This was originally posted in 2009…but it bears repeating…
I write this today, and you read this today, because millions of American soldiers, engaged in various battles that spanned over more than two centuries, fought for the cause of freedom.
I have had the privilege of knowing some of these men and women. They are regular, everyday working people, paying their bills and raising their families. They don’t consider themselves special.
They will, without exception, tell you that they were just doing their jobs during those times when they risked life and limb to protect us.
I have known my wife’s Uncle Nick for over 35 years. A great guy, a retired automobile salesman, Nick has always been a fun guy to know. We get to see each other at least once a year at a Labor Day family reunion, and I have always enjoyed sharing some laughs with him.
In all that time, I never knew he had been in the military.
Last summer, my wife and I were visiting at Nick’s new home in Greenwood. He was gone at the time and his wife, Aunt Marilyn, was giving us a tour of their new place.
I noticed a plaque hanging on a wall in the hallway. On one side was a black and white photo of a trim young Uncle Nick in a United States Marine uniform. On the other half of the plaque was a print of the famous WWII photo of the Marines raising the US flag atop Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima.
I mentioned to Marilyn that I had never known that Nick was in the Marines. “Oh yeah,” she replied, “He was all over the Pacific back then. He went to Guam and Tarawa and Iwo Jima and a few other places.” She mentioned it so casually, it almost sounded like a cruise itinerary.
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