Honor and service

Happy Memorial Day everyone!

It's a lazy morning here. We raced in the WORS series yesterday (I ran a 5K and The Man did the mountain bike race in 90-degree heat) and are both feeling a bit slow today. However, we are going to rally and head downtown Milwaukee and watch the Memorial Day parade. I love seeing all those old guys, out there marching, chins held high.

Here's the people that we remember on Memorial Day--

Dad W--a Vietnam veteran who served in some of the worst combat areas of the war. He joined the Marines with a friend, much to the chagrin of his father who was a Navy veteran. The story goes that after Grandpa found out Dad had signed with the Marines, he shouted "I'd rather have a sister who was a whore than a son in the Marines." I think Grandpa eventually got over it and was very proud of his son's service to the country.

Grandpa W--a WWII veteran in Navy. He was a frogman. I don't know much about his military career but am reminded that I need to find out. One of the most touching things to me is that after Grandpa died we found a small journal tucked into the rafters above his basement workshop. It was a journal that he had kept of his war time experiences. No one had ever seen the book before. I remember watching my Dad sit on the bed, hunched over with his elbows on his knees and tears in his eyes as he read about his father's time at war.

Grandpa E--a former Navy guy. His family left Holland during WWII, and Grandpa eventually came to the US through Canada. He served on the aircraft carrier, the USS Yorktown.

The Man--a former Navy guy. He was in the military during the Gulf War but his ship did not deploy. He didn't see any conflict duty (thank goodness) but I still respect and admire the 6 years he put in service to the country.

Dad G--a former Navy guy as well. He worked as an aviation mechanic in the 50s. He loves to tell stories about going up in the Navy jets and how the "afterburner really puts you back in your seat."

Richard Nelson--I never met Ricky, but I did get to know his wife Kristen very well. Ricky was killed in action by a roadside bomb, April 14, 2008. It was my great honor to get to know his wife and family, who taught me the meaning of grace under pressure and have made a heart-breaking sacrifice. To hear the Kristen and Ricky's story, go here.

Please remember to honor those that have served.

(photo credit: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

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