I am descended from people who fought the British in the Revolutionary War and for the Union in the Civil War. My grandfather lied about his age when he was 16 y.o. in order to join the U.S. Army and fight in France during WWI. My uncle was in the Marines, my aunt in the Army, her sons were in the Navy and Army, and my father and mother were both in the Air Force.
When I was in elementary school, my stepdad fastened a nickel-plated POW bracelet around my wrist and one around his own. He explained that the names engraved were those of American serviceman captured or missing during the Vietnam War and we would wear the bracelets until "our men" came back. When prisoners of war began to slowly return from the hellholes they had endured, we made it a practice to check the newspapers to search for the names we wore in honor and remembrance. One day we gasped to see that the soldier whose name, rank and loss date inscribed on my bracelet had safely come home. It was a big deal and with a lot of joy thinking of that man and his family when my stepdad bent that bracelet off my wrist after I’d worn it for so long. We continued checking for the serviceman on my stepdad's bracelet until the papers stopped printing the names but he never returned. My stepdad wore that bracelet for years until it finally corroded off his wrist.
I thank all these people and the millions more who have given their service to our country.
1. My grandad
2. Grandad with his daughters and son, L-R, my mother, aunt and uncle (home on leave)
3. My dad
4. My cousins
#MemorialDay #MemorialDay2019 #MemorialDayWeekend #MemorialDayWeekend2019 #POW #PrisonersofWar