For &Amp;Quot;My Soldiers&Amp;Quot; - LIFE'S A BEACH Blog at - 303355


For "My Soldiers" 
May 26, 2013 4:16 pm 
Updated: Jun. 25, 2013 12:05 pm

I have the opportunity to spend a significant amount of time with a rather precocious 8 year old, who often makes me stop and examine things I accept as status quo. She had been telling me about what she learned in school about Memorial Day and how she was going to find a soldier to thank for his service and I promised I would take her to the parade so she can do just that. I then forgot most of the conversation except the promise. We ran several errands and then I settled her down in the living room while I started dinner preparations.

When I went to join her I found her staring at a triple frame that holds pictures of "my soldiers" my son, husband and father. All in their dress uniforms, all looking proud and serious and all heartbreakingly young. My father flew 32 missions over Germany during WWII with the Army Air Corp (now the USAF), my husband served in Vietnam with the Marines, and my son served in the First Gulf War in the Army. After we discussed who each one was and her relationship to them, she asked that age old question. "Why do we have to have wars?" Because she is only 8 and I do have some sense of age appropriate conversation, I fobbed her off as well as I could without actually answering her question.

As I lay in bed that night I started thinking about my soldiers, and the other soldiers

and sailors in our family and others and wondered if they ever felt appreciated. I know the welcome extended to Vietnam era veterans was deplorable and WWII vets were feted, but I doubt anyone but our family even noticed my son's return from Kuwait. Communities seem to be doing a bit more for the current dischargees. But 6 months after discharge, when they can't find a job, do any feel appreciated?

From there I thought about the men I see at the Soup kitchen here in town, most of whom have substance abuse issues, many of whom are also veterans and several of whom are the best read, nicest people you would ever hope to meet. And it hurts my heart to know how badly they have been destroyed. Somewhere there is a frame for each, a family member or friend who remembers what a goof he was in high school, a girl who dated him, a mother who raised him.

Clearly, I have no answers. I can't change things. But to the men and women who have served this country, I offer my thanks and continued appreciation and my prayers that good will come of your sacrifice.

