Monday, May 31, 2010

The Noble Soldier

Thank you to all of the men and women who have served our country.  I am proud to say there are members of my family who served in World War II and in the Persian Gulf War.

Pictured to the left is my grandfather who was stationed on a Pacific island as a mechanic.  I am glad he was a only a mechanic or else I may not be here.  That was a different time culturally. This picture was taken in 1938 and sent to my grandmother who waited for him to come home. He is smiling at the bottom far right.

They met growing up and he apparently went dancing  a lot.  So did she, so a friendship was born and then they decided to marry when he had a little time left in the service.

My grandfather grew up in Baton Rouge and my grandmother grew up in the countryside.  She was raised learning the catechism in French, first from her father Oneziphor Guidry and then from a local priest.  Who, she just told me yesterday, told them as children that they were dumber than his cows.  This was in 1920s.  I am happy she is still Catholic and has been such an example to me. She always had a hard work ethic having had eight brothers.  She is the soda girl behind the counter in this promotional picture from the Walgreen's that was on third street in downtown.

My grandfather was able to attend Catholic High School in downtown Baton Rouge when it was still a school downtown run by religious.  He was raised by his aunt because after immigrating to Pennsylvania, his mother did not want to move South, where his father came to work. He died when I was ten or eleven. I remember his presence, much like my dad's and that he would make us fresh ice cream in a hand cranked churn.  He only ever said a few phrases to me, "Don't run in the house." and "If you run in the house, you get a whipping." Mostly this was to my younger brother and I happened to be there too.

When he finally came home from the military, my grandmother took a train to meet him in San Antonio.  She was standing on a picture of Louisiana in a large painted image of the United States to wait for him.  She had five sons, all living to this day, as she is too at 89 years old.   I am so thankful for the story of my family and the part it has played in keeping me safe to this day.

Thank you to all of the military who have served to make our country safe from tyranny.