Yesterday was the Marine Corps birthday and today is Veterans’ Day. Neither of these meant much to me growing up as I had no connection at all to the military. My father wasn’t military, nor were either of my grandfathers. I think maybe a cousin’s husband served but that was it. So it really didn’t mean much to me other than to recognize that men and women served our country and say thank you. But I didn’t know until I was an adult what even that really meant.
Fast forward to adult life and that’s all changed. My father-in-law served in the Army, and my husband’s maternal grandfather served during WWII. Our next door neighbor and dearest friend, Lew Dusett was a First Sergeant in the Marine Corps, and was sent to Iraq after 9-11. My son Brennan was in the 7th grade and he informed me that he was also going to be a Marine. Most kids change their minds as the years go on so frankly I did little more than nod and say “that’s a nice idea.” I, frankly, never thought it would happen. But Brennan had set a goal and his goal was to serve our Country. The summer before he left for Bootcamp, we traveled to Washington DC with our neighbors the Dusetts and we visited Arlington Cemetery, the Marine Corps memorial, and 8th and I, the Marine Corps base located nearest the White House. There we witnessed the Silent Drill Team perform. It was on this trip that I suddenly realized we were about to become a military family and what that really meant.
In early 2009 both Brennan and my nephew, Erik Jennejahn also a Marine were deployed to Iraq. The feeling that accompanies a deployment is something only a military family member can possibly understand. It is a hell like no other of constant worry. All you can do is trust in their training and pray every night for their safety. It was a very long 2009. Both Erik and Brennan returned home safe and sound before the end of the year. Brennan finished his career with the Marine Corp as a Sergeant and both men now hold the esteemed title of Veteran.
Our neighbor’s son, Luke Dusett, joined the Marines as well and deployed to Afghanistan alongside another family friend Mike Snacky. That picture is of the two of them and another Marine in Afghanistan wearing TWRP t-shirts that I sent them. Both men are now finished with their service to our country and left the Marine Corps with the rank of Sergeant and of course Veteran.
The pride I have for these men and frankly so many others in our neighborhood who have served is immeasurable. I now completely understand what being a Veteran really means. What the term “serving your country” is all about.
Today, we honor everyone, every rank, and in every division of the military for making the decision to be part of this amazing “team”. They know, as do their families, that there is a possibility that these men and women may have to make the ultimate sacrifice for our country, and they choose to join anyway. Thank you for your service is such a trite thing to say, so cliché’ but when I say it now, I mean it from the very depth of my heart.
I’m not the only one here at The Wild Rose Press with family and close friends who are Veterans. I asked our staff to shout out to their own family members and here’s what I received:
Editor Alex Christle’s son was a Navy nuclear -rained petty officer first class electrician’s mate on a submarine for ten years. Her ex-husband retired as a nuke-trained submarine Lieutenant Commander.
Editor Amanda Barnett has many family members who have served including both her parents. She had an uncle served in the Civil War. Her mother was a Sergeant in the WACS/Women’s Army WWII. She had an great uncle killed in France in WWI. Her brother served in the NAVY during Vietnam. Her father-in-law was in the Army and wounded on Normandy Beach on D-Day. Her brother in law was a staff Sergeant in the Marines. Her uncle served in the Navy. She has also several other family members who have served in the military.
Editor France Sevilla’s father joined the Army at age 17 for WWII and ended up serving the rest of his career in the Air Force. He was instrumental in the development of the moon landing module. After retirement he worked for Grumman and was the chief inspector on the first F14 off the line. That plane is the one featured in the movie Top Gun. All of her uncles and brothers-in-law have served. She has two sons-in-law who have served in the Marine Corps and Army Special Forces, respectfully.
Artist Jennifer Greef’s husband is Active Duty US Army AFC. He has served for over 16 years and is heading towards retirement. As a military family they have endured many moves for his career advancement.
Editor Kaycee John’s husband of 50 years served our country in Vietnam. He finished his service as a Sergeant. Two of her brothers served in the Navy for over ten years as well.
Marketing Director Lisa Dawn MacDonald’s son recently joined the Air Force. Her husband served in the Air Force and was part of Operation Desert Storm. Her father is also retired Air Force.
Editor Nan Swanson – Has a huge military family going back to the early days of her great great grandfather who served in the Civil War. Her brother was in the Army, her nephew served in the Army and was deployed to the Middle East. Her other nephew is retired Air Force. She had a cousin who drove supply trucks in the Army in the 1970’s. Two uncles served during WWII one with the Army and the other drove an ambulance in France. Finally, her father joined the Army in WWII and was in the counterespionage unit. He was killed just before she was born, presumably, by saboteurs.
RJ Morris – Her son Ryan served with the National Guard and was deployed to Egypt for a year. Her father-in-law retired as a Lieutenant Colonel from the Army, her father served in the Air Force, both uncles served, as well as her sister-in-law.
To all our staff members and their families and to all of you out there, The Wild Rose Press says thank you for your service to our country. God bless you and God bless all Veterans everywhere.
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