Thursday, November 10, 2011

In Honor of Our Veterans

We see them sitting out in front of stores asking for donations in return for a red Remembrance Poppy.  We see them in the parades representing and honoring all Veterans.  And all too often, we see them honoring a fallen soldier as they lay them to rest.  They are our Veterans and they are proud to serve our country.
I am a daughter, granddaughter, wife, sister, mother, and aunt of Veterans.  I am proud of all of them.  Some served overseas while others took their duties seriously to serve their country on the home front. It is almost a silent tradition in our family. 

Both of my grandfathers were in the military during WWI. My father was underage when he joined the Navy serving on the USS Mississippi in the Pacific during WWII.  I never met my Uncle Bill.  He died in the Korean War.  He was 18 years old, but Mom would talk about him often.  He was her baby brother.  I know our family is not unique, there are many families just like ours with a history of many family members serving in the military.
My husband served for 27 1/2 years in the Air Force.  We rarely talked about the bad times to civilians.  They thought we had a glamorous life traveling around the world.  It was wonderful, but it wasn't an easy life.  Moving took its toll on the children having to leave their friends behind.  They barely knew their grandparents.  I was challenged to find work and make a home with every move.  I often took the first job offer because we needed that second paycheck no matter how small.  Moving costs never covered our frequent moves.  Housing allowances were never enough. We lived paycheck to paycheck.
 Our brother-in-law's 30 year retirement.
Deployments are especially hard on a young military family.  Children do not understand why one or both parents have to leave.  The spouses left behind have their work doubled while taking care of the home front and worrying about their spouse coming back home.
Our daughter and our granddaughter saying
 good-bye to Daddy being deployed to Iraq.

It is a shame that many young military families are using food programs like WIC (women, infants & children) to feed their children and signing them up for the school meal programs.  Medical used to be the best deal for a military family.  Often, they are asked to go to a civilian doctor and to use their Tri-care.  They are on their own for dental and eye appointments unless the family is overseas.  They are having a harder time than we did with the cost of living and yet their service members are still risking their lives to protect our country.
 Our son serving overseas in the Azores.
Don’t get me wrong, I would never trade in our lifestyle or our experiences for a civilian living in one location.  As a child, I saw more of our country than many of the civilian elders did their whole life time.  As a young married couple (18 & 19 yrs), I believe our military life taught us to take responsibility and to be independent.  We learned to rely on the military community for support and guidance instead of expecting our parents to fix our problems for us.  We did a lot of growing up during our first couple of years away from home.  
My brother and his son with our Mother.
If you happen to see a Veteran or a military family, thank them for their service, buy a Remembrance Poppy, or you can show your support anonymously with one of the many charities listed below:
Yellow-Ribbons
These charities do not always ask for money.  Many ask for volunteers to donate their time to make blankets, care packets, or send emails.  My favorite donation was to spend one day gathering together with other volunteers to make quilts for children of deployed parents from our local base.  After 8 to 9 hours of sewing, we had made close to 40 flannel blankets.

The cost for our freedom? The life of a service member...we can never repay our debt, but we can show our appreciation by thanking them.
Thank You for Serving Our Country

17 comments:

  1. Loved this post! We are a military family, too. Greatgrandfather WW1, Great uncle WW2, Grandfather Korean War, and Vietnam (3 tours), my father, myself, my brother, and sister! I was in Army ROTC and Nurse Corp for 4 yrs active and 4 reserve.

    My husband I thank the Military for the best start of our family. We wouldn't be where we are today without it! I started following Quilts of Valor and hope to have something for them!!

    Thank you to your family!!!!!!

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  2. Thank you to you, your family and for such a beautiful post!

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  3. Lovely post. It brings back memories of family members that are no longer here. Sad but good. Happy Veterans Day.

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  4. Lovely post.

    My dad retired from the army. All of his brothers served, too. My brother did a short stint in the army as well. It can be tough. I do think the communication with overseas troops is much easier these days. We only had letters and one or two phone calls from my dad on his two tours in Vietnam. Cell phones and Skype have been a blessing for current military families.

    Lynette - Sweet Posy Dreams
    Etsy Blog Team

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  5. Thanks for putting into words and pictures what many of us feel. Blessings on all veterans past and present!

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  6. Thank you for your comments. Well said. An even bigger THANK YOU to you and your precious family for the many years serving our country.......and to others who have and are serving.

    (sorry for commenting as 'anonymous' - can't figure out how to do otherwise :(

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  7. Scouting is here in Japan because of the base families. Over 34 years I have probably made more friends from the revolving base families than any other group of ex-pats.Thanks for your post. The pictures are lovely and make the words more real and from the heart.

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  8. Thank you for your post!! Many forget the families and all we have to endure everytime we move or daddy deploys. My youngest two have never even seen my home state and family there. We qualified for WIC with three kids and sixteen years of military service.

    To those men and women that paved the way for our freedoms that many take for granted everyday-God Bless you!! and your families!

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  10. I want to thank everyone for their thoughtful comments. I really appreciate them. I answered most of you by email.

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  11. Thank you ArtisianAllUnwound. I hope you have a great weekend.

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  12. Thanks Anonymous, I appreciate your comment.

    You don't have to have a blog with Google to sign up for Google Friend Connect (above Followers). You can set it up for just your name, internet name, or nickname with no contact info.

    Or if you don't mind - can you sign your comments with a name? Beats calling you Anonymous. :0)

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  13. I love your post. My husband is a 30% permanently disabled Marine Corps Veteran. He doesn't like me telling people the disabled part (which is why you will probably never see anything about that on my blog), but the way I see it is, I'm proud of it, I'm proud to be married to a man that was willing to sacrifice his well-being for his country. He is my hero. But so many people do not realize the sacrifices our military makes and do not realize how "off" the system is - we have to deal with the VA hospital on a regular basis and it is a mess.... very sad.

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  14. A huge Thank You to you and to your husband, Pamela. A true sounding Marine. Maybe someday he will see your point of view and wear his disability as a badge of honor as well as a reminder that freedom does not come easy.

    Aw! You said it! The VA hospitals are a mess! Hours of waiting, information being lost, understaffed and overworked employees! We sat in one waiting room that was so filthy that I was afraid we would catch something. It is very sad.

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  15. What a wonderful post. I wonder where we'd all be today without them.

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  16. I was really touched by this beautiful post, Sandy. Thank you and God Bless you and your fine family for so many years of service.

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  17. Thank you Carmen, I appreciate your comment.

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