Today is Veterans Day here in the US. Today is a day to pause and remember the many Veterans who have served our country, and to give them our thanks.
When I think of Veterans Day, I first think of three men.
The first two are my Dad’s brothers, Howard and Chester.Howard and Chester both served our country in the Army. Howard served in Korea, Vietnam and Germany and Chester in Germany. I am not sure, but they may have served in other countries as well. I do know that they remained active in the military for almost their entire adult lives. Chester for many years was in charge of local National Guard Armories in Southwest Kansas and Howard worked with the DAV in Iowa and was also in the National Guard and Reserves. To me, they embody the concept of Veteran. Unfortunately, I cannot give them a call and thank them today as they have both passed away since the picture above was taken in 2008. I however am thankful for their service.
The other Veteran that I first think of is my Great Uncle Fred.My Great Uncle Fred Fred Hotchkiss enlisted in 1948 at the age of 17 just after the end of WWII. He was assigned to the Freedom Train and was able to see all 48 states as the train toured the country displaying the Bill of Rights, the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. He then saw the world as he served as an Army nurse for 33 years serving in Germany, Japan, Korea and Vietnam. Great Uncle Fred at 82 can still wear his original uniform and wears it to parades and other events.
I have other relatives that have served, including cousins and other great-uncles, but these are the three that I think of first. I give thanks to all of them as they have all played important roles in helping keep our country free and secure.
I also have many friends, classmates and work colleagues who have served and they all have my thanks today for their service.