A day to celebrate those men and women who give their lives to protect our country.
My grandfather, Robert Taff, served in the U.S. Army during WWII. He landed in France after D-Day with the 99th Infantry Division or the “Battle Babies” as they were known. They slogged it out in France and Germany, in some little battles you might have heard of, oh, say the Remagen Bridge, the Battle of the Bulge, the Rhineland and the Rurh Pocket.
He was a sergeant and won all sorts of medals, including two Bronze Stars. And he hardly ever spoke of it, in deference, I think, to my grandmother. But after she passed, we were lucky enough to get some of the wonderful stories of his experiences before he passed two years later.
When he did die, we learned of all of these medals he’d won. He never told us that. So, with the help of a local congressman, we worked to get those medals replaced. Now, they’re in flag box with the flag that draped his coffin at his funeral. He and my grandmother, Anita, are buried in Jefferson Barracks.
My dad was also a Marine, so Semper Fi!
And if that isn’t enough, my great-great-great-great-great grandfather, Peter Taff, served in the Continental Army under General George Washington. Yes. And he served with Washington and was there in a little place known as Valley Forge. And this ain’t just a family fairy tale, it’s documented by the State of Virginia.
So, if you see some of our men and women in uniform, thank them for the sacrifices they and their families are making. The ridiculously low pay, the separations, the injuries, the deaths, the little regard many in this country place on soldiers.
Thank them for it, because it’s the least that they’ve earned.