Veteran’s Day

November 10, 2006 at 6:13 pm 17 comments

 raising-the-flag.jpgIt has been our habit to celebrate Veteran’s Day by ceremonies at the two cemeteries’s followed by throwing flowers over the bridge that marks the center of town.  That last bit is a local custom, the meaning of which I’m not sure of, but it’s very beautiful.  Some years we planted a tree in remembrance.  Always we spend some time thinking about the sacrifices that have been made so that we can live free.  Free to say what we want, live how we’re able.  

Our families, on both sides, have been blessed with the ability to serve our country through the Air Force and the Navy – and live to tell about it.  We spend time thinking of those that were not so lucky.  We remember ….

My brother, last of our line, was exempt from the draft but went to
Viet Nam anyway.  He was an Air Traffic Controller.  My biological father served on bombers during WW2.  He was shot down once, and walked away with the only long term injury his loss of smell.  Two brothers-in-law were Navy men, both on submarines.  The brother-in-law that raised me served in the Korean conflict. 
Pap and I did our tours mostly in peace time, Desert Storm the only small ripple.  All of us have as many good stories about our time in the service as we have horror stories. I’m the only female on either side of the family to have enlisted, a scandal; girls just didn’t do that kind of thing! 

 I was seventeen, heartbroken and lonely after my parents decided we needed to move once more, from North Carolina to
Northern Ohio.  Coming so late to the party, I was having trouble making friends or getting involved in much of anything with my new senior class, and I had already earned enough credits to graduate according to my guidance counselor.  There had been a powerful rebellion building up since the announcement of that move.  With my 18th birthday fast approaching, I could think of nothing else but escaping my parents control.  But I didn’t want to suffer very much in the escape.  Self-indulgence – some would say it’s my fatal flaw. 

After Christmas break, I went directly to the office and completed the paperwork to wrap up my High School career (cue “Schools out for ever…here).  My Mom went berserk when I walked back into the house a couple of hours later.  She called the school, ranted and raved some more when she discovered there was nothing she could do to stop it.  I had a part time job in the mall which also had a recruiting station.   I’d walked past their posters every day on my way to work, ogled the big posters showing happy young people sharply dressed, and serving their country at the same time.    To well bred to consider living with friends, to proud to ask to move with another of my siblings, I decided to enlist.  Lucky for me, all four major branches were represented in the same room.

I eliminated the Army immediately because I look hideous in green.  The Navy had to go for similar reasons, I’m hopelessly messy and that crisp white dress uniform would never stay clean on me.  The Marine recruiter was very mean and wanted me to write an essay about why I wanted to be a Marine.  I figured “to escape my parents” wouldn’t get me in there.  So I enlisted in the Air Force.  It was the best decision of my life… and this has gotten very long, so I’ll finish the story on a day when we aren’t supposed to be thinking of anything but the hero’s that have served and died so that we can have a quality of life unparallelled in the world.  Happy Veteran’s Day!  

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Entry filed under: Holidays.

Back to Randomness G.I. – Kat

17 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Stacy  |  November 10, 2006 at 6:36 pm

    Thank you, Kat and Pap (and all your relatives) for your service and sacrifice. I appreciate it.

    Reply
  • 2. The Rev. Dr. Kate  |  November 10, 2006 at 7:22 pm

    Thank you for your service to our country (whatever led you to it!). I, too, come from a military family – as far back as having family that fought on both sides of the Revolutionary War! There is much to remember and be grateful for today! And my prayers are with all the fine men and women serving our nation today in dangerous places.

    Reply
  • 3. delmonti  |  November 10, 2006 at 7:23 pm

    Thanks from a Limey.

    Reply
  • 4. katcampbell  |  November 10, 2006 at 7:27 pm

    It was our pleasure Stacy, Dr. Kate and sorry about all that tea dumping delmonti, I guess we could have just sent it back. :>)

    Reply
  • 5. Fennymun  |  November 10, 2006 at 7:40 pm

    It must have been an unforgettable and tough experience (both good and bad) being in the military.

    Thanks for visiting my blog. Hope you’ll stop by again. Have a nice weekend!

    Reply
  • 6. katcampbell  |  November 10, 2006 at 8:06 pm

    Not so tough for me Fenny, and we were not in war.

    Reply
  • 7. jackie  |  November 10, 2006 at 10:06 pm

    Kat, thank you to you and your family, and to all those who served. We proudly hung our flag today, what a wonderful country. And what a wonderful post you’ve written. But then, you always do – I look forward to reading you each day.

    Reply
  • 8. katcampbell  |  November 11, 2006 at 1:14 am

    No thanks were necessary for me and Pap, it was our honor to serve, but I’ll accept it in behalf of all our American Heros! I love reading your post every day too, it’s been fun exchanging news of what we do the same and living vicariously on your travels to Arizona. What a blessing!

    Reply
  • 9. sandyw554  |  November 11, 2006 at 6:00 am

    Thank you for your service to our ountry Kat and thanks to your wonderful relatives who also served this country.

    I personally can’t wait to hear the rest of your story…You just left us hanging and in suspense.

    My family also has many veterans, so our flag hangs, flying high everyday for all to see how proud we are of our country and of its Heros.

    Reply
  • 10. DaveM  |  November 11, 2006 at 12:20 pm

    At the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month we shall remember them, and think also of all their families left behind who also suffered.

    Reply
  • 11. vanessa  |  November 11, 2006 at 5:51 pm

    Thank you to all vetrans every where.

    Reply
  • 12. Gela Words  |  November 12, 2006 at 1:22 am

    Ahhhhh, I wanted to hear more 😦

    So you were a rebellious one! Hmmm.

    Reply
  • 13. katcampbell  |  November 12, 2006 at 3:01 am

    More coming, Gela, just means you have to come back!

    Reply
  • 14. Velvet Sacks  |  November 12, 2006 at 3:21 am

    Let me add my thanks to those of others, Kat. My grandfather was in WWI, my father in WWII, and my step-grandson is presently in the Marines (not in harm’s way now, thank goodness). Whatever your reason for enlisting, you and Pap deserve credit for stepping up willingly to take on such a challenge.

    Reply
  • 15. hayden  |  November 12, 2006 at 7:18 am

    thanks to you and all who serve our country!

    now, tell us the rest of the story, having relished your selection process, I can’t wait to hear the rest!

    Reply
  • 16. sunfloweroptimism  |  November 12, 2006 at 9:07 am

    I add my thanks to you and your family for your service. A friend of mine always says “”If you can read this, thank a teacher -and, since it’s in English, thank a soldier.”

    I’m catching up still – but congratulations on the new pending grandgirl!

    Reply
  • 17. Just Tom  |  November 12, 2006 at 12:07 pm

    Really nicely written– well, you are a writer, after all. But, this one felt like watching a movie and brought me back to another time. I graduated from high school in 79, my brother in 77. I was a long hair headed to art school and the last thing I could imagine doing was going into the military. Yet, somehow you made it so I could enter your world for a moment.

    Thanks!

    Tom

    Reply

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