Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veteran's Day

Today is a day we give special thanks to the men and women who have helped to keep our country free. We all take freedom for granted, just as we take so many things for granted, but then that's a subject for another post.

I have added pictures of my two favorite veterans. My dad, William Lawrence Alumbaugh, joined the army about 1939, and was building a runway in Alaska when Pearl Harbor was bombed. Soon after, he was shipped out to France. He has 4 bronze stars for the 4 major campaigns in which he was involved, and in the picture here he has another medal of some sort that I don't recognize. If anyone does know what it is, I'd love for you to share. In fact, I don't know what the buttons on the lapel are for either. He knew of course, but he didn't talk about his service much as so many didn't. I do know he was in an engineering batalion and much of their job was to go in and rebuild. He did talk about building bridges, hospitals and schools. He talked about the kids they saw everywhere. He was wounded somewhere in Germany, but never recieved a purple heart. I don't think he felt he deserved it.

He came home from the war, married my mother, raised three children and died in his late 70's from the asbestos he was exposed to during all the re-building they did.

The second veteran of whom I'm so proud is my mother's dad. Edward Franklin Zeiger. I don't know a lot about his service. He also saw action in Germany, and was wounded. His wounds were severe enough that he had what he called a 'service connected disability', and raised 9 children with the money he received each month during the Depression(that and the moon shine he made).

Like my dad he didn't talk about the carnage, but when the two of them were together, they talked about the country and the places they saw. I always thought it interesting that they were in several of the same places.

It gives me chills to think about the horrible things they saw, the death and destruction. I think about how it could have made them crazy if they thought about it very much. But they were tough. They didn't leave easy lives when they went to war. Neither of them grew up in the lap of luxury. I know very little of my grandfather's childhood, except that they lived off the land they had been given. Land that was in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains. Land that had more rocks than dirt, and was difficult to make a living from.

My dad, on the other hand was left at the age of 15 with a mother and 4 siblings to care for when his father died. He joined the Civilian Conservation Corp to earn money as soon as he was old enough, with the next step being joining the army.

These two men went from one hard life experience to another, and made the best of what they had. Both were respected in their communities, and are today sharing those stories in Heaven while they look down on us as we salute them for all they gave to us through their service to our country.

I hope you remember the veterans in your life today, and that you are also proud of the service men and women who are watching out for us in foreign fields today.

Have a great Tuesday. Pray for our country. Love one another.


StitchinByTheLake said...

My Dad was in the CCC camp in Newton County when he met and married my mother. Then he was off to Europe for several years to fight for our country. Bless them all for being willing. blessings, marlene

Laura ~Peach~ said...

Happy Veterans Day...
We have huge family history in all wars too... I bet many of our family is there talking with your dad and grand dad today :)

Lisa J said...

Those are both very handsome men in your life. I think it is so sad what they went through and came out of it to just go on with life. They didn't complain, they didn't whine, they just went on. Today our youth is so soft, they don't know tough times, the most of them. So having said that, I so respect those that are serving in the current war. Sadly it makes men of the boys and women of the girls. But they are better people for having a battle, a cause and a country to truly love and serve. I think it makes better people and better values....but at such a price. Here is my honor to them that have served and that will serve in the futre. Salute to them all.

Me Maw said...

funny how the guys from wwI and wwII didn't speak much about their experiences. My dad was the same way. I do wonder though if it would have been healthier for them to talk about it. In my dad's later years, after I pestered him some, he began to share some. It wasn't pretty.

God Bless them all...

Anonymous said...

I just found your web site doing some family genealogy! My husband is the grandson of Victor Hugh Zeiger, one of your mother's brothers. Thank you for the wonderful background information on your father and grandfather. I am wondering if you have any information about the death of Mary Zeiger wife of Edward, she must have died very young. Thank you and would love to be in touch, are you on Facebook or an e-mail address. Thank you again! Stephanie

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