Honor. Courage. All for One and One for All. Love for Country.
These are some of the character traits that my father modeled during WWII. He joined the Army Air Corps as a B17 tail gunner at age 17. There wasn't anything that he wouldn't do for his crew. Today, a few days shy of 87, he still models these high values and more. There is nothing he wouldn't do for his wife and family. Our family is so proud of you, Dad! Thank you. Thank you for serving so honorably and couragously. All the freedoms we enjoy today you helped protect.
Last May a cool thing happened at his grandsons' high school. My husband interviewed my dad in front of 45 US History students, including all three of my sons. There was lively Q & A which included laughter, as well as seriousness. There were stories of life in wartime from smoking cigarettes (they didn't kill you back then) to saving a fellow gunner from death. A reporter and photographer told the story in the May 31 issue of the Daily Herald.
Chris, our Safe Families foster son, reads about war heroes and their bravery all the time. He is exactly the same age that my father was when he entered the service. My father found adventure. Chris is looking for it. As a high school senior, he needs to plan wisely for college and career and the time is now. Will it include serving our country, his country?
Will it be service in the Illinois Army National Guard? Maybe. Another branch of the military? Maybe. I often ask each of my sons about their vision, goals, and giftedness, and what they want to do in the future. This afternoon I asked Chris what he thought about honor. He said, "honor and courage is something everyone should have, but most don't choose it." My father chose honor and courage. So did my uncle. My late father-in-law. So did my late brother-in-law. So does my husband. No matter what career path Chris, or my other sons choose, I know each one will act honorably and with courage. I see more and more glimpses of these values as each one increasingly serves his community, his church and his family.
Thank you to all veterans who served our country in war time and who are serving our country now. America is grateful. America needs soldiers who value honor and courage, and civilians who value honor and courage, as well.