Monday, November 12, 2012

thankful #11 and #12

Today I am extremely thankful for our military.
Like the millions today whom are thanking our men and women in service I'm adding my thanks to the list.
Writing this post today was harder than I thought it would be and I kept putting it off because of it.
I'm not even sure where to start so you might need a map to follow my train of thought.
My grandfather was born Dec 7, 1921, I don't know what year he joined the navy but on the morning of Dec 7 1941 he was making plans with his friends to go out that night to celebrate his birthday.
If you recognize the date you will know that he didn't get out to celebrate that day, he barely survived the day.
My grandfather was on the USS Nevada that morning. The Nevada was battleship and one of a couple of ships that made it out of the harbor after the attack that morning. The picture above was taken in Feb. 1942. I wonder if grandpa is standing on the deck. I've just learned that his rank was BM1 and from what I can decipher he was working with the boatswain or bosun. I will have to talk to other members and see if they know anything else. I really wish I could get ahold of his military records.
Anyway, when I was a teen, my grandpa told me a little bit about his service at Pearl Harbor. I remember the 50th anniversary and meeting at our local airport for a ceremony. Grandpa was pretty hard of hearing at that point so the reporter had a hard time getting his interview and at the time I felt sorry for his hearing loss. Knowing what little I know now, I'm more proud that he made it through and could share his story than a little problem with his hearing. I remember seeing his medals and I would ask questions about the different places he had been. Because of my love of history grandpa said I would receive his medals after he passes. When my dad found out he argued that he would get them first. I have never seen the medals again. Back to the story, at this time in my life I had no conceivable idea what war was like, I hadn't paid any attention when my dad would watch WWII movies. Now as an adult to see pictures and watch movies depicting what war could be like or was like, just humbles me. Thank you grandpa.
Fast forward to the 70's and my dad did a short stint in the navy. We were in a peace time and dad was stationed in Pensacola FL. He originally signed up for four years but because of whatever was not going on they offered him an early discharge and he took it after 2 years, and yes I wish I had his military records too because dad doesn't talk about it much.
I don't consider us a military family but I am honored for the time my family has served. I appreciate it more now than I did as a teen.

When I began dating Rob I learned that his dad served in Vietnam. Chuck was a U2 spy plane mechanic in the Air Force where he served 20+ years before passing away from cancer when Rob was 9 yrs old. Chuck was stationed all around the world. I hear often about the one deployment that the family did to Iceland. Rob was about 2 yrs old at the time. I want to take my kids to Iceland, it looks beautiful.
As I'm typing this out I keep asking Rob questions and he doesn't know the answers and keeps saying I need to ask his mom. Looks like I need to do my own interview.
I'm surrounded by so many amazing people who have served or are serving our country, from the family historian who is failing miserably tracking these stories, please write down your story. It matters just as much as you matter. Thank you for your service, your sacrifices.


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