This post originally ran last year – all but the update at the end – as sometimes, it’s best to let the original idea remain.
There are posts backing up in my mind, which is a very nice change of pace, but those admittedly thrilling real estate topics will need to wait for a day.
Because today, I’d much rather recognize the men and women who had the courage to do what I did not – to be a part of this nation’s Armed Forces and defend our shores and skies.
Like Jimmy Buffett, I’m the Son of a Son of a Sailor. (My daughter took particular delight in learning that she’s the Daughter of a Son of a Sailor and a Daughter of a Son of a Son of a Sailor.) My grandfather, uncle and father all served in the Navy – Weldon during World War II, my uncle from Vietnam through retirement and my dad during the Cuban missile crisis. It’s a legacy of which I’m remarkably proud.
At 19, I spent the summer moping over a girl who went on her senior trip to Hawaii and met some guy named Trevor then came back and broke up with me. In my defense, she was the hard-to-find combination of drop dead gorgeous and brilliant.
In contrast, here’s my father at 19, standing in the gun tub of the USS Intrepid. Yes, the same USS Intrepid now at permanent anchor in New York and the lead exhibit at the Intrepid Air, Space and Sea Museum.
For fun perspective, the other day my son and I were watching Ghost Adventures and they were on the USS Hornet, CV-12. In other words, the first aircraft carrier commissioned after the Intrepid, CV-11. He saw the clips from the Hornet in WWII and his jaw dropped.
More fun perspective … several years ago we were in San Diego and were fortunate enough to be having lunch by the water when the USS Stennis sailed out of San Diego. The Stennis is CVN-74.
What I’m trying to say here is the Intrepid is a museum. And my dad, well, he’s a museum piece these days. Fortunately I’ve inherited his fascination with World War II so we’ve got something to talk about, such as the assorted articles that appear in World War II magazine.
What I’m also trying to say, in true bury-the-lead fashion, is thank you. Thank you to Ab and to Jim and most certainly to my father, Steve. And to all the other veterans out there including the two in my cardiac rehab class who are marching in a parade as I write this.
We owe you all a debt. Because you had the courage to do what most us will never do.
As promised, there is an update to this in as much as there may be another military man in the family sometime in the future. My son tends to … how do I best word this … not thing very hard at times. So it was quite a surprise when he informed us that he wanted to someday go into the military both to protect our country but also – here’s the hard thinking part – to take advantage of the G.I. Bill for his education.
This semester, his first in high school, he signed up for the Cactus High School Air Force Junior ROTC. Perhaps it’s the uniform or maybe it’s the discipline he’s learned in even these first couple of months. But the boy is becoming a man before our eyes. Time will tell.