To all who currently serve and or have served our country, this is for you.

Today, November 11, 2010 is Veterans Day. Today is the day we are to remember those who have served and protected our freedom. Our right to live, thrive, and even protest (To all you protester’s).

First and foremost , to all who are currently serving, or all that have served our country in any one of the many branches of United States military service I want to extend the largest and warmest thank you to you and your dedication to our freedom and way of life. If it was not for you both past and presently serving I would not have the freedom of writing this successful blog. I have the utmost respect for any United States person of Military service. I have so much respect for those of you who did your duties, both those of you that safely returned and those of you who unfortunately did not make it back. My family has had many soldiers in past wars. My Uncle John served in the United States Army in Guadalcanal in WWII.

My grand father (Dad’s side) served in the United State Army during World War II from 1941-1945.

My Grand Father (Dad's Dad)

My grand father (Mom’s side) served in the United States Army during the Korean War.

My Grand Father (Mom's Dad)

My Uncle Larry (Dad’s brother) served in the United States Marines Corp in Vietnam.

My Uncle Larry (Dad's Brother)

My Uncle Harvey also served in the United States Air Force during Vietnam. My Uncle Bill served in the United States Air Force during the 1970’s I think. My Uncle Dave (Dad’s brother in law) served in the Air Force in the mid 1960’s.  Dave, my co-worker served in the United States Army. One of my closest friends Jeff served in the United States Airforce during Vietnam, although he was stationed at many different bases but then ended up at Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii.

I have a few students from the school that I work at currently serving in the United States Marines. To all of you I do not have the words that could describe how grateful I am of your service of duty.

Unfortunately I am unable to serve. When I was in high school I had the idea of joining the United States Navy. I wanted to be dressed in the proud uniform upon a ship with a noble name. I had asked a recruiter that had came to my school some questions about the service and what the pro’s and con’s  were of each branch. I did not mind the level of difficulty, I was more interested in what they could do for me career wise. After I had gotten the information, he had asked me if I had any injury or disabilities that I knew of. I had mentioned to him that I have problems with my knees but had no problem running and keeping up with the head runners in my physical education class. I should have ran track as I was pretty fast (long strides). He mentioned that the issues with my knees should not be a problem as long as I am able to pass the physical training. Then I proceeded to tell him that I also have 85% hearing loss of my left ear. He told me straight. That alone would disqualify me of any military service. Of which I understand, as it would or could be a safety hazard for both myself and my fellow servicemen. I was heart broken. All I wanted to do was to prove to my family that I could make something out of myself by serving my country and the only thing that was stopping me was a hearing defect from birth. I wanted to be one of the few one of the proud and I couldn’t. So I took up a trade after I graduated instead.

My Grand Father (Dad’s Father) WWII Veteran

My grand father (Dad’s Father) who had served through World War II came through it alive and arrived back in the states. He had toured and had seen all of the best and worst parts of the European Campaign.  He toured through Normandy, Northern France, Central Europe, Ardennes, And Rhineland. He received a Bronze Star Medal for an act of bravery in an incident that I am unaware of as he died before he had mentioned to anyone how he got it. We didn’t even know he had it until we visited his grave site in the Golden Gate Military Cemetery in San Bruno.

Here are a few photos of him and a few of his fellow troops during WWII He was in the 47th Infintry Regiment 9th Division:

9th Division Patch

 

My Grand father was killed in 1964 in a freak motorcycle accident a block from his home in San Leandro. From what my dad says, or from what my dad can remember (as he was young then) my grand father didn’t speak about the war at all.

He always tried to be upbeat and funny, the joker of the family. He had to of seen many horrible things in his tour as he drank a lot, and would always come home from a bar after being thrown out for fighting. He just must of had a lot that he couldn’t let go..

