To me he was my grandfather. Kind. Loving. Caring. Every memory I have of him only makes me smile. But you look back in history and you see that the fact he could act normal around me, that was a great gift.
He enlisted during WWII. He was in a division that went in after battles and "cleaned up." I can't imagine the carnage and the devastation that man witnessed. It was long after he'd passed that we learned of how much it affected him. The nightmares he'd have. The breakdowns I don't even think my mother knew about.
He had a small box with "souvenirs." To me there were bigger than life pieces of history. To him they were heart breaking reminders of what he'd seen. I remember when he passed asking for those items. I got a few of them. Others I had learned he'd thrown away because it bothered him to have them.
I have friends who are missing their children be born and watching them grow so that I may sit here and write love stories. I have in-laws who have watched historic events unfold in front of them and find it strange to not sleep with a gun across their chest.
A year ago my mother and I were at the high school, standing in line for a concert. In front of us was a Marine in his full uniform. I was absolutely floored when nearly every high school student that walked past him stopped and thanked him for his service. Likewise when the elderly woman walking to the back of the line with her walker reached out to him and shook his hand. She thanked him for his service and told him she and her husband had also served. To which the young Marine turned and shook their hands and thanked them.
I'm not a fan of Veterans Day as a day to buy things. You won't get my business by using that term. And I wish, oh how I wish, that schools would give this day to the teachers and the kids. There are some "days off" to celebrate that are not as worthy as being thankful for the freedom you have by honoring those who gave it to you.
Yes, this is what this day is for. Shake the hand of a Vet and thank them. Honor them by appreciating them.
Thank you to all who serve! May God bless you always!
Bestselling Author Bernadette Marie is known for building families readers want to be part of. Her series The Keller Family has graced bestseller charts since its release in 2011, along with her other series and single title books. Bernadette Marie currently has over twenty books published in the contemporary romance category. The married mother of five sons promises Happily Ever After always…and says she can write it, because she lives it.
When not writing, Bernadette Marie is shuffling her sons to their many events—mostly hockey—and enjoying the beautiful views of the Colorado Rocky Mountains from her front step. She is also an accomplished martial artist with a second degree black belt in Tang Soo Do.
A chronic entrepreneur, Bernadette Marie opened her own publishing house in 2011, 5 Prince Publishing, so that she could publish the books she liked to write and help make the dreams of other aspiring authors come true too.