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I'm doing "WHERE" this week
Heads or tails is either wear or where.

As in, SomeWHERE in time. To salute those Veterans I know that are