Later in the late 1990’s my grand mother (Dad’s mother) had given my dad my grand father’s suitcase which had his personal things. Inside the suitcase was his Complete US Army uniform, photo album from the war (which includes certain things that “didn’t happen” and that are too graphic for this blog.) , the folded flag from his funeral, his metals, and also some Nazi keepsakes and souvenirs he must of collected from his travels abroad in WWII.

So one day I decided to try on the uniform just to see what it would look like… It fit perfect.

(Sorry for the such serious look I have on my face)

I even wore it on Halloween one year and also to a WWII themed dance upon the USS Hornet at the Alameda Naval base.

I wear the uniform proudly to represent my grand father and his military career. I never got the chance to meet him due to his untimely death but I kind of feel close to him when I wear the uniform. I never met him but I love him just the same as my grand father on my mom’s side. I have got to know him through his belongings in the suitcase, stories from family members, and memories from my dad when he was a boy. I am proud to show his photos, and artifacts that he brought back from the war. It is a part of history that is a part of my family history. I am also honored to have the same name as him “Douglas Johnson”. If some how grandpa you can read this, if god has internet, thank you for serving our country. I am proud to be your grandson. I only wish I could have got to know you….

My Uncle Larry (Dad’s brother) Vietnam Veteran

Uncle Larry and Aunt Cindy (Dad's Brother and sister)

My uncle Larry (Dad’s brother) served in Vietnam as a US Marine. He was in the thick over there. He loved to talk about it but I was young when I first knew he had served and I had questions but I never asked him any of them as I knew it made him upset (though he wouldn’t let me know it) Because of that unfortunately I do not know much about his tour of duty. I know few details, such as he was a demolitions defuser.  Here are a few photos of him in uniform:

The young kid in the blue is my dad

Uncle Larry and Aunt Cindi Treasure Island

He served his country well and was honorably discharged. (From a story that I vaguely remember) He had said that when he had arrived home at San Francisco Airport (wearing his uniform) from duty, he was approached by a guy that confronted him, calling him different derogatory names including “Baby killer”. He even spat in my my uncle Larry’s face. I understand that there were many crazy idiots over there that had gone mad and killed anything that moved and even made poor choices and a bad name for the soldiers defending our freedom, but that is NO excuse for what that person did to my uncle. My uncle Larry was a great man. He did what he had to do and served to protect our freedom. Little did he know that the public’s view of him as a vietnam veteran would not be a positive one for some time to come. My dad looked up to him as a brother just as I looked up to him as an uncle. After the war, he tried to live a civilized life with starting a family, raising two kids and working for a living. He divorced, and it was just all down hill from there. He got into drugs, and at one point was staying with this one lady who accused him of molesting her children, which was a total lie. My uncle would never think of doing anything of the sort. Unfortunately back then, the jury would believe the woman more so than the man in a trial of that sort. So for the rest of my uncles life he would be considered a sex offender. He was a hero in my eyes no matter what he was labeled or considered. I admired him for his bravery while serving our country. He had PTSD and often slept with the light on. He lived for a lot of years with my grand mother (Dad’s mom) until she passed away. He would then live secluded by himself for a few years until he got in contact with his sons. His son Mike lived with him for a while but was not the greatest quality of person. My uncle got sick later (mostly from drinking) and had to be admitted to the VA hospital in Martinez of which he stayed for about 2 years. Maybe more. He passed away after having complications with diabetes.  He was buried in the veterans memorial cemetery in Dixon California. His wrongly accused appellation was finally removed and he was finally honored the way he should have been. Unfortenatly it was in death.. not life. I don’t care what he did in his life, what he was labeled, or what anyone thought of him, he was my hero. I can’t begin to tell you how I feel about veterans like him that have been through hell and back and are not recognized or honored in the proper manner.

Uncle Larry and I (Yep that's me)

I love you Uncle Larry and I hope you know that you have and always will be a hero to me.

If you are wondering why I have written about both my uncle and my grand father it is that I decided to highlight 2 of my family war hero’s in honor of Veterans day.

