I come from a long line of heroes, of men who fought for country and liberty and of the wives and daughters who watched them go. A deep love for this country is part of my grandmother’s legacy to me. She knew better than anyone that freedom is never free, she whose father fought in WW I, her husband in WW II, her only son in Vietnam. My brother, her grandson, recently served in the US Navy. She, unlike many, received her men back to her, but I try to think how it must have been–to send your man, or your boy, off to war without benefit of email or the internet or Skype or Fox News. I esteem my grandmother and the fervent patriotism she modeled right up to her death.
My great-grandfather in France, WWI
My grandparents, WWII
My grandfather, the WWII pilot
On this, Veterans Day, it is fitting that we pay tribute to the those in our armed forces who serve sacrificially as well as their families and loved ones who also serve sacrificially, just of a different sort. To my dear friend in real life Alaina and her helicopter pilot-husband and the countless families they represent: I remember, and I honor and thank you.