My dad is a veteran. When I say we moved a lot when I was a kid, the first thing people ask is if we were military. But that wasn’t it. My father served in the U.S. Army long before I was born. The thing is I don’t know much about his service or the military. I guess he was probably drafted and was an enlisted guy. He served during the Korean War and sang in a chorus. I know that he lived in Monterrey, California. The other soldiers called him Sandy (Not even close to his real name). This is all I know. He has a very handsome photo of himself in uniform. He doesn’t talk much about his time in the military except a hilarious story of him driving a jeep even though he didn’t know how to drive and scaring his sergeant (almost literally) to death.
My Great Uncle Rufus served in the Navy. I was lucky my reporter skills kicked in one day and took the opportunity to record him talking about serving his country. He was drafted during World War II and served on a ship in the Pacific as a cook. He talked about seeing the Philippines, other places in Southeast Asia and Japan. All places I want to visit, but not via warship. As I write this, I realize that I recorded him on cassette tape long ago. I hope that it hasn’t warped and that I can figure out a way to make it a digital file. One of Uncle Rufus’ grandsons followed in his footsteps and is currently in the Army.
I’ve had other uncles and cousins who served in the Marines, Army and the Air Force. Amazing men who sacrificed much personally to allow the rest of us to live freely.
So today I thank all the veterans who have gone through so much working to protect our freedom. Enjoy your day!