three volley salute

My father often said my grandfather wouldn’t talk about the war. Save a grim story of the decapitation of the solider next to him.  Whatever heroics he performed he was quiet about.  He earned a purple heart.  The shot to his hip caused him pain and eventually confined him to a wheelchair.  He received a three volley salute at his funeral.  And today the whole nation stops and remembers him along with all those before and since.

I remember him as a man who would fry spaghetti-o’s in a pan every lunch time when I was in pre-school.  Who loved animals, smoked cigars, was a marvelous host and wistfully said, “she’s so beautiful” as he raised himself out of his wheelchair to kiss my grandmother goodbye at her funeral.   No Twinkie was too far if I wanted it.  He was loving and kind and blessed the first five years of my life with the very best of himself.

Time and distance changed everything for us both.  I have since learned more about this gentle man, his dreams and the challenges he faced until the end of his life.  The heroics of hope, raising a family and making a four-year girl feel completely loved should be remembered today too.  The debt l can never be repaid only honored by the way I live my life.  . and share sandwiches with puppies.

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