Debt of Gratitude

Clyde Spurlock

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.

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5 thoughts on “Debt of Gratitude

  1. I love the picture. Somewhere there’s one of my dad like that but I’m not sure who has it. I’d love to get my hands on it. Thanks to your father-in-law’s military service for our safety and freedom.

    • I love the picture too. This is a picture of a picture I took for our youngest granddaughter’s assignment for Veterans Day. She just kept asking questions about her great-grandfather – the story really had an impact on her. Thanks for your dad’s service as well!

  2. Comments left on Facebook
    Drenda Barber King: My father, Clyde, served during WWII and his story is very similar to Mr. Spurlock’s. He survived the beaches of Normandy and at the Battle of the Bulge was wounded and knocked unconscious. He came to in a hospital in England. He too was a quiet, gentle man and never talked of his experiences in the war. He lived a long, healthy life until his last three years. I did the same thing you did and took a picture of my Dad in his uniform. I never got around to posting it. I will try and post his picture on my wall.

    Agnes: Clyde must have been a popular name in those days! Please post your dad’s photo, I would love to see it. Glad for his happy life and appreciative of his service to his country.

    Stacy Shepherd: Jess got to read the story about Grandpa yesterday at school for all of her class…teachers were talking about it in the hall afterward (as my nosy daughter said).

    Agnes: I know Jessica did a great job. She is not nosy, just can hear anything within a mile’s radius and always wants to be in the know. Wait a minute, is that the same thing as nosy?

    • He was so handsome – guess that’s where the Spurlock guys get their good looks! He was such a great father-in-law to me. In January, I’m going to start on a book filled with other stories from the Spurlock and Roberts families. If I ever get it done, I will be sure to get you a copy.

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