, it is a state park and museum now) as Rosie the Riveter. They worked building submarines.

k. riggs gardner said...

My sister and brother-in-law were both U.S. Navy Senior Chief Hospital Corpsmen. He was a submariner.

Ashley said...

I'm still working on my Flashback Friday: Veterans post. My dad served in the Navy during the Vietnam War and he sent me a lot of info he wrote about his time in the military. It's all wonderful reading, but it's quite lengthy, so I'm paring it down some. Hopefully I'll get it posted later today or early tomorrow.

Ashley said...

Okay, I finished it! And I must say it's one of my favorite posts ever. I'm so proud of my daddy!