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

Related post:

Burn after reading

Cover of Judy Bolton book, illustrated by Pela...

The kind of books I read growing up (Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

A relative called me the other day to remind me to clean out the secret compartment in my mom’s house. Secret compartment? I’ve wanted a secret compartment all my life, and now I have one and didn’t even know it? Well, turns out the “secret compartment” was not all the secret after all, because first, he knew about it, and second, it wasn’t really hidden, just a cupboard tucked up so high that one might miss it if they didn’t know it was there.

What is it about secret compartments? A couple of years ago when we were doing some home renovations, I was trying to figure out where I could sneak a secret compartment into the floor plan. A few problems arose. If I had the builders build  a secret compartment, must I have them killed later? Could turn out to be messy and complicated, and might make me end up in another secret compartment, otherwise known as prison. Might they wonder what I was up to that I needed a secret compartment? “Does she have a lot of money, jewels, or drugs?” A casual remark in a bar after work could leave me open to future danger. “Hey I’m doing a kitchen remodel for a lady who wants me to build her a secret compartment.” Next thing you know a guy named Bruno is breaking into my house looking for the secret compartment, convinced I have something worth stealing to hide in there. (By the way Bruno, I don’t.)

I don’t know if it had something to do with growing up reading Judy Bolton  mysteries, or reading novels about the resistance movement in World War II, but I’ve always thought that having a secret compartment is a necessity. You never know when you’re going to need it, but it would be great to have it at the ready just in case. A secret room would be even better, but then I would feel compelled to spend some time in there, if I went to the trouble of having a whole room built. That might get dicey when my husband comes home. “Where are you honey? Oh, just in my secret room.” “What are you doing in there? Oh, you know, secret room kind of stuff…”

Have you ever wished that you had a secret compartment? Or do you have one (lucky!) and want to share about it here?