As I sit here this very early morning at the computer exploring my blessings; I look out at the beautiful trees, shrubs and grass; and think how fortunate we are to live in such a beautiful and free country. I think of all our young men and women who, over the years, have fought, suffered, and died in foreign lands, on deserted beaches and scorched landscapes for our freedom. There were many times, no doubt, that they did not know why they were there in the bad situation, nor if any good would come from it. But, how thankful we are that they stayed the course and won the victory.
Especially how thankful I am here just a few days before Memorial Day that I have been privileged to know and call many of these men, “Friend.” Some of these come to mind. One of which comes to mind because of a phone call.
Yesterday, the daughter of one of my dear friends, Edsel Adams, called to let me know that Edsel had stepped over into heaven. As a young man, he stood aboard a U.S. warship in World War II to protect our freedom! He put himself in harm’s way for our country. Fortunately, he came home, married, had a family and career, and lived to be a “senior citizen.” He did not call himself a “Hero,” tho he was one, in my estimation. He did not think of himself as going above and beyond the call of duty, but he did! Once when asked why he served in WW II, he just said, “It was the thing to do.” That was about all he would say about it.
Another friend, still very much alive today who stands out as a valiant defender of freedom is Vern Stone. He was another who stood in defense of our nation and freedom. He was not, in actuality, tall enough to pilot the F4U, “Corsair” that he so bravely flew in the South Pacific; but he did so. Does he consider himself a “Hero?” No! But the bullet holes in that returning plane says that he was!
One of my first cousins, Leslie Jones, was an infantry soldier captured by the Japanese and kept in a WW II prison camp until he almost starved. He returned home, but lived an abbreviated life because of the cruel treatment he received. Was he a “Hero?” Yes! Do we owe him and all the others who marched along side him a debt of gratitude? Yes!
Ralph Carter, my wife’s first husband, was killed in an F-14 jet fighter while on his way to Viet Nam; a “Hero” also; giving his life for our freedom.
How about a more recent “Hero?” Our grandson, Marine Sgt. Garrett Misener, was killed in action in Afghanistan two years ago.
You could just as easily enter the names of your friends, relatives, and loved ones in the above list and we would be equally proud of their freedom stand, May God Bless Them All !
To all those brave young men and women who offered themselves for our defense, we must be very appreciative and show them the respect they deserve. How thankful we are for you all !
WE HONOR ALL OF YOU ON THIS “MEMORIAL DAY 2012!”
~ By Ralph R. Jones, co-Editor The Bodock Post