A Day of Thanks

My brother, Steve

My brother, Steve

There’s a little thing going around on Facebook to take each day of this month before Thanksgiving and give thanks for something in your life.

Today is Veteran’s Day, the day we remember those who have served in the military, and I can’t think of a better reason to say “thank you” to someone.

I come from a family with a long military background. Ancestors on my mother’s side can be traced back to Mad Anthony Wayne in the Revolutionary War.

For our family, this I the first time at least since the Civil War that we haven’t had anyone serving in the Armed Forces.

Steve & ChuLaiI won’t be leaving Campbell Town today to attend any of the memorials or celebrations around town, but I will be thinking about the people I know who have served. Those who are no longer with us, from my great grandfather, who served in the Spanish-American War and great-uncles who served in World War I (I hope my readers in and around the Kansas City area will visit the National World War I Museum there, it is truly a treasure).  I will be thinking of my father, who left the family farm in Clarksville, Arkansas at 16 to join the military and ended up serving during World War II. He and my mother are now both buried in Ft. Leavenworth National Cemetery.

I will remember my brother, Steve, who served in Vietnam and later died as a result of problems resulting from PTSD. I’m so honored my book club chose to read and will discuss on Friday “No Immediate Threat: The story of an American Veteran,” the book I wrote about his life and death.

I’ll also be thinking Dale’s uncle, who also served in Vietnam alongside his cousin, both succumbed just months apart last year from Agent Orange related cancer. To his daughters, we remember your dad and Dale misses his Uncle Mike very much.

I’ll be thinking too, of my nephew, Kirk, who served in the Navy during the Persian Gulf War. Thank you, Kirk, for following in your grandpa-dad’s footsteps and serving your country.

Of course, I’ll also be thinking of all of those people who have served and those that have lost their lives in these wars, and of those who died at Ft. Hood last week.

To all of my readers who are veterans, thank you for your service, and to all of those who are not, remember to hug and thank a veteran today.

This is their day.

In the comments section, thank a special veteran in your life today.

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10 Responses

  1. Barb Vatza says:

    I remember the 5 guys I knew who died in Viet Nam.I remember my father and father in law,both gone now who served but never really talked about their service during WWII.It will always be a mystery.

  2. Lisa says:

    Like you, I wish to thank all the men and women who have served. My half-brother (now deceased) served in the Korean war, and my son spent five years in the Army (one of those years was spent in Bosnia).

  3. marthaandme says:

    I was just talking with my son this morning about the meaning of this day. I
    feel as if when I was a child, the focus was on veterans who lost their
    lives (maybe I’m wrong, but that’s how I remember it) and now the focus is
    more on anyone who served, which I think is nice – and important. My grandfather and father-in-law both were in the service – my grandfather in
    WWII. He never told me about it and my mom told me not to ask him, so I’ll always wonder what he saw and experienced.

  4. Kerri says:

    Thank you for reading my book, Kathy. It is sobering today. I’ve been thinking a lot about Steve lately, as the 10 year anniversary of his death is coming up next week.
    I’m sorry about your Uncle John. It seems so many families – too many – have stories such as ours.
    The WWI Museum is awesome and one of the most overlooked treasures in KC. It is astounding how the past just seems to keep repeating itself.

  5. Kathy Winn says:

    I know this day must be especially sobering for you Kerri. I read your wonderful book “No Immediate Threat” that detailed the life of your brother and your family’s own history in the military. My family too, has a history of service in the military. My mother’s brother John, always the favorite uncle among us kids, returned from Viet Nam a shattered soul. The fun loving guy who was always up for a game of tag or hide and seek, came home a shadow of his former self. He cut off all ties with his family years ago, and has rejected all attempts to reunite.

    We visited the Liberty Memorial and the WWI museum here in K.C. when Jessica and Andy were here. It is so sad and sobering, especially considering that we still haven’t found our way to a peaceful planet. May all those who have suffered and sacrificed to serve our country, feel our gratitude and respect today.

  6. Kerri says:

    Nice story, Susan. Thank you for sharing.