Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thank You

My Grandfather, Carl O. Bunnell II, served in the Navy in WWII, stationed at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. He worked in the postal division and I know he remembered The Day of Infamy but he didn't talk about it much when he was alive so I don't have his stories to pass on.

My husband, Chris, served at Fort Campbell, KY as a turbine generator operator repairman for the 400-bed EVAC Hospital. He had the choice to transfer to Hawaii after his initial enlistment period but decided to accept an Honorable Discharge and stay in Oregon with his family. He remembers his days in the United States Army with pride and an obvious fondness for the men and women he served under and with.

Each year when Veteran's Day arrives I truly want to remember anyone I know--and anyone I've never met--who served, is currently in service or were and are the families of all the men and women who have given us more than we can ever repay. Not for a day off from work or school. Not for an extended weekend of sales at the mall. Not for a national holiday which, sadly, goes unnoticed by some in our current generation who are unaware of the true significance of what those people gave and still give us--the gift of FREEDOM.

Our special thanks go to the following friends and family we honor today:

Carl O. Bunnell III - US Army, WWII
Bob Pfeiffer - U.S. Navy, Korea
Dennis Reed - U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division, Vietnam
Chris Pfeiffer - U.S. Army, NJ & KY
Marcus Sohm - U.S. Coast Guard, FL
Dan West - U.S. Army, US & Korea
Vince Oretger - U.S. Coast Guard, CA & OR
Matthew Peterson - Air National Guard, Desert Storm & Desert Shield
Kevin Jones - U.S. Navy Pilot

The Patriot

At the close of the day, an old cowboy sets
kinda quiet in the old porch swing
Now and then he'll softly whistle a tune,
or maybe he'll start to sing
Then he'll change his mind and waggle his head,
and close his eyes in thought
He thinks of Korea, the war over there,
and some of the lessons it taught.
When his gaze wanders over to the nearby hills,
he recalls how they look when it snows
He studies the flag that he raised just this morning,
how it moves when the west wind blows.
If you look real close you'll see that a tear
gives a hint of some inner strife
His mind's eye's seeing the faces of friends,
who long ago left this life.
The flag waves gently in the sunset sky,
and the old man raises his chin
When it does, his step is strong and brisk,
as he marches out to the flag.
He stops and stands there, watching it wave,
wipes his eyes with a pocket rag.
He continues his march to the old corral,
where his Morgan comes over to talk
He saddles him up, and climbs on top,
and heads him out for a walk.
On a hill, he wonders if the whole blamed thing
was worth all the friends he lost
Heading home, he knows down deep in his heart,
he too, would have paid the cost.
Yes, he shared the peril,
but returned to his home in the sand and the sage
Then back at his flag, he thanks all his pardners
for letting him reach old age.

© 2004, Hal Swift.


TheresaJ said...

Lovely post.

kim* said...

my heart goes out and am thankful to those men and women who went and are in war. they are the bravest

esque said...

Powerful poem... it leaves me filled with pride of all the veterans who served and gave their lives. Thanks for sharing.

MichellesCharmWorld said...

what a great memorial!

Anitra Cameron said...

This was beautiful. Mentally added Dad to the list. He was Navy, and served in the Pacific.

We will remember.

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