Gratitude Journal – Veterans Day
Every Veterans Day we honor those who served our country and remember those who sacrificed their lives to achieve peace and democracy for our nation.
My father-in-law was a veteran. Lying about his age, he joined the U.S. Army at the age of sixteen feeling it was his duty to serve his country. While serving in World War II, Clyde was wounded in a shell explosion. His injuries included several pieces of shrapnel located too close to his spine to be removed, so they remained with him for the rest of his life. He was awarded a Purple Heart for his injuries and the Bronze Star for his bravery.
When his first son was born, he was overseas. Although Tom’s mother documented Tom’s every move in letters and photos, Clyde didn’t see his son until he was discharged. Tom was 2 ½ years old.
I can’t imagine how parents must feel not being there for a child’s first words or first steps; missing out on birthdays, their child’s baseball games, dance recitals or simply tucking their children into bed at night. Yet members of our armed forces do it daily and veterans all across America have made similar sacrifices through too many wars. Their sense of duty, honor, courage, service, love of family and country the reason they made (and continue to make) the sacrifices that have paid for our freedom.
My father-in-law was a quiet man who very seldom talked about his war-time experiences. Tom tells me it was always that way, “Anything we learned about his service in the war, we had to pull out of him.” I always got the impression Clyde didn’t think what he did was that special, because he knew so many others had done it too.
Ending on a Positive Note: Let us never forget the sacrifices members of our armed forces made and continue to make for our country and for all of us.