Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Because it's Veterans Day...

I wanted to honor my favorite veteran, my grandfather. We affectionately call him "The Colonel," because that is the rank he achieved in the Air Force before retiring. At age 46, he was sent to fight in Vietnam and served as a Squadron Commander. In the year he was there, he only lost two men... which was completely unprecedented, given the nature of the missions they undertook. But, to me, my grandpa's finest hour came when he was faced with a life-altering decision: to move to Germany and become a General (which would have split up the family, as my older aunt and uncle were already established in the States, and my other aunt and mother were young enough that they would have gone to Germany) or to keep his family intact. Though it was difficult decision, my grandpa chose to retire instead of to move. He chose his family over becoming a General. To me, he's much more than a General, because his selflessness ensured that, among other things, my mom and dad would end up together. His selflessness has always been at the core of who he is. He is one of my heroes.

Though I am not known for promoting LDS books on this blog, I wanted to plug John Bytheway's latest compilation, Supersonic Saints, Vol. 2: More Thrilling Stories from LDS Pilots, because it features two stories written by my grandfather, based on his wartime experience. You can read the first chapter of the book (which happens to be written by my grandpa) here.

To my dear grandpa I say, Bumps, I love you. I'm proud that you have served your country, your religion and your family with unwavering devotion and love throughout your amazing life. Over the years you have been a stalwart pillar of strength and an incredible example to me, and I feel blessed to be your first-born granddaughter. Happy Veterans Day!


Kelly and Stacey said...

Tell "The Colonel" thank you.
Our nation was built on the backs of strong political leaders, and has always been defended by true patriots like your grandfather.
Thank you for sharing this with everyone on such an important day.

Your Mom said...

Thank you for honoring my father, your grandfather. Yes, his unselfishness has led to the quality of life I have today. His dedication to his country and his family is an example to us all. I sure love you and I am proud that you recognize the tremendous sacrifices he has made in your behalf, as well.