May 26, 2013 4:19 pm
Now if I could only get my blogs to transfer here to look as good as where I write them, sigh.
May 26, 2013 5:17 pm
BigShotsMom, very well said. My dad served in the Italian Army in WW11, but very rarely spoke of it. What you said about your heart hurting when you see our Vets. I feel the same way.Our Veterans day here is Nov.11, and I think it is such a shame that some people,young and old, don't, (for a better lack of a word) Honor the day.Your photos are very nice.
May 26, 2013 5:20 pm
Pardon my manners, a hugh thank you to the soldiers in your family and all the armed forces Thank You.
May 26, 2013 5:55 pm
Thank you for writing this, BigShotsMom, and THANK YOU TO ALL OUR VETERANS and your families for sacrificing your lives for my benefit.
May 26, 2013 7:35 pm
Manella, my grandfather was a WWI doughboy. He would never speak of it either. Actually, none of them did. My son just gets angry at what went on. Thank you for stopping by and reading.
May 26, 2013 7:36 pm
Paula, thanks for your kind comment.
May 26, 2013 7:48 pm
hi bsm. i would explain to that 8 yr. old sweetie that the wars were only one part of their life and accomplished many other helping bring you in this world. these men were doing the best they knew how to support their family and their country. i live in columbus,ga. ft. benning, ga is RIGHT here....we know sacrifice here, believe me! too many coffins this way. i STRONGLY support the military! may everyone fly a flag tomorrow.
May 26, 2013 8:50 pm
Great food for thought BSM. I called my bro to thank him for his service and we had a conversation that took place about 40 years too late. At least now we can talk, so it isn't too late. I don't know if there is a way to explain war to a child. I am still working on that myself.
May 26, 2013 8:53 pm
BTW - I need to thank bd.weld for opening the door for my brother and I too start that long neglected conversation.
May 26, 2013 9:31 pm
Gary, I do believe many individuals do feel pride and gratitude for the military but I am not sure collectively, the country does. The VA isn't adequate to meet the needs. Families of active duty personal live at the poverty level in many places. But God bless you for caring.
May 26, 2013 9:31 pm
Excellent blog BSM... I also have a history of family in the military. Dad, son and a 7 year old grandson who wants to be in the army like his Dad was. They make me proud. Thank you for reminding us we all need to thank those who have served.
May 26, 2013 9:35 pm
BN, I am so glad you reconciled. We will never know what evils they survived. Even if they could articulate them I don't think we could really understand the way another service person could.
May 26, 2013 9:37 pm
Hi Rohnda, thank you for commenting. I hope your soldiers can feel your pride too.
May 26, 2013 11:08 pm
BSM I have always been so proud of my brother, but have never been able to talk about Vietnam because he lived it and I didn't. My father was a WWII vet and his advice was "don't talk about it and move on." It wasn't until my dad was 88 that he started 'talking about it..' Thank you to all those that have served. Even if the words are not spoken - my appreciation is there.
May 27, 2013 1:31 am
Well said! I have two stickers on my front door---one saying "I love my Sailor", the other saying "I love my Marine". In between them, I have a "Support Our Troops" sticker. I feel proud when people come up to me when saying words like "Let them know I appreciate their service." My Marine is now overseas, and my Sailor is getting ready to be deployed next Spring.
May 27, 2013 2:08 am
Sueb, how different from when my Marine was serving, they were vilified! Know a part of me goes with both your kids. God keep them safe.
May 27, 2013 2:52 am
BSM, thanks for writing this. There are soldiers and sailors in my family, too. It's hard to think about what they went through. For civilians, the closest we can come is through a movie, but that's only a couple of hours, not day-in, day-out for weeks, months and years. It's a wonder that any veterans manage their memories and dreams and have a stable home life. I pray that we can, some day, evolve to the point where we won't have to explain the concept of war to our children.
May 27, 2013 4:35 am
Out of the mouths of babes... My dad served in WW11. He had nightmares all of his life and never really ever talked about his service. Excellent blog, BigshotsMom!
May 27, 2013 4:41 am
To all veterans, THANK YOU! I spoke with a WWII vet just two weeks ago. So sad we don't care for these fine people and their families in the manner we should. Thanks BSM for a great blog and your Soldiers too!
May 27, 2013 5:30 am
My dad was a Chief Petty Officer in WWII and, as kids, we never really appreciated what he went through. He was stationed in the Aleutian Islands when I was born. Many years later, my brothers took him to Alaska and he was able to find his foxhole on "his" island...he later told us more about the war and how he served. As adults, we were then able to understand and appreciate his, and others, service to our country. God bless all vets and especially those serving right now.
May 27, 2013 5:31 am
...and may I say, your blog is beautiful!
May 27, 2013 6:53 am
Thank you BSM and all our soldiers :). Beautiful blog. I pray for our soldier who have served and are serving. . . I hope someday we learn to stop fighting each other and start learning to protect each other and our planet home.
May 27, 2013 8:33 am
A great blog BSM! My brother was a Green Beret and went to Afghanistan at the age of 50. After he returned he really isn't the same jovial brother. His hair turned white, his fingernails and toenails have a fungus that won't go away. He doesn't talk about his buddies who were killed and sees a therapist. He is started to talk now about what happened in Afghanistan. Every time I see him I let him know I appreciate the fact that he protected our country. What is our country giving back to these men and women who served?
May 27, 2013 8:36 am
BSM-I have had issues with writing a blog here. I enlarge the text before starting the blog and enlarge the photos to at least large and sometimes extra large. I use blogger
