Happy Veterans Day to You and Your Family From a Brat
Happy Veterans Day to those that have worn the uniform in times of peace and in times of war. Many have made the ultimate sacrifice. The rest have sacrificed in one way or another.
My grandfather on my dad's side served in WWII and was awarded the Purple Heart. Never in my time spent with him did he do anything other than joke about his time at war. That was just his way.
My grandpa on my mother's side also served. James Garland Wing served in the NAVY, while the man that stepped in and raised my mom & her siblings after her father's death, Roy Lee Neel, served in the Army.
James' older brothers, Howard and Wallace, were both serving in Germany in WWII when they happened to meet up with each other. They were able to enjoy a dinner together and share stories from back home in Oklahoma. The next day, Howard Wing, was killed in action.
My dad enlisted out of high school, and over the course of 20+ years in the US Air Force, he spent time in Nebraska, Mississippi, Florida, the Philippines, New Mexico, Maryland, Oklahoma, Virginia and even the U.K.
He was a radio operator on a C-130, and I remember wearing his helmet with the headphones and the microphone, much like I wear now for my sports play-by-play. He used to talk in the cheesiest "radio" voice just to be funny (or to embarrass us), and to this day I make sure I don't change the way I talk on the radio because of his cheese.
All those years of moving every three years, sometimes more often, taught me to be outgoing and make friends quickly. I think learning that at such a young age has helped me in my career to this day, and I'm very thankful for the opportunity to see parts of the world I'd never see otherwise.
To my uncles, cousins, friends, neighbors and those hundreds of thousands of other soldiers that serve or have served that I'll never have the chance to meet personally, Happy Veterans Day, and thank you for your service.