In honor of veterans

Dad, World War II, probably 1941 (Property of Huffygirl)

Today is Veteran’s Day, a time to remember those who serve our country and preserve our freedom. 

My dad Steve served in World War II, in the army 830th Engineer Aviation Battalion. He and his unit traveled across the European theater of operations, building and maintaining airstrips. Although he never raised his gun in combat, his work was important in supporting those who did. He returned home safely and remained a proud veteran all of his life. He joined other veterans in the American Legion every year, to honor the fallen, marching in Memorial Day parades, placing flags on veteran’s graves, visiting cemeteries, and serving in honor guards at veteran’s funerals.  

My father-in-law Ray, also a World War II veteran, served in the Philippines.

Veteran Ray with new bride, 1946

He also built airstrips, and defended Corregidor to the last man as it fell into the hands of the enemy. Later he and others were taken captive by the Japanese and were forced to walk in the now infamous Bataan Death March. He survived two and a half years as a prisoner of war in the Japanese camps. As a result of his imprisonment, he suffered many health problems, including the loss of most of his vision. Yet he returned home to earn a Master’s degree from the University of Michigan and raise his  family.

Both of these men served their countries at a time when young men were compelled to do so, yet felt honored and proud to do it. Now they and many of their World War II compatriots are gone. Today, other brave men and women have volunteered to take their places, serving to preserve our freedom and bring freedom to others.

Who are the veterans in your life? Who are you proud to remember this day?


 © Huffygirl 2011

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