Yesterday I had the honor of speaking to our church’s veteran’s group. It was humbling and an honor to say the least. I had the opportunity to hear their stories and from which branch they belonged. The common thread throughout all of their stories was brotherhood (and sisterhood, Ronda!) and relationships.
Later, Freddy and I watched “Midway,” which was excellent. The cinematography and visual/auditory effects were incredible and seriously, the two and a half hour movie felt like an hour. Watching the dive-bombers who risked everything to save their friends (and the nation) from the Japanese Imperial Army and avenge those lost at Pearl Harbor, really made me appreciate even more what my grandpas did for our country in World War II. Many of them were drafted and didn’t have the choice and went on to become some of the most incredible pilots and combat fighters, as young guys.
My grandpas both saw two very different versions of the war. My dad’s father was a bomber pilot on the B-17 Flying Fortress and saw the war from above, fighting against the Japanese. My mom’s father fought with the Blue Devils in the Army in hand-hand combat on the ground, touring in Africa, Italy, France and Germany and later on, in the Korean War.
My mom had given me several WWII letters from my grandpa to read and the change from when he was drafted as a young country boy into basic and the letters from the end of the war, was obvious. War changed people.
These men (and women in WWII) sacrificed everything, gave everything. For many of them, the war didn’t end when it was celebrated by the rest of the world (well, except Germany and Japan of course). They carried it within them. A price they still pay, even if we don’t see it. I can’t even imagine what that’s like.
So, today I wanted to thank everyone who served and still serves today. For risking everything they are to give us everything we have. I am forever grateful.