A Post from the Past
Papaw’s Flag Outside of our Home
We can trace the legacy of service in my husband’s family back to the Civil War but alas there is no photographic evidence, so I will start with the man who was/is so near and dear to my heart…
My husband’s Papaw…isn’t he dashing?! He served valiantly on the USS Mills for three years during WWII. And he loved to remind us regularly… i.e every time we were together.. how often he traveled across the ocean on this Coast Guard destroyer. I will now list it for posterity…once across the Pacific and 14 times across the Atlantic!
As most women across the world can attest to, we often wonder would I have the strength to watch my husband or son leave our family to serve his country. Today, there are cell phones, internet connections, webcams. But when Papaw left, there were very few ways to communicate that everyone was ok. You would have to wait, and pray, and wait, and pray and hope for a letter. I want to honor Mamaw Bessie for her strength. I would love to think I could be that strong living in the unknown…but I wonder could I?
Papaw Ray never lost an ounce of love for his country. He was the most patriotic man I knew. He had more flags, military and coast guard mementos than his room could hold. His pride swelled with the knowledge that his son-in-law (my father-in-law) would also be serving his country.
My handsome dad-in-law
This man dedicated his whole life to military service as a Marine and then as a Army Officer and Helicopter Pilot. This man served two tours in Vietnam. And my mother-in-law waited for him not knowing..as all military wives have in the past, but with the added blessing/curse of daily news coverage. Where one heard about helicopter crashes but had to wait to find out…was it him?
And those two wonderful people were blessed to be the parents of this man….
Be still my heart!
…who left college when his country asked him to, to serve during Desert Shield/Desert Storm. Who has served his country in one form or another his entire adult life….he belongs to me. And I am so thankful that I can always know where he is and how to reach him…thank you God for modern technology!
Three Patriots! 4th of July Service
So here stands three of the most patriotic men I know. They all have/are serving their country. However one may feel about the current state of America, it’s still a country worth sacrificing for.
And, when Papaw passed away on a 4th of July(!) and we laid him to rest, I wondered would the little boy on the left serve his country this same way, someday…
Because that little boy is mine…and it changes everything when they are your child. Are all bets off when they belong to you? When you held them in your arms and they looked at you with newborn eyes? The time is counting down fast to manhood, he just turned 17, and there is so little time left. I will be proud of him whatever he chooses to do; as long as he keeps that servants heart that was passed down to him from the great men who have influenced his life. But if he does choose to serve this way…will I let him? Can I let him? My answer is yes. And it looks like I will have to, because my little boy spent four days this spring, doing this…
Cadet Leadership Training at North Georgia University (my son on the left)
And my heart aches a little, but I will let him go, and will be proud…and I will call him everyday…because I am his mom. Thank you Papaw, thank you to my dad-in-law, thank you “my love”, thank you to the men and women everywhere serving their country right now, this very minute and thank you to the families of those who sacrificed more than we can imagine. In memory and with honor…we say thank you.
Happy Memorial Day! Thank you for sharing a part of your day with us At The Picket Fence.