May 27, 2013 10:35 am
What a poignant blog for this day. This day saddens my heart and at times I find it hard to say Happy Memorial Day. Perhaps the "happy" comes from the ability to honor this day from the soldiers who gave the ultimate sacrifice in order for us to enjoy our freedom. For those with family in the military please proudly display the Blue Star ( and pray for those that it doesn't become a Gold Star. I salute all of our military past and present. I am a Vietnam Veteran and proud of it.
May 27, 2013 12:55 pm
Bibi, I think you have a very clear understanding that we can't understand, but we can care. Thanks for commenting.
May 27, 2013 12:57 pm
Cat, this little one is a corker! I'm sorry about your dad. My DH had awful nightmares for years.
May 27, 2013 12:59 pm
Lucky, so true. We really could do better taking care of our military families.
May 27, 2013 1:03 pm
MWC, my uncle was stationed somewhere up there at a weather station during WWII. Maybe they knew each other.
May 27, 2013 1:05 pm
LS, thanks for stopping by. Your prayers are a lot like mine. Maybe someday....
May 27, 2013 1:09 pm
Lela, I am always blown away when I hear of people your brother's age going into combat. I am so sorry he changed and I hope he continues to get help.
May 27, 2013 1:13 pm
Ah, Brian I agree it seems thoughtless to say Happy Memorial Day. It really should be a national day of reflection. Thank you for your tours, I am glad you made it back.
May 27, 2013 4:32 pm
I love Memorial Day! It is the day we return our flag to it's place of prominance in my front yard. (weather prohibits it from being outside year round) It's almost a ceremony for DH and myself to get it down, shake it out and respectfully hang it on the pole. We both kind of choke up doing it too as we remember the loved ones in our family who served. Like you, my Father was in the Army Air Corp during WWII as was his brother, my Uncle. Dad came home, Uncle Ralph did not. My two boys were Sailors and one of my Daughter was a Sailor too! We are very proud of our Military family and are extremely grateful for the many who gave their lives for our freedom. Thank yours for me BSM. I am grateful for them too!
May 27, 2013 5:33 pm
Candice, I can feel your pride! You thank yours too from my family.
May 29, 2013 7:10 pm
I went into the Air Force just as the Cuban Crisis was ending. The cold war was at its hottest. My motivation was "to kill some of those commie SOB's". One day, with the ego that only a 20 year old possesses, I approached a soviet soldier near the border of Turkey and Russia. Through crude sign language and tone of voice we exchanged cigarettes and showed photos of those we left at home. We continued a broken conversation for several minutes more then shook hands and went our ways. As I walked away, I asked myself, "Why war?" I still have no answer. ... Thank you for this post, BSM.
May 31, 2013 11:39 am
Thank you for sharing your experience, Mike. I have read about that type of personal interaction during WWI, before war became mechanized. Maybe we haven't made as much progress as we think.
Jun. 2, 2013 6:20 am
I am Speechless! I am Proud to call you Friend! That little girl will grow up knowing how Very Important soldiers are in this world and maybe be inspired to Be a soldier herself!! And your right, it Is disgraceful how they are treated! And for WHAT? They are laying down their very LIVES, so we have OUR FREEDOM!! It should be Vets/Memorial day EVERYDAY!! THANK YOU THANK YOU TO ALL SOLDIERS past, present & future:):) We are in your debt!
Jun. 2, 2013 6:23 am
And Thank YOU BSM for reminding us to take a moment in our busy busy to Stop and thank The True HEROS among us:)
Jun. 12, 2013 10:02 pm
Bigshotsmom You know you can go to hell for not being honest. Fess up.. For once in your life . TELL THE TRUTH
Jun. 13, 2013 12:18 pm
BSM, please tell us more about your make believe family.
Jun. 14, 2013 8:12 pm
Bsm, hey do you ever use "WISCONSIN" cheese in any of your recipes?
Jun. 15, 2013 4:45 pm
Hey BSM, AKA. "C.W.P." You been had.
Jun. 25, 2013 12:05 pm
Wow, well said! My father, who recently passed, was a vet, my grandfathers and husband...all vets. All loved and all in frames. My family and I make visits to the veterans hospital twice a year to bring gifts and shake their hands. It is very rewarding not to mention sobering; many have never left their beds for years. I encourage anyone to make a visit to a vets hospital if you can.
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About Me
I am a mother, grandmother, great grandmother by marriage and great aunt. My empty nest seems full most of the time and they all are ready to eat at any moment. I am busier now than I ever imagined once I retired. I now manage our parish friendship kitchen and help in the food bank. Part of what I love most is helping our clients learn to eat nutritiously on their very meager budgets and Allrecipes has been an invaluable tool.
My favorite things to cook
I love anything i can make from scratch, i like to bake breads, rolls, cookies, cobblers, pies. I like to make large dinners too and entertain frequently. I love trying new recipes out on friends and family. Sunday brunch has become a family focal point and if something new doesn't appear they act deprived.
My favorite family cooking traditions
I didn't really grow up with any. Neither my mother or grandmother were great cooks. I learned to cook by trial and error on my own. But I married into a family of excellent cooks who went all out for holidays. All of my children cook well and we work well together preparing holiday meals.
My cooking triumphs
My first successful yeast bread. I spent years being terrified of yeast. The first time my MIL complimented me on a meal I felt like I had won an Emmy.
My cooking tragedies
My early years of cooking were one fiasco after another. I could actually cook fairly well, but had no idea when to start things so they all were ready at the same time. Some meals took whole evenings. My poor husband never once complained, although he did once mention he hoped dinner would be over before it was time for breakfast.
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