It’s Veteran’s Day in the U.S. today and I’d like to pause and take a moment to sincerely thank all of our veterans. You are the reason I can sit in my home today, safe and secure, and tell my stories.
As someone whose family has served in the military for generations, I am very proud of my heritage. I can go back to George Washington, to the Mayflower, to the Texas Revolution. As a child and even more so as an adult, I always loved to hear the stories that made my family who we are. Most recently, while cleaning out my grandmother’s house, my dad found a journal written by my great-grandfather during WWII (I think.). He recorded a good period of time and his experiences fighting in France. Someday I’d like to go there and stand where he stood, generations and probably about 100 years later by the time I get there. Incredible.
In college I minored in History just because I loved to hear the stories. My favorite era, hands down, is WWII. But, honestly, I could read about just about any era. It’s fascinating to me. My favorite story I learned in college was this one: In WWII, warfare using aircraft was still a fairly new concept and they experimented with a lot of ideas. One of the experiments was to take cats and put a finned-helmet on their head and then strap them to a bomb. The bomb would be dropped over aircraft carriers in battle. The idea was that cats are afraid of water, so they would steer for the ship. What they learned was those poor kitties just passed out after a couple hundred feet.
My Dad’s Stories
My dad worked as a psychologist and social worker for the Veteran’s Hospital. When I was in high school he took me to POW/MIA day at the place where he worked. A very nice meal was served, and then each man who had been a POW/MIA stood and told his story. I cry to this day thinking about it. I heard first hand about men’s experience of the Bataan Death March, being packed into ships like sardines on the way to Japanese war camps, being in Nazi POW camps, being in Vietnamese POW camps, and so on. It was incredible to hear and made a lasting impression.
So please take a moment today to think about the stories you’ve heard, and to thank your friends and family who have served and are serving today. Thank you!!!
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