It’s an honor to have known them….
Last night I was sipping a drink, sitting w/memories of family, friends, colleagues… Reflecting over one Grandpa’s stories that he only told amongst his cousins and fellow soldiers. I remember one Thanksgiving sitting on the floor nearby marveling at what a different side of my Grandfather I was getting to see. Hearing about actual battle. Grandpa did not really talk about military things with those who didn’t serve. A tanker in WWII, a special group in Korea. I have a pistol and a knife he brought back from overseas to remind me of the action he saw.
Then I remember my other Grandpa. He rarely spoke of his military service. Sometimes shrugging it off as not having done much, just pushing paper as an officer. Until my husband came back from overseas a few years ago. Aged, in a wheel chair, I saw my grandfather let loose and talk and talk with my husband. He told him what I don’t think he really told anyone in my family. And my husband came away from that conversation with tears in his eyes, knowing that he’d been paid the honor of an old soldier to a younger one. “Don’t you ever let him fool you,” John said to me. “He may make light of it, but some of the things he volunteered for…. He earned his medals. That man clanks when he walks.” At his funeral, my husband spoke for Grandpa, reminding everyone that even “paper pushers” were sorely needed to make things happen and grease the wheels, that they were indispensable in the military and worth their weight in gold and that Grandpa did far more. That he volunteered for needed action most men thought crazy.
And I remember others who have died too.
Some would say it’s a shame to know many who have died. But I think it an honor to have been blessed by the crossing of their path with mine. Thankful for my ancestors who made choices not conveniently for their own ease, but for the benefit of descendants and future.
It is the hard things that often make the difference.
To the regiments….