Woke up this morning thinking of my late Uncle John and the calm character this Korean Veteran had with his little sister’s kids. He kept living with mom in his house, even after marrying the love of his life. He grew two good kids of his own, was a leader in the state insurance department, affected by trench foot & circulation issues in his feet. Uncle John was a beacon of calm in a family that often did not have it.
My late great uncle Bob who I barely remember was a Green Beret.
Uncle Bill married into the family was a Navy man in the Pacific for WW2. He lived to 88, outlived 2 wives, and refused to buy Japanese cars or products. Just enjoyed spending time with him when visiting my family in Florida.
My first job was with several veterans of the Seabee’s (We Build. We Fight) WW2 vets Charlie, Phil, Stan, and many others in the large office of 100. Their kindness with fresh out of college kids, working hard, telling jokes, and occasionally singing the Seabee’s anthem for no reason at all. They are part of the reason I never feared growing old.
At worked with Stan who was a German prisoner of WW2. Mistreated, tortured and starved. Stan came back and his military doctor told him not to hold it in. So instead Stan told everyone the truth and even shared it with school presentations. He always had a smile and truly enjoy life, family and work.
At my age have a lot of Vietnam veteran co-workers and friends over the years. Remember the stories Tom told being an aircraft mechanic. His friends being tunnel rats or taking small boats up the river to bring the fight. Tom was most proud of his kids.
Thinking about the men and women vets have worked with it is not their discipline that stands out. Not their contributions to work. It is the humanity, caring, charity, faith and their confidence if something went wrong, they had been through worse, and had faith all would thrive.The greatness of this country came from ordinary people who were willing to do the extraordinary, and then come home to raise families, work hard, and enjoy life. They are also the reason I mentor others and believe things will always get better.