My Dad and Mom met while they were both in the Air Force. My Dad went on to a decorated career in the United States Air Force while my Mom schlepped us around the country and Europe every two years as my Dad was re-stationed. Thank you Dad, I miss you.
Four of my Uncles fought in Korea and World War II. These were actually my "Great" Uncles [my Grandmother's brothers] but I didn't realize the distinction when I was growing up. They were just there, all the time, for Sunday dinner.
I loved them all and always thought of them as hard working farmers - that is what they did in rural Maryland. It wasn't until they passed away that I was told how extraordinary these men were.
Remembering my Uncle Charles still brings a smile to my face. He was the gentlest, kindest soul with the clearest blue eyes I have ever seen. Us kids used to vie for a seat next to him at the table during "coffee time" in the evenings at my Grandma's house because he gave the BEST backrubs. He was so loving and kind. I miss him. What I really miss is the fact that I never knew that this great man fought in WWII and was one of the men who stormed the beaches at Normandy. He survived to come home to MD and raise a wonderful family and love on his niece every Sunday at his sister's house. Thank you Uncle Charles.
Then there was my Uncle Slug. Really, that is what we called him because he was missing one finger on his left hand. He loved it. He was somewhat of a loner, never married and lived with my Great Grandparents and took care of them. He was so much fun with great stories and fishing trips and leaf piles and ....he was fun. Again, I never knew he had fought in the war as no one talked about it. I wasn't told that a lot of his pain later in life was due to the war and I never was able to tell my wonderful Uncle Slug thank you. I also found out after his death that the reason he was missing his finger was because it had been shot off. So, again, Thank you Uncle Slug.
Next is my beloved Father In Law - who y'all know, I love like no other. He achieved the highest rank in the United States Air Force that he could all the while marrying my best friend, my MIL, and raising two wonderful sons [One of which is my absolute best friend too!]. When he retired from the Air Force he was hired by the United States Secret Service and spent 20 years protecting the President and dignitaries that visited the U.S. Thank you Daddy.
Finally, Pooldad's son [Tee] is currently in the U.S. Air Force. So serious was he to follow in his Grandfather's footsteps he had to gain weight to do so. We think of him everyday and miss him terribly. Thank you our son.
We remember the commitment, the sacrifice and the love these men showed their country, as we honor those men and women that serve now to protect our freedoms and the world.
Say thank you when you are able to and never, ever forget.
Happy Memorial Day.