For all of you veterans out there, you have my utmost respect, gratefulness, and appreciation for serving and protecting our country of the United States of America. You are what America is. What it stands for. You are the the sole reason I am able to wake up everyday, and not have any sort of fear, worry, or concern about my well being.  Thank you ever so much for your time of duty. For those who didn’t make it back, you did not die in vain. Because as long as we have troops.. soldiers.. Americans protecting our freedom and accomplishing victory over terror and evil we will forever have the thoughts, memories, and prayers in our hearts and minds that keep you alive and allow us to honor you both in life and in death. To those of you who are serving or have served, there is no way to fully express my gratitude. To those of you who are currently serving, it is in my hopes and prayers that you return safely state side to your family and loved ones.

Thank you very much for reading,

http://www.themustangguys.com/sig.jpg

Also known as Douglas R. Johnson

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Published in: on November 11, 2010 at 2:58 AM  Comments (57)  
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57 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Great Post!
    Funny, I signed up for the Navy too. And also was unable to serve.
    Thanks for reminding us of what it means and what it costs to live in the Free World.

  2. Hi Doug

    I can see you love your country, love your family and bear great tribute to the ones that have helped preserve freedom. Good heartfelt blog!

    Hugs
    Tina xx

    TinaCortina

    http://tinacortina.wordpress.com/

  3. Aw, such a nice tribute to your family members who served. What heroes. God Bless!

  4. What a beautiful tribute. The photos are wonderful, you’re lucky to have so many. My dad served in WWII and would never talk about it until I joined the Navy. Then he opened up a little, but still didn’t get into too much. I spent 8 years in the Navy, most of it good memories. I have never regretted it.

  5. Very nice tribute to all!

  6. […] To All Who Currently Serve or Have Served Our Country, This is for You […]

  7. awesome tribute to all the soldiers! i know a lot of people in various branches of the army and this was a good tribute.

    http://enjoibeing.wordpress.com/

  8. You have put together such a wonderful tribute to your relatives and what they did for our country. Thanks for taking the time to remember them and all those who sacrificed for the freedom we all have! My father was a marine in the South Pacific during WWII. He never talked about it but had severe stress. My ex-husband, a Vietnam Veteran also had severe PTSD! Like I said, the sacrifice was great! Most people don’t appreciate it. I was standing in line at the post office yesterday when I overheard a clerk telling a customer they would be closed tomorrow and they didn’t even know what holiday it was!

    • The beginning of this post = nicely said!

  9. Great post!

    • I served with your father in the Air Force. Tribute to him for his service and duty to his country on this Veteran’s Day.

  10. For those brave heroes who gave their today so we could have out tomorrow, we salute you!

  11. Its national day here in Maldives :)

  12. Very, very nice tribute to your family & all Veterans! Thanks for sharing! I like your Dad in the blue, how cute!!

    evelyngarone.com

  13. i have to be honest, i could barely read because my eyes were so transfixed to the pictures. as someone who did not serve, and who does not have many family members who served…i was still able to connect to your post, well done.

    http://dearexgirlfriend.com/

  14. Great story and pictures of your familys military history. God bless you and your family on this Veterans Day.

  15. oh my goodness. i got a little teary-eyed as a read. :’) my daddy is currently in the navy and i have lived as a navy brat all my life. i’ve lived on marine corps bases, navy bases, and currently the air force academy. i have seen all branches of the military and get easily up-in-arms when i hear people bashing our military; after all, if it weren’t for our military, most of us wouldn’t be here today!

    i’m sorry you couldn’t get into the military either; but it’s nice to know that the navy wants to take care and make sure that their men are protected and well cared for. :)

    thank you so much for your post and the pictures! it means a lot to me to see that there are still some people out there that realize what our armed forces are for and recognize the good that they do.

    God bless,
    katy

  16. Thanks for opening up your heart and photo albumn Skratch! Nicely done and merits the title of Freshly Pressed!

    Blessings,

    Ava
    xox

  17. Beautiful tribute to the brave service men in your family, and all those active and retired veterans around the globe. Well done!

