I love this time of year when the cool weather is here, and we tend to be outside more often. The leaves are gorgeous, and the colors are so vivid. Along one of the main streets are rows of flags in honor of Veterans Day. My dad was a Navy veteran, and since his death, we have revisited the memories and stories as Mom thinks of something she wants to share.
One of the things that we can’t imagine is that the only communication they had was by mail. They exchanged letters almost every day. I remember Dad telling us that after he read letters from home, they had to be destroyed. Members of his family would write, especially his mom, and his brothers occasionally. But Dad and Mom were high school sweethearts, and when he left, the written note became so important.
In his memoirs, Dad penned that he wrote Mom a letter and asked her to marry him when he was home on his first leave. She accepted his proposal by letter, and they were married the Christmas Eve that followed. Everything was by letter.
Veterans of WWII all corresponded by letter and waited for a very long time for news from home and updates on family. They relied totally on the post for everything.
My granddad Norton (Dad’s dad) was in WWI, and he sent embroidered postcards home to his mother periodically. I am the lucky recipient of those hand-embroidered cards. He purchased them in France when he was stationed there. What a treat to receive those!
Today our men in service have the instantaneous means of email, FaceTime, and text to keep in touch. But regardless of the method of getting news, they are still separated from family. The sacrifice of service coupled with separation is total commitment to our country.
I salute those who have served and those who are serving today, and I thank you for your commitment to this country. In my heart, Veterans Day is every day.
(Featured Photo: My parents at a celebration in 2014, where Dad was honored as a veteran for his service in the U.S. Navy and given a flag that had flown over the capitol in Montgomery, Alabama.)
We used to have a paper bag in the attic of my dad’s letters home to my mom while he was serving in the Navy in WWII. They were all mushy, and as a young girl I loved reading them. My parents are both gone now and , sadly, so are the letters. I would love to be able to sit on the stairs and read those old letters today.
Thank you for remembering this holiday. Hoping that it does not rain on Monday so we can return the flag to its holder on the big tree in the front yard.
My dad was in the Navy during WWII, also. My husband is a Viet Nam veteran. I’m thankful they both returned home though my husband’s return was different than my dad’s . My husband & I are in Branson, Missouri this weekend. Branson shows support for veterans all year long but in November they roll out the red carpet and honor them with all kinds of music programs, plays, memorials, parades, etc. all week long. My husband never participated in any of this, which is very typical of Viet Nam veterans, but thanks to my teaching partners a few years ago who insisted on buying tickets and not taking “No” for an answer, this is our 3rd year to come…and my husband in turn is reaching out to other veterans…especially those who experienced some of the things that he did during Viet Nam War. It is so important to show honor where honor is due and I am blessed to see that being done. Grateful!
Thank you for honoring the veterans who chose to give their lives on foreign soil sometimes to keep us safe at home. How can we dishonor our brave young men by not remembering the foot work they endured to bring peace to our world. What a shame our children are not taught the struggle our nation endured to keep the wars from our soil.
Phyllis, the November/December issue had an error on page 112. It shows a phone number for Jane M White to locate the items on pages 63-70. This is indeed a Jane White, a fine lady to talk to but not the Jane White whose house is shown o pages 63-73. When I called the number shown she said I was the second person that had called. I called all the numbers shown and each person I talked to could do anything to help me, even thought they tried. Is it possible to receive the correct number to call the correct Jane Whire? Thank you .
Thank you Phyllis for honoring g the military, and especially your Dad with such poignant memories.
I would love to see the embroidered postcards in your journal list some day.
My son had deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, and is currently teaching ROTC at Colorado State University, as an Army Reserves officer
Men and women who serve. I had a Step-grandfather who served in WWl, 2 uncles, 1 Navy, the other Army in Vietnam, 1 brother Air Force, my sister Army and my best friend, she was Air Force. Thank you to all our men and women who serve.
I still have all the letters from my Marine when he served in Viet Nam. Every day was a treat when I received a letter from him. Married him nine days after he returned. (Happy Birthday to all Marines on November 10.) Love and appreciate all our military and their sacrifices for our country. And, like your father, my dad is also an WWII Navy veteran. Truly, the Greatest Generation.
Lovely memories, and I agree wholeheartedly.
Oh, that is such a touching tribute to your dad’s service.
I thank all those who have served and those who currently serve, too.
My dad was a Marine during the Korean Conflict. I will think of him on this Veteran’s Day. He was a wonderful dad and I miss him all the time.
Thank you to all the Veterans, Past, Present and Future!
What a wonderful column. My husband served in Vietnam, in the Air Force his father with the Pan American forces detailed to the army inAfrica in ww2 , his grandfather rode up San Juan Hill with the rough riders in the Navy. Our son was in Desert Storm in the Army and now our granddaughter is in the Army. We have been proud to serve our country. Thank you for sharing.
I enjoyed your sweet post about your parents and the lovely photograph, Phyllis.
With today’s technology, we can keep in touch so easily. Just imagine being far away at war and having to wait for letters from loved ones at home and vice versa!
We are much indebted to all our wonderful, brave veterans.
The WWII vets were the greatest generation for sure! love the photo of your parents.
This coming Sunday in our worship service, our church is honoring all veterans. Some will march in carrying flags, and the congregation will sing patriotic songs and hymns. The pastor will honor the veterans by asking them to stand when their branch of service is named. We do this every year, as we want our children and young people to be thankful for the brave men and women who have served our country where we have freedom of religion and many other freedoms. Truly this is the land of the free because of the home of the brave.
A wonderful column and reminder to think of all our veterans separated from loved ones. Thanks to your dad for his service .
Phyllis, your father served his country well. I love the photo of your mother and father with the American flag. Let us all remember those who served on Veteran’s Day. God Bless all the veterans.
Thanks for this wonderful column about your Father and Mother and military service. I too, have the embroidered postcards from WWI, my grandmother received them from her brother who was stationed overseas. Such treasures!
What a wonderful tribute to your father. He is a patriot. Thank You for sharing your father’s military part of his life.
Thank You Phyllis for this lovely post concerning your father. He is a hero in every sense of the word. Thank you for his service. God Bless your mother .