Veterans Day 2010

Thursday, November 11, 2010

There are so many serious problems with our country right now. The out of control economy, record unemployment and record foreclosures just to mention a few. I never thought, in my lifetime, I would see the things I'm seeing on the news. It's distressing, depressing and disheartening.


In spite of her wounds, the United States of America is still the greatest country on earth and I want to thank the thousands of men and women, past and present, who have served her so well.  Without their daily sacrifices, there would be many and more serious problems.As a military brat and former military wife I think about our Veterans frequently.  At the markets I do, when I see a gray head with a Veteran's baseball cap, I get goosebumps and I have to ask them about it- and thank them. There's so much to thank them all for. I think about the thousands of families whose fathers or mothers are away now in the service of their country.  I think about the family dinners and home work help and soccer games they're missing. I remember how I felt the year Pat was in Viet Nam. I think about my Dad, serving in the Pacific for four years in WWII. I think about how camo uniforms keep changing color. Jungle green. Desert brown.

I think about the families who have suffered the greatest sacrifice of all- the loss of a loved one and I share their grief.

We owe our Veterans so much. May God bless them and protect our troops everywhere as they protect our freedom.
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In May of 2001, my friends Barbara and Barb and I were visiting the incredible  D-Day Museum in New Orleans. While we were sitting in the museum coffee shop, we met a charming veteran who had come down from Mississsippi to speak to a group of school children. We were amazed to find that our new friend was Jack H. Lucas, the youngest Marine ever to receive the Medal of Honor, the United States' highest military decoration. He was presented the award by President Harry S. Truman at the White House on Friday, 5 October 1945. Since all the men in my family are WWII buffs, I asked Mr Lucas if he would pose with us for a photo. He was so gracious and delightful.  His story was fascinating. He managed to enlist when he was only 14 years old and was barely 17 when his heroism at Iwo Jima earned him the nation's highest military honor.

After posing with us, Mr. Lucas extracted his payment in the form of a peck on the cheek from each of us. I remember his hearty laugh when I kissed his cheek and whispered "Once a Marine...always a Marine." Meeting him was the high point of my trip and my family was astounded when I presented them with an autographed magazine article. Jacklyn H. Lucas passed away on June 5, 2008 at 80 years young. I wrote his family to tell them about having met him at the museum- (without mentioning the kiss) and to let them know his service would be always be remembered and appreciated.  Rest In Peace, Jack Lucas and Semper Fi.



Packrat said...

Wonderful post. Thank you.

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