  18. As an Air Force Veteran myself of four years of active duty, I appreciated what you have shared in this blog. It is easy to see why it was selected to be a top blog site within WordPress. Thank you for the time and effort in putting this wonderful story in words and pictures together.

    John J. Rigo
    Author and Publisher
    Amidst Series of Poetry Books
    A non-profit program to serve the “Homeless Cause in Texas.”

  19. thank you

  20. […] To all who currently serve and or have served our country, this is for you. (vividlyvintage.com) […]

  21. Thank you for your service you do your country. Although you were unable to serve in a military branch, you have done your duty just the same by your patronage of giving tribute to heroes in your family heritage. This is very important because I have a very special hero, Ryan Brescher, that I don’t give enough tribute. He not only a national hero but more importantly, my son. He is returning home the first of the coming new year from his his tour in Germany and his third tour in Iraq. We owe these special heroes a great deal for the freedom we take for granite every day. If it weren’t for the sacrifices they make in their duty to this great Nation, we would not breath the air of freedom nor live the “Life of Riley” as we do daily. Thank you and your family that have given service and example of honor, duty, and patronage of the American Serviceman.

  22. God Bless all the military men and woman on this Veteran’s Day that have given the ultimate sacrifice to their country. I am eternally indebted to them and their families for their honor and duty to the American Way of Life.

  23. Excellent tribute to all who serve.

  24. […] irenelockel Uncategorized Leave a comment Today, November 11, 2010 is Veterans Day. Today is the day we are to remember those who have served and protected our freedom. Our right to live, thrive, and even protest (To all you protester's). First and foremost , to all who are currently serving, or all that have served our country in any one of the many branches of United States military service I want to extend the largest and warmest thank you to you and your dedication to our freedom and … Read More […]

  25. Thank you all for your kind words and comments about my blog post. Typically on my website when I get a comment I like to send a personal email back to the author of the comment, thanking them for their comment personally. Due to the high volume of emails and comments I have received today, it has been very challenging to keep up with. (but please don’t hesitate to comment) I promise that each and everyone of you will receive an email from me regarding your comment and its message. So please keep an eye out for it in your inbox and feel free to reply. This post has just exploded into an amazing community of both civilians, veterans and even foreigners expressing their appreciation and views. So thank you all for your kind words. I know right now, both my uncle and my grand father are just smiling with grins ear to ear. My uncle Larry was never represented or commemorated for his military career and thanks to you all, it has shed some light on an unexposed hero. It is with an unmeasurable amount of gratitude that I thank you for making my post such a monumental thing, and allowing hero’s such as my uncle his long deserved recognition and commemoration, that he never was able to receive otherwise. I wish there was a such thing as a virtual hug. Because I would give each and every one of you one. Thank you so much. God bless you all. I will try to email each and every one of you before the day is through. In any case, I look forward to hearing from each and every one of you. Thank you so much.

  26. Thanks for sharing your story!

  27. Thank you. Let’s pray that one day there will be no reason for war with our fellow man/woman.

  28. I am so very fortunate to be the mother of this extraordinarily passionate, caring young man. As he was growing up, he always serched for answers to solve any conflicts of peace and freedom. His reaction was always to ask WHY? Twenty six years later he still seeks for answers but now he listens to many family members and friends of any age that have a yesteryear story! I hope he knows how proud his father and I are and how much he has enlightened our lives. No one could love him more. My only regret is that the family members who have passed on will never get to see what a compassionate man he has become.

    Love from mom and dad

  29. Thank you so much for your fine tribute to the military heroes in your family, and to all veterans on this special day! I am almost 88 years old,and served as a combat medic in WW 2 in 6 campaigns in Europe including Omaha Beach. I am truly blessed by God to be here.

