Friday, November 11, 2011

What to do on veteran's day ...



  • go to where they honor the local veterans who have given their lives, "the ultimate sacrifice", in service to their nation  ..
  •  listen to your relative give a speech (or as auntie calls it "speechify") honoring these vets as well as the vets that are still living ..
  • think about all the veterans in your life:
  1. My great grandpa (yes, you heard right .. great grandpa) who fought in the Civil War (14th Mississippi Infantry, Company "F", Beauregard Rifles, 1861).  (Does he count?) 
  2. A (step)grandpa who sat in the trenches during WWI (he was German and I wrote about him here, well, somewhere, can't find it now).  During WWII his wife, my momma's momma, my Oma, was shot in the head by a ricocheting bullet and I've written about that somewhere too.
  3. Two uncles and a dad who fought during WWII. One uncle, my dad's brother, was a D-Day vet, my dad arrived 3 days later.  He was called 'the kid' being all of 17 years old.  Of course, his brother was ancient being all of 19 years.  They were in the Big Red One (1st Infantry Division).  Another uncle passed away in a lazareth in Czecheslovakia.  He was German and two weeks into his 18th year.
  4. An uncle who fought and died during the Korean War.  (He was better looking then Clark Gable or Cary Grant).  I have an aunt who to this day believes the wrong body was sent back.
  5. A father-in-law who was once a Marine (and always a Marine).  He's the one speechifying up there.  It was a mighty fine speech.
  6. A husband who served in the Army.
  7. A brother-in-law who still serves in the Army and was sent twice to Iraq.
So, I did this Veteran's Day thing.  I'm an Army brat after all.  I'm proud of the veterans in my life.  But, I'm telling you .. I'm tired of the ultimate sacrifice.  I have told my sons, if they want to join up it will have to be over my dead body.


30 comments:

Rolf said...

I did my military duty 79/80, for almost a whole year.

Now we only have a little professional army in Sweden, ready to go to foreign countries.

von LX said...

Yes, indeed your great grandfather very much counts! You have every reason to be proud of all your veteran relatives!

My great grandfather and his brother (who was killed) also fought in the Civil War with some unit from Alabama.

Both grandfathers had occupational exemptions from World War I.

Two uncles and a cousin fought in Europe in World War II. My father and two other uncles served in the Pacific.

Two uncles served in Korea.

I served in Viet Nam.

My cousin's son made multiple deployments to the Iraq War.

moi said...

My mother's father, a mild mannered farmer, was conscripted into Hitler's army to work on the railroads. He contracted tuberculosis as a result, and died while she was still a young child. A great uncle by marriage was in Rommel's Afrika Korps and spent time in the United States as a POW, which he remembered with tremendous fondness. My father's father was too old to serve in WWII, and my own father went into teaching to escape Vietnam. So I don't know any veterans. I do believe 100 percent in maintaining a strong military to protect this nation against offensive attacks from the outside. But I cannot justify Iraq and Afghanistan. May it all end quickly . . .

foam said...

Rolf,
Was the Swedish military bigger in the 70s and 80s? I was still living in Germany in 1979. Although I had some friends who went into the military, most chose to their duty to their country through civil service.

von LX,
Hey, your family military history is much like mine! My father was still in the army during the 60s, however, he was never sent to Vietnam. He was sent to Korea during that time.

moi,
Your mother's father was what I consider a different kind of veteran. My German uncle who was barely 18 when he died was a musician. The last thing he wanted to do was to have to join up. It was during the last few weeks of the war too. I remember my great aunt saying about 10 years ago: "We should have hidden that boy. Other's did.." (she said that in German, of course) She passed away last year at almost a 100.

I'm with you on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, actually I felt the same way about the Gulf War.

Aunty Belle said...

Foamy!!

This is poignant. Thanky.

Mah own Daddy (Pappy Cracker) is a Pearl Harbor survivor--he bein' jes' 16 years old when he arrived --

This week he did his speechifyin' fer the anniversary of the Marines at a formal gubmint shindig. When the war be over,an he put back on his civvies, he still warn't ole enough to drink. As a mama, doan that put a lurch in yore heart when ya look at yore boys?

As fer the Iraq/ Afghani wars? I'se resigned to let history write the reasons--100 years from now, it may make more sense to Americans. We know thar's foriegn policy mistakes in history. But also, smaller wars that served to prevent bigger wars, or to delay fer time, fer better odds...thar's a chance that Bush's reasons ain't the ones announced--I can think of somethin' very scary that would have me go to Iraq too,an' not announce it as mah purpose, but I ain't got no way of knowin' fer shure the whys an' wherefores of why we's thar'. It might be one of our worst decisions.

Still, the men an women who serve us in the military is deservin' of our gratitude an respect, no matter our pollyticks, doan'cha think?

