Today is Veteran's Day and my husband - a veteran during the Vietnam War is at work. At his company no one gets off on Veteran's Day off.
James Driver, my father-in-law was a Medic at Normandy on D Day and then served in the European Theatre. He passed away a few years ago and he still had pieces of shrapnel in his body.
My father, Dwayne Ellsworth Forbragd, served in the Pacific. When he was sixteen he hitchhiked from Clark, South Dakota to San Diego and tried to enlist into the Navy only to be sent home because he was underage. Six months later, he did it again and this time the Navy took him. He too, was injured in WWII. When the war ended, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps and was involved in the testing at Bikini Island. That atomic test left a horrible impression on him and most of his life he suffered from night terrors and cold sweats. He was Career Air Force - part of the Strategic Air Command and took us to places like Ankara, Turkey and Tokyo, Japan.
My mother, Hyla E. Athey, was a student at Wooster, a private college in Ohio, when WWII broke out. She, too, heard the call and joined the Coast Guard. Her job wasn't to fight, her job was to make travel arrangements for the members of the military. She and my dad met in Long Beach, California in 1944. I've seen the bench where he proposed to her.
Both my father and my father-in-law have passed away. My mother is still alive and I hope she understands how much I appreciate her service and the service of all the other men and women in the military.
So, today I'm thinking of all the people in our military who have given so much in the past and the brave men and women who are giving of themselves today in Iraq and Afghanistan.
I'm awed and humbled by your service.