Monday, May 26, 2008

Thank You

On Memorial Day we are supposed to honor all fallen soldiers, but today I want to honor three who are special to me. Two of them I never even met. One died way too young, but after his service.

My father-in law was a WWII POW. He survived the Bataan Death marches. If you don't remember what happened during the Bataan Death marches, go back and read your history books. He died long before I married his son, but I am grateful to him for so many things.

My uncle served in the Korean War. His service brought him home safely, only to have him die from cancer while his three children were each younger than five. I have always felt it was wrong that we spent so much time with him and his children only have pictures.

The third soldier is my friend Julie's nephew. He died serving in our current conflict. The email she sent to us after he died would still bring tears to my eyes -- if I had been smart enough to save it. I never met him, but I am still grateful for his sacrifice -- and sorry for her pain.


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Julie K said...

Thank you for acknowledging my nephew. The email went something like this (specifics have been obscured for privacy).

Subject: Sad News

On an August day in 2006, two US soldiers were killed in a roadside bombing of their HMMWV while conducting combat operations in Iraq.

It is with great sorrow that I tell you one of those soldiers was my 22-year old nephew, [name removed for privacy]. He was on his second tour-of-duty in Iraq, believed in what he was doing and took the risk. We, his family, stand behind that, and we are still supportive and approving of his involvement in the Army.

Although we knew he was in a high-risk position, we are all still reeling from his sudden death. We are also still waiting on the return of his remains (expected in the next day or so).

Please say a prayer for our troops.

The Patriot Guard met his remains at the airport and watched over him until he was interred. They are a most impressive, volunteer group and great service free for the families of fallen heroes… Well worth a donation to help cover their costs.

Additionally, the one survivor of that attack lost his leg, but has learned to walk again with a prosthesis. Please remember to say continuing prayers for those soldiers who return… sometimes the scars aren’t visible.

Three more near to my heart… all returned home after their service:
My Grandfather – WWI (yes, that's WWI... looked just like the sailor on a cracker jack box)
My Father – Korean War
My Step-Father – WWII