Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day 2009....

Father and son, WWI and Korea....

The Mississippi at Lynxville, Wisconsin....
Judy and I drove over to Readstown, Wisconsin today to visit the graves of several of her family members. There are veterans who served in every war from the war of 1812 up through the Persian Gulf War buried in this cemetary. There were more flags marking the graves of veterans than there are residents currently living in Readstown. I suspect that it's like that in most every small town in this country. There was a time when a young man graduating from high school felt an obligation to his country and he enlisted and left for "the service" after graduation.
Perhaps that's not an accurate representation of the past. Perhaps it's just the way that I viewed the world, since that's the way it was in my family. Both of my grandfathers served. My father served. All 5 of his brothers served. 2 of my 3 brothers were in the Army and, like me, they served multiple tours. My 3rd brother tried to enlist but had a disqualifying medical condition. I can't even remember how many of my cousins served. More than didn't. My wife's family was the same way. If you were male, you went into the military. No one told you to. You just did it. Strange, eh?
I realized after I enlisted that not everyone actually does go into the military after High School. There were probably 175 boys in my graduating class and less than a dozen went into the service. One went to the Naval Academy and ended up flying with The Blue Angels. That was pretty impressive, to me.
I suppose that the war that was going on in Viet Nam had something to do with the numbers. Perhaps it was just the times we lived in. Maybe that's the way it's always been. I don't know. I do know that I spent 7 1/2 years on active duty with the Army and another 5 drilling with the Reserves and I wouldn't trade the experiences that I had for anything. There was a lot of miserable duty but there were a lot of fun times and good opportunities, too.
It's all good!
Ride safe.
Peace out, yo!


Blogger Travel Gravel said...

Blue, Thanks for your dedication. I had 2 buddies who left for Ranger School right out of high school and they came back with stories of weapons, boozing, and hookers! Panamanian hookers no less! We were in awe of them. We took in the VFW tribute today here in town and visited my Grandpa Joe's grave so I could tell my sons for the "hundredth time" about him. Stay Cool!

11:00 PM  
Blogger Lily on the Road said...

It is because of people like you Blue that our countries are experiencing freedom now and throughout our history, THANK YOU!

6:30 AM  
Blogger oldmanandhisbike said...

Thanks to you and your family for their commitment to service for our country.

7:31 PM  
Blogger bluecolnago said...

i was just trying to remember what it was all about. it's just one of those things that is hard to explain. it felt right. it was good. :) i realize that it isn't right for everyone, but it was right for me. i also got to drink a lot of beer and blow things up.

greg, rangers lead the way:) don't let them forget grandpa joe.

lily, your dad knows. it's hard to explain.

peace out, yo! are you going to the nature valley races this year?

8:09 PM

8:12 PM  

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