  30. Great post, and wonderful selection of photographs.In Australia, we celebrate November 11th as Remembrance Day, for similar reasons to your Veteran’s Day, but specifically an acknowledgement of the end of World War I

  31. Thanks vets for your service. I can’t thank you enough.

  32. A great tribute on this special day.

  33. Thank you for this beautiful tribute. As a former Army wife, I know what these men, and their families go through. It’s not over when the war ends and they come home. Sometimes, that’s just the beginning. And I’m thankful for Americans like you who appreciate their service and do not take it lightly.
    Here’s the post I wrote today, honoring the wives of military men.

    http://doithalfway.wordpress.com/2010/11/11/hug-a-veterans-wife-today/

  34. Your grandfather would be proud of you today in this post. By sharing you are keeping the memories of these brave men alive.

    Thank you for sharing your family military history. The photos tell great stories.

    Take care!

  35. I came across your post on Veteran’s Day. Nice. While your at it, wish your Uncle Larry a belated Happy Birthday. Yesterday, November 10th, was the US Marine Corps’ 235th birthday and every leatherneck that ever served (like him and me) considers that it birthday worth remembering. Semper Fi to you Uncle Larry!

    Ivan

  36. […] last picture is from an excellent blog article you can link to here. If you have the time to take a look at the article, it is a wonderful and quite personal tribute to […]

  37. […] I did run across this blog today. As I was reading it, I realized that this author had found a lot of the words for which I […]

  38. I agree, great post. I have many relatives who have served in the army. thanks to all our troops!

  39. the picture is so great!..
    i love this post…

    http://belindachelly.wordpress.com/

  40. nice tribute, respect

  41. Thanks for sharing!

  42. Beautiful post! Thank you for sharing such an intimate look into your family and for honoring you heroes. What a great gift. <3

  43. Nice picture, Great article for sharing to the world (^_^)

  44. This is the first WordPress post I ever clicked on and I couldn’t stop reading. Good post. A tribute to our vets and a reminder that even when they come home, they often carry a terrible burden of memories. We should all salute them.

  45. From those of us who were called “baby killers” and other such things when we returned from Viet Nam, Thank you.
    v

  46. Very well done! I wish I had been able to write on my blog like you have done. You have said it ALL for All of us for ALL who serve. Thank you! To ALL of AMERICA’S HEROES!

  47. God Bless each and every American soldier.

    • Well put!

  48. This is a beautiful tribute, some nice old photos, My husband just retired from the army after 27 years in. God Bless

  49. I loved reading the stories and looking at the photos, which really brought these brave men to life for me. God bless them. Beautiful post. Thank you for sharing.

  50. nice tribute….I unfortunately did not get the chance to thank veterans and those currently serving on my blog (you can get there by clicking my name in this comment post if you’re interested in reading it) though I may do a belated one….better late than never as they say right? LOL!

    but I’ve been neglecting my blog as of late because I got a lot of things on my mind…my dad’s cancer being one of them and the awfully strong call to join the Catholic priesthood being the other major thing on my mind all while trying to find a job so I can save up money for the seminary….when I become a priest who knows? I may serve as a military chaplain….though I’d probably get rejected 4F since my body is not in the best of shape either…..comes from eating more big macs than salads…..LOL!

  51. I enjoyed this post more than just about any other I’ve come across. My plan is to enlist in the Army National Guard very soon. This article helps ease the worry of becoming an American soldier. Just about everyday someone tries to talk me out of it, claiming I will die overseas, come back missing an arm or leg, endure severe mental fatigue, this and that…

    I would love to serve my country with pride and honor. This, I will do!

  52. But War IS Hell

    • I agree. But regardless our men and women are doing their job to keep the hell confined to just the war and not have hell become a way of life in the USA. As we as americans have freedom. Not all nations can say they have freedom. And it is the reason we need to thank our men and women who are over seas in many different countries protecting not only our freedom but the right to have freedom. But I agree, war is hell. But untill we have peace on earth we will unfortenatly have war.

  53. […] 1. To all who currently serve and or have served our country, this is for you. (click here to view this article) […]


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