In honor of Veterans Day I thought I would talk about a few of the finest men I know. I am honored to have/had them all in in my life.
I have several uncles that have served our country proudly. Two however I would like to tell you about, my uncle A and my uncle L. Both of these men helped shape my life in more ways than one.
When I was younger I belonged to a clogging (an Appalachian form of dance) team. I along with my brother, mother, and father all danced on this team. So did my uncle A, aunt and cousin. We practiced weekly and on most weekends we performed at different festivals. I loved those days. Our two families are close thanks to those times. We also spent many of our “free” weekends at my grandmothers and if we were there you could almost bet my aunt, uncle and cousin were there as well. In fact most of my childhood memories include them. I would give anything to have him spin me around the dance floor one more time to one of our old routines.
Now my uncle L is on my dads side. He has a love for motorcycles and for Jesus. He is one of the sweetest men I know. He always has a kind word to share and he makes sure to tells me just how much he loves me every time I see him. When I was younger and still lived at home he, my aunt and their two kids lived less than a mile from me. Family is everything to him. And I will never be to old for one of his bear hugs.
I am blessed to have had both of my grandfathers serve our county as well. Both Papaw W and Papaw L served during World War II. Papaw W was in the Navy and Papaw L was in the Army. My Papaw W always had a story to tell and made sure we knew who the greatest hunter/or fisherman was. Later in life he would quiz me on Bible verses or share a passage that he thought was interesting. My Papaw L was my rock when I was a little girl. I spent most of my early childhood days at his and mamaw’s house. Having them as our neighbors made it easy to see them daily. We would pass the days by working in the garden or playing games of Canasta. I would ride in the back of his old black Ford pickup truck to the store were he would buy me a soda and candy bar for under a dollar. Those were the days. I would love to be able to hear just one more hunting story from Papaw W or to be able to play one more game of Canasta with Papaw L. I know they both watch over me in all that I do.
I even married into a family that has served our country with pride. My father-in-law was in the Air Force and my husband was in the Army. My father-in-law fought in the Vietnam War. He is the best when it comes to being an all around great guy. From the first day I met him he welcomed me into his family. He showed me how to eat chicken wings and helped introduce me to NASCAR. He is the first person people go to when something needs done. He works with his church making sure all the local kids have food to eat through the back pack program and he is always the first one to offer to help if something comes up. He would give the shirt of his back if he thought someone needed it. He is also a pretty awesome papaw to our little ones, just ask any of them. When he says “I love ya girl.” I know he means it.
My husband, my hero, my rock, and my partner. He fought for our country in Operation Iraqi Freedom. He always has my back no matter how crazy things get. He works hard to provide a good life for the kids and me. He opened his heart up to foster care when many others would have said no. He makes me happier than I have ever been. He is my shoulder to cry on, my go to guy when I need good laugh, and my stealer of the sheets at night. My favorite place in the world is in his arms.
I also have many cousins and friends that have served the Red, White, and Blue proudly. To all of them I say THANK YOU!!!
The point of this blog is to show that our Veterans are not nameless people or people without faces. Our veterans are everyday people. They are someones grandfather, father, uncle, cousin, husband, son, daughter, aunt, mother, or grandmother. They are real people with real families yet they choose to serve to give us the freedoms we have. They sacrifice so much to give us opportunities many Americans today take for granted. Freedom is not free. It comes with a cost few are willing to pay.
So today, as well as every day, if you see a veteran thank them for their service. I am honored to be part of a family that has served our country over the years. To all those that have served or are currently serving I salute you. Thank you for being you. And God bless you.