and THANK YOU to all who have served on this Veteran’s Day, November 11, 2012
It is through the tenacity of our forefathers, followed by the bravery of all Service men and women who over time have given their talents, and far too many times their lives, so that all of us in the United States of America can live free. We are who we are because they are who they are… people of heart, commitment and valor.
- Today I am free…
- …to pursue happiness. (to the point of silliness)
- …to sing loudly and off-key in church. (I’ll stop when Poppa God complains)
- …to voice my opinions and give advice. (whether listened to or not)
- …to bare arms. (although sleeveless isn’t a good look for me)
- …to vote. (which I always do)
Today my scope narrows. I would like to pay tribute to my own family’s service to this country. To name them all I’d have to write a book… and then I’d have to do research and that would just turn into work and well… maybe later.
Today I’m thinking of my Uncle Cal. After serving in the South Pacific he became a Vice Consular for the United States serving in Managua, Nicaragua and Zagreb, the Croatian part of Yugoslavia until 1952.
Being a musician, he used jazz records sent from home as a vehicle for outreach.
I’d like to thank my cousin, Col. Cliff Acree, who served in the Marines. The plane he piloted was shot down during the Gulf War. He became a POW of the Saddam Hussein Regime where torture was the norm. After his eventual release he gave an account of his captured time on ABC’s 20/20 and in his book The Gulf Between Us: Love and Terror in Desert Storm. Truly a man of heart and honor.
His Dad, Bert, served in the Marines in the South Pacific. He was the only man to survive an attack that killed all the other men in his tent. He lost most of his hearing in the explosion. He said his loss of hearing served him well in later years. Then he’d look over at Hub’s Mom with a twinkle in his eye. (He could be very funny in his own way.) We were fortunate to get him back.
It was in the late 1960’s that the Hub watched his twin brother Tom, also a Marine, leave for Vietnam. It was an extra long year and preparations were being made for his return in time for the holidays. A knock on the door at the beginning of Thanksgiving week changed all that. Just days before his scheduled return his life was lost to war. Heartbreaking doesn’t come close to describing the feel of this news.
He never returned to pick it up.
Let’s live a life worthy of their efforts.
It’s never to late to say thank you.