So, to our son Brian, who's serving now, Uncle Randy who pretty much sleeps in any one of a dozen Marine baseball hats, my Dad who passed away three years ago this past week and served in the WWII and all my friends and associates who served in Viet Nam or have family in the military now, I'm not only writing the longest run-on sentence I've ever published, but sharing a big heartfelt thank you!
And, to be a little different in my approach I wanted to share a couple of the stories my Dad shared regarding his experience working in the "tower" in the Army Air Corps in WWII.
Dad played the trumpet all through high school and college until he dropped out to serve after Pearl Harbor. That's Dad in one of the Army Air Corps bands above, second from the right in front of the drummer.
On a hot, humid day in New Guinea in the 1940's, his CO was looking for musicians. Dad's hand to volunteer couldn't have gone up faster, thinking he was about to score some light duty. All those years playing trumpet were about to pay off! Well, for the next three days he was part of a crew moving pianos for Bob Hope and a USO show!
Dad was part of the "Greatest Generation" and never shared very much about WWII, but a year before he passed away we joined HonorFlight.org and went to Washington. I remember Dad sitting with a group of veterans also on the trip. Dad was based in the Asia Pacific, and they had all been on the European front. Somebody asked Dad if he ever got to meet General MacArthur. I loved his answer, "No, but I brought in his plane a few times!"
So on this Veteran's Day morning, I wish everybody a day of peace - not just inner peace with your life, but the kind our veterans have fought to preserve. Take the time to hug a veteran today, and remind them of the appreciation you have for the sacrifices they made. And, to every parent who joins us with family in the military today - "thank you" is such an understatement.
If you've got a veteran in the family, especially if they're in their 80's or older, check out HonorFlight.org. It's a fantastic group with one goal, to show the appreciation all our veterans deserve and get them to Washington for one more "tour." Just click on the HonorFlight logo below for more information.