Remembering Our Veterans on Veterans Day
November 11, is Veterans Day. This is a day set aside by our Government to honor those who have served in the military. I do not see why we should just honor them on this day but I will go with this. I believe we should honor them every day. They fought for us, so that we would have the freedom to worship, speak, and live in a way that we see fit, for us.
We all know someone who has served in the military. My husband served, my uncles and great-uncles served. My son and step-son tried to serve but injuries during basic training took them out. My father did not serve but only because he had broken his ankle as a child and they decided they did not need him during peacetime.
I have had relatives serving this country since before the Revolutionary War. Every war this country has been in, has had someone from my family serving in it. During the Civil War, they served both sides. Some made it through their service and some did not. Some made it back, changed totally from the people they were before. War is hell, they say and I totally believe it.
My husband served in Vietnam for four tours. He was in Special Forces and was all over the country. His group was the one they sent in when someone called in for help. The team jumped in the helicopters and were inserted into the middle of a firefight. I have met a man that he retrieved from a prison camp. The man said he would have died if my husband and his group had not gotten him out. He received 4 silver stars and 5 purple hearts. Yes, he is my hero, but he should be a hero for all.
He suffers from many ailments from these actions, some from Agent Orange but mostly from PTSD. The nightmares he has and the withdrawal from society is scary to watch. He is still changing, withdrawing more and more over the years, even with treatment. When we married, he was an extrovert who got along with everyone. He could talk to anyone and enjoyed most people's company. Now, he stays away from people and is getting harder to live with. This is not unusual for people with PTSD. The withdrawal is common and predictable.
My uncle Delmar, my dad's older brother, was a Marine. He was at the Battle for Iwo Jima. He did not talk about it to me. I was too young when he died. I know some of what he went through when he got home, from the stories my dad told. His wife did not sleep in the same bed with him for several years. If he felt her move in the night, he would have a choke hold on her and she was sure she was going to die. She slept in a separate bed for a while until he calmed down.
He eventually did but no one ever tried to sneak up on him when he was sleeping, at least not twice. He had a very well developed sense of humor and was often playing a joke on someone.
My great-uncle Howard, or Howdy as he was called, was a shy, quiet man. He was friendly and easy- tempered. He was in one of the worst battles of WWll. The Battle for the Ardenne Forest was a terrible place to be. He talked about it a little, shortly after coming home but then, never again. He told his sister, my grandmother, about when they were withdrawing, the trucks went through and if you didn't get on one of the trucks, you were dead. They piled onto the trucks and held onto the sides. Some were being carried out by their friends hanging onto them because "there was no more room". They piled on the tanks and bicycles and anything that moved. There were soldiers running alongside the trucks, trying to get out of there alive. Most of these did not make it out. She said he was crying by this time. He lost a lot of friends that day.
Invitation to Tell About Your Veterans
I would like to invite all who read this to tell us about your special veterans in the comments. We would love to hear about every one of them. For those who have served, thank you for your service.
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