My father was in the National Guard. Grandpa Fred Fraley was in the Navy in WWII. I still have his navy cap and his navy training manual. My father-in-law Wilmer ‘Doc’ Farley (no, that is not a typo) was in the Army in Korea, and both of his brothers served too: Lowell, in the Air Force, and Darrell, in the Marines (I think). My mother-in-law tells me that one day Doc saw Darrell walk over a hill towards him, and they had a short, surprise-reunion there in Korea. My wife also has nephews who both served in Iraq.
My Grandfather Clarence E. Feyhl was in the Army in WWII. We just had his funeral about a month ago, with military honor-guard and flag ceremony. As the cemetery proceedings came to a close, I wanted to go and thank those men and women who came in uniform, with their rifles, to honor my Grandfather, but didn’t get the chance. How many hours of service do these great men and women continue to render at funerals all around the country? Can those hours even be counted?
When I was newly married with only one young daughter and another on the way, I tried to join the Army–to be a Linguist. I wanted to learn Hebrew and Arabic. They rejected me on medical reasons. But I am an Eagle Scout, and continuing to work with the Scouts has added to my own patriotism. Being a part of my great family with so many who have served has been a blessing.
I love our veterans. I have immense respect for them. I have cried when I have heard TAPS at their funerals. Seeing flags presented to widows and children has almost made me sob. I have saluted the flag with a hand over my heart, and at other times when in my scout uniform, with the boy-scout salute. This morning I helped the scouts put up almost 100 flags at homes around our neighborhood, a service which I am pleased to do.
My heart has always been with this great country. I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands: one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Happy Veteran’s Day. And may God continue to bless and protect this great country. To those of you who are Vets: Thank you. My sincere thanks for your time away from family. My thanks for your patriotism. My thanks for your sacrifices, and even your lives. May you be richly rewarded in heaven for your service.