Hi Peeps! Hope you had a wonderful relaxing Memorial Day today and perhaps shared it in the company of family or friends.
I wanted to give you a digi-scrap gift today and was planning on a set of stickers. Then as I sat in front of my computer in PSE in my reflective mood today, it occurred to me that I should be giving you something a little more appropriate for today. I come from a long family full of men who have served in every branch of the Armed Forces; some of whom were lost during World War II, missing in action, a husband now deceased who served in Vietnam and was wounded only one week after landing there as a Marine. I remember talking with him by way of a "ham radio" from the hospital he was taken to in Guam at that time and how he sounded sure that he would never see home again. He was patched up in the hospital and a week later he was back on the front lines in Nam where he finished his 13-month tour of duty, mostly living underground where he served as a Fire Direction calculator. One week after he arrived home to the USA, the hill he had been living under over there was blown off the map. The survival stories he did share with me were horrifying, and I remember how he would jump awake from his sleep at night and sit straight up in the bed in a cold sweat. Though he mostly recovered from his physical injuries and learned to live with the residuals, I don't think he ever recovered mentally from the experience.
My mother's brother served in the Air Force during World War II, and was reported Missing In Action to the family back home. He was just a young man, very handsome, and very patriotic. He had another brother, six sisters, and loving parents to get the news of his disappearance. There was sketchy news that perhaps his plane had gone down over the Mediterranian Sea, some reports of a few survivors on a life raft, then nothing more. My mom told us the stories of how her mother went to bed and didn't get up for months on end, she didn't want to live. When she did get back to trying to live, she looked for his face everywhere, thinking that maybe they were wrong, maybe he survived and had amnesia, maybe she would find him someday. Probably thinking along those lines would be the only thing that would keep a mother drawing her next breath. I can understand that having lost a child of my own.
My mother's sister's husband (my uncle by marriage) had served in WWII and was taken as a POW spending a long time in a prison camp. When he came back to the USA finally, he was never the same. He had been severely malnourished and tortured, and his nervous system was ruined for life. I can remember how my aunt always kept her meals on a strict schedule for him, and she delighted in being an excellent cook so he would never again be hungry. She even grew the most gigantic garden annually in our town. It was all for him because she loved him so.
My father's three brothers served in different branches, and my dad was in the Air Force during WWII. He taught soldiers to fly the B-52 bomber planes. One of his sisters was also an Air Force Flight Instructor, and the both of them carried planes full of soldiers across the ocean to war.
All of my male first cousins served in the military, and I still have two in active duty today in the Navy. I've marveled in my life at them flying and landing those strange looking jets on carriers that seem so small in the ocean. One says he is getting ready to retire, and the other is still in but won't speak of what he really does.
My brother made a career of the Army and traveled far and wide, sometimes not able to talk about his jobs. There were times we really didn't even know where he was at all. He has now retired and has since taught ROTC to highschool boys, still wearing full military dress to work. He is retiring from that this June and will be free for the first time in his life. I expect he will not know what to do with himself, and that will be a huge adjustment for him. I'm glad he is retiring as I've been afraid he would drop over from stress before he enjoys any peace for himself.
I went to highschool with boys who went to Vietnam and never returned home. Their names are now on the Memorial wall. I wrote letters to most all of them I knew at the time just so they would have mail from home at mail call. Mom and I would bake and send them boxes of goodies to eat.
As an adult woman raising my children, I've lived in neighborhoods and watched my neighbors' sons grow up, join the military and become part of Special Forces and Navy Seals.
It just goes on and on, so I will stop lamenting about it here. I just wanted to tune you in to my reflective mood today as I created this FREEBIE word art for you. This is another one of my "interrupted" or "divided" words, and this one reads "Remember", "that our freedom is not free". I hope you will use it to scrap one of your Memorial Day tribute pages. I did one today. This is a png at 300 dpi, so you can use it in most any program, and you can resize it, recolor it, and even clip papers to it for lots of different looks. Here is the preview . . .
DOWNLOAD HERE OR HERE
Aren't those some pretty cool fonts? Leave me some love if you download. I really enjoy your input. I also have the stickers I promised ready now, so do check back in the morning for those. Meantime, take care!