I like yore Mississippi history.

Rolf said...

Yes, much bigger.

Until the end of the Cold War nearly all swedish men reaching the age of military service were conscripted. In summer 2010 peacetime conscription ceased, to be replaced with contracted personnel altogether.

Units from the Swedish Armed Forces are currently on deployment in Afghanistan (ISAF)

K9 said...

the civil war, does it count?? are you joking? It counts sooooo much miss mississippi and NC., you army brat you - I hear you on your sons. My veterans day always includes kissing the old soldiers at the Copperhill IGA. 4 years in a row now.

/t. said...

a long
family history
of service to country

righteous pride

but as you correctly note also,
war = stupidity

stop it

great post, foamie

× × ×

/t.

foam said...

auntie,
It would be interesting to read about our current times in terms of history in a 100 years. I'm not sure that history has always been written accurately. Yes, my heart does lurch when I think about how young our fathers were when they went to war. They were practically still children .. as are most of the the soldiers that are going to war now.

Rolf,
Don't you just wish we would all pull out of these wars? I'm tired of it all ..

k9,
you make me feel positively southern .. lol ..
all i get around here is: you ain't from around here, are ya?

/t.
thank you .. and yes, i am tired of these wars. stop it indeed!

Boxer said...

My Dad was going to be the ones who invaded Japan if the bomb hadn't gone off.

The other day a Veteran Thrift Store ordered displays from me online and when the man called to make sure his credit card had worked (which killed me) I told him I wouldn't be charging his credit card and sent him leftover sign holders and displays I had in the shop. SMALL gesture comparatively, but it made me happy and I thought of my Dad.

foam said...

Boxer,
That was a very nice thing to do. Not everybody would have thought to do that.
I am sure your daddy would have been proud.

Carol said...

Awwww... Boxer's comment touched my heart...

I honor the selflessness which calls a person to serve in the military and I mourn all of the losses that are the price of war. I think that it's time that humans find a better way to get their needs met.

Rolf said...

Thanks I'm proud.
He says it is not talent, he is just bored and has nothing else to do

And war is hell, give peace a chance.

foam said...

Carol, I completely agree. I am tired of sending our young men and women to their possible deaths. It is amazing to me that anybody still volunteers. I want us not to be at war.

foam said...

Rolf, you should be proud. He has such a gift. And what a way for a young person to spend their boring moments!

Mayden' s Voyage said...

Precious Foamy- a lovely tribute... It seems nearly every man on my mom's side of the family (all from the South) were in the military. My Great Uncle on my dads side was also at Pearl Harbor- I wish I had taken notes when he told me stories about that day.
Hugs and thanks for the text message this morning! You made my day :)

/t. said...

canadians think
americans should make a bill
that declares US senators are vegetables

AHA HAHA HA HAHA AHA HA HA HA!

this year you'll be able to serve pizza in place of brussels sprouts this thanksgiving :)

× × ×

/t.

foam said...

Mayden,
Perhaps there is another family member who remembers some of your great uncle's stories? It would be neat to write down what is remembered.
And now that I have a better phone to text with, you might be getting more of those .. :)


/t.
they should be declared rotten vegetables .... what a worthless lot.

Aunty Belle said...

Hi--nuthin' much to say--checkin' in when I seen ya' at Haiku.

is ya cookin' fer the feast?

X. Dell said...

Your sons have a wise mother.

foam said...

not really, aunty belle. 2 or 3 side dishes, that's all. have a great thanksgiving!

x.dell,
yep, selfish or wise .. makes no difference. i've known too many parents that have lost children
(not necessarily due to these stupid wars)

chickory said...

happy thanksgiving foamy!!! i am thankful for foam in all her manifestations

Pink said...

I hear you, sister. I'm proud of the vets in my family and amongst my friends, and I'd like us to stop creating the 'need' for them.

Missed you, foamie.
xox
Pinks

puerileuwaite said...

I don't like to brag, but I had an uncle who fought, and they ended up drafting him anyway.

foam said...

Chickory,
And I am thankful for you :)

foam said...

Ya know pink, out is about time you were back. Missed you too.

foam said...

Pug, yeah, isn't that the truth.....
they will practically take anybody.
Why, in my fit and youthful days, a recruiter even called me out of the blue. You know they were desperate.

Jean said...

Foamy, just checking in, hoping all is well.

(I thought I left a comment on your beautiful post but either not or it got 'lost'.)

laughingwolf said...

i'm with you, foamy...

Aunty Belle said...

Thanky FOamy fer that good message on Dec & Porch post. Yore daddy be 17? mercy.

I'se been readin' UNBROKEN-- a story of WWII survival. Amazin', inspirin', but soberin'.

Is yore halls all decked? Mine ain't an' I'se in a panicky turmoil.

Still, MErry merry!!

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