Sunday, November 11, 2012

A Debt of Gratitude to Our Veterans

A True Veterans Day Weekend

Our Veterans Day weekend was, well.....filled with veterans.

I mentioned on Friday that it was my Uncle George's 80th Birthday. Uncle George is one of my 'non-blood' Uncles. You see my parents lived hours away from any family, so their friends became our family.  Uncle George's surprise party was quite appropriately held at the American Legion in my home town, where he is very active and is the Post's Sgt. At Arms. 

Let me say this, when you're dealing with military, you better be on time.  We picked up my parents and sister Di and bil Al picked up the Colonel and his wife, Dottie and we all made it there at the same time as Uncle Norm (sister Di's godfather and our other 'non-blood' Uncle, who's 90th we celebrated earlier in the year) and his daughter MaryEllen.  Uncle Norm had attended the Veteran's Day services at the high school that afternoon, and was the oldest veteran there. Go Uncle Norm!

{waiting for his pal George, with my parents and sister Dianne behind him}

{Goddaughter and Godfather}

{Uncle Norm, Dad and Mom toasting to old friends
before the birthday boy arrived}

Just like clockwork, the Marine of the Hour arrives. 

{I think he had an inkling something was going on, but hadn't figured it all out}

Then he saw his sister, who flew in from the San Deigo area, and was really surprised.

{Mary Lou and Uncle George. We loved Mary Lou so much
we told her she needed to visit more often}

{"you got me"}

We had some good laughs.

{Dad and Mary Ellen}

While Uncle George made the rounds of the room......

{with Col., Dottie and Uncle Norm} some more family love......

{from son and daughters}

Thanked everyone for coming.  As you can see by the sign, as I thought, Uncle George did a tour in Korea and two in Vietnam. Hoo-Rah.

Spent some more time enjoying the company and a fine meal.

{visiting with pal Jane}

Di got cozy with her new boyfriend.

{Di and Warren....this Marine had us busting a gut}

In fact, there were a lot of troublemakers at the party. 

{Uncle Norm, Gar and Al}

This group looks like trouble for sure....Semper Fi.

Then it was time for the Birthday Boy to cut the cake......with his sword!

{don't mess with a veteran}

A great night all around and a great birthday celebration for a Marine who deserves it. He's always there for others, so it was nice to see everyone gather to celebrate him.

Happy Birthday Uncle George.

This morning, I was back to the Legion to meet Di and Al for Veteran's Day services.

Elaine Weatherbee, has been signing our anthem since she was in grade school I think. She has a lovely voice and does our anthem justice.

Our speaker today, Mr. Nevins (I apologize for not remembering his rank in the Air Force), flew 1300 combat hours (that's just his combat hours, he flew over 2200 total). He spoke of how in Korea and Vietnam, 4% of the population served. I was quite surprised by how low the number was. He went on to say, that today there's approsimately .4% of the population serving. This stunned me as I thought it would be much higher.

That said, however many, we owe all our Veterans who have served and all our service men and woman who are serving, a debt of gratitude.  If you haven't already, thank a veteran today.

They have been there to protect our freedoms through so many battles. Many paid with their blood. Many lost their lives. Thanking those who are still here is the least that we can do to show our appreciation.

On The Way Home 

I reached our road in Stratham, and was so glad that the driver in front of me was paying attention. I say something to everyone who leaves our house....'mind for deer', for good reason. We have LOTS of deer on our road. Odd thing is, I don't think there is one deer crossing sign.  Thankfully, the driver saw them coming right out of the woods and walking right out in front of the car and making their way across the road. A couple of young ones. They headed up the lane to meet their pals. 

Can you see their three friends? I'll give you a hint since they're so good at blending. They're waiting for them up by the telephone pole.

It's supposed to be sunny and warm, but the sun is still trying to come out. Hoping it has it's way soon.

One last thank you to all the veterans and especially those who have been a part of my Dad, my Grampy, Uncle Norm and his wife Auntie Auggie, Uncle George, my mother's brother Uncle Eddie, my Godfather Bo, my friend Gavin and Jeffrey Joe, the Col. and so many more. And here's to the new men and women who are serving our country, like my friend's son Matthew MacDonald who is currently in Afghanastan. May you all come home safely.

Enjoy your Sunday,

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