I don’t even know how you really say thank-you to all of the men and women who have selflessly, with great courage and bravery, protected our nation and the freedoms we enjoy. I know that all the blessings we have as American citizens has come at a great price, a great sacrifice. So, today, I want to remember and thank God for all who have served and for those who are serving. And I want to remember some who are special to me.
Ova Dean Baker. “Grandpa Baker”
Grandpa Baker was an ornery old cuss. He is now deceased but lives big in my memory! Thank-you for serving our country, Grandpa, and for marrying my Grandma and raising her babies as your own. You were a hero in so many ways.
Donald Baker, the day he left for Viet Nam. “Uncle Donald.”
Uncle Donald used to babysit me and play Beatles records and say “Your mom wears combat boots, ” which was simply not true. He was a rascal of an uncle who impacted my life more than he knows. I love him him because he reads my blog sometimes and gets very soft-hearted (his wife told me). Thank-you Uncle Donald for being a kid who went to war and became a bigger-than-life hero to me and all of your nieces and nephews when there weren’t many to be found. I love you!
Everett Allison. “Grandpa Allison.”
He served in WWII with a wife and 5 children at home. He managed to do that and still be an amazing husband and father all at once. He called me “Debbie Jean” the only person in the world who did, and wrote me actual letters – in the mail! I admired him so much and miss him deeply. He was like a movie star to me and since he passed a way a few years ago, the night sky has never again shined as brightly.
Raymond Rhoades, Dave’s Dad
Thank-you, dad for serving your country with honor. There is nothing we love more than getting you talking about all you remember and the ways you saw the faithful hand of God at work in your behalf when you served in Germany during WWII. It is hard to believe how young you were and how much of your faith was being built and perfected during those long days away. You have lived an admirable life and have our deepest love and respect. Thank-you for serving your country and showing us how to have honor and respect and love for this country.
Garry Rhoades (Dave’s brother) and his son Tim Rhoades (our nephew).
Our nephew Tim is still in the Army National Guard. This is him a couple of years ago with his maternal grandfather (Mr. Raymond Groves, now deceased), a veteran, his paternal grandfather (Dad Rhoades, see above), and his father Garry Rhoades, Dave’s brother. Garry passed away a year and a half ago having suffered medical problems due to Agent Orange exposure during his time in Viet Nam. He was never bitter, never blamed the military. Garry remained a patriotic citizen until the day he died, so proud to have served his country. Thank-you, gentlemen, all of you, so much. And Tim? God bless you and keep you! We have you in our hearts!
And God bless those serving actively today!
Thank-you to all who have served, thank-you so much. In my struggle to express my gratitude (me, a person who is rarely at a loss for words), my friend Marie wrote beautifully. You may read her lovely, heartfelt words here.
With great gratefulness…Jeanie