Sunday, November 11, 2007

A Day to Remember

My Fred was drafted in 1967. On Dec. 7, 1967, he left for Fort Knox, Ky. As he said in church this morning, between the ages of 18 - 25 during the 1960's all young men had a pretty good chance of serving in the military. Letters came to the home saying "Greetings ... Uncle Sam wants you!" And usually, you had to go.

Fred & I had been married just 14 days when his draft notice came, and 7 days after that he left for Ft. Knox. I remember literally screaming "NO!" and running from the room when he read what it said. This notice was too much of a reminder of someone I had known before I met Fred. A young man who was drafted and went to Vietnam, only to be killed three weeks later. He told us that if he had to go he would die there and young as I was, I simply thought he was being overly dramatic. Looking back after all these years I see he somehow knew he would meet death in that country.

I somehow thought that if that young man died, what would save my husband? I didn't know about the grace of God as neither of us were Christians. However, that did not stop God from protecting my Fred and seeing to it he came home. His plans were far greater than any I knew about when I was just 20 years old.

My Fred came home but he had changed. Being shot at and killing people does that to a person. For a time I seriously wondered if our marriage had been a mistake. We had only known one another for 7 months when we got married and many said it wouldn't last. How could it? they said, they're just kids who don't know each other. "I'll give it a year" one person said.

Well, next Sunday we'll celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. We showed those nay-sayers, didn't we? We've gone through some trials and struggles, but then again, what married couple hasn't? If you're married and you're breathing there will be hard times.

As my Fred spoke in church this morning about Veteran's Day and the sacrifices men and women have made for years, I thought of my Dad ... he served during WWII in the South Pacific and was in Hiroshima after the bombing. Dad died in 2000 and was laid to rest with a military funeral service. I miss him!

I also thought of my Uncle, the man my Mom is caring for right now. He was in the Korean conflict and we learned just months ago in going through his discharge papers that he received three Bronze stars ... he had never told us about them. We never said anything to him either. If he wants us to know, he'll tell us.

Then I remembered Fred's leaving the states after finishing basic training. He had orders for Vietnam and at the last minute they changed them ... he was going to Korea instead! I rejoiced, not realizing the dangers that were in that part of the world too. Dangers that exist to this day. Did you know we still have military personnel in Korea? If not for our men there now, North Korea would try (and likely succeed) in over-taking South Korea. And we do not want this to happen. The leader of North Korea, Kim Jong II is an evil, evil man.

We have men and women all over the globe serving to protect the peoples of this world. They deserve more respect than they're usually given and we need to honor our Veterans. Fred said this morning that "if you see a young man or young woman in uniform, go up and introduce yourself and then thank them for their service to our country." Few too many simply walk on by, not realizing that that person in uniform is serving you and me in ways we cannot or won't serve ourselves. They are risking life and limb for our safety.

This has indeed been a day to remember ...

Bless you all!


  1. My Tom was changed too. How could he not be,he knew those bombs he loaded were going across the river into Viet Nam. Day after day for a year they armed those planes for missions. He to this day, does not talk about it, nor does he want to read books or see movies about that war. My Daddy could not watch "Saving Private Ryan" the memories were still fresh in his mind, he did not want to see them ever again!

  2. I am so thankful that Barry never had to have that life-changing experience, although I know he would of done, if he had been called upon. What I am so thankful for though is the men and women of this Great Nation that have stepped up and served us. I know that if we out eating Barry is good to ask the waitress for the Uniformed Personnel's billand never says a word to him. We are thankful for our military! Thanks Fred and Tom and all of the others out there that we aren't aware of, but thankful for.