A short story to pay tribute to those who have served in the US military.
|It is hard to choose just one person or experience to share. I have so many family and acquaintances that have been in the military. In fact, I had the privilege to work on a military base as a civilian at one time.
My dad was a Korean War Veteran. He basically worked on building airstrips for the aircrafts. He was in the Army branch. His favorite story to tell about his time in Korea was about playing baseball while Bed Check Charlie flew over where they were playing. He told me he was up to bat, and it just so happened that he and his teammates saw the plane coming from a distance. The other team didn’t see it because they were facing the other way. So right about the time the plane flew over, he timed his hit of the ball. When the other team noticed the plane and heard the bat hit the ball, they hit the ground thinking they may have been shot at. This gave dad’s team a chance to score a couple home runs and win the game because they had seen exactly what was happening.
I could also tell of my best friend’s dad who was a Vietnam Veteran. Her dad, Sargent Owens, was a cook in the army. He was injured one day while they were moving some equipment. It had been raining, and he slipped in the mud and the hitch of a trailer went into the side of his head causing a brain injury. He went on to make a recovery while suffering certain repercussions the rest of his life as a result of the injury. He was declared 110% disabled and was retired early from the military because of this incident. He was offered the Purple Heart because he was injured in a war zone, but refused it because he didn’t feel he deserved it. He was a humble man, and he always told us that the real heroes come home in body bags. He went on to become a store manager at a department store until he just wasn’t able to work anymore. However, he continued voluntary work as a private school principal and then as a teacher. He was loved and respected by all the students he taught.
I could tell of my grandfather who was drafted in World War One. He was the youngest boy in the family. He had stayed home at first waiting for one of his brothers to come back home so he could go off to serve in the war. When he was able, he packed his bags proudly to go get on the train. Right before the train pulled out, the war was declared over, and he was disappointed that he didn’t get to go. However, he is still honored among veterans on a wall in the little town he lived in because he had actually enlisted. I was able to find his draft card while doing some genealogy research online.
My grandmother wrote in a diary, that got copied and handed down to us grandchildren, about her brothers in the early nineteen hundreds. Her brothers were also in the First World War. One passed away while serving in Germany. The other one, who my dad is named after, I might add, made it through the war, but as he was returning home, he ended up catching a bad case of the flu. He died as a result. Her mother was a poet, and a poem was recorded that my great grandmother had written about losing her 2 sons in a war.
There are so many more stories I could tell, but I wanted to highlight a few that are very near and dear to my heart. We must remember that our freedom isn’t free. There are many men and women who have sacrificed not just the health and life, but time and other things, just so we can remain free. We must not take these sacrifices for granted. We must continue to stand up and keep fighting for our freedoms. They can be lost. I want to give a big shout out and thank you to all those who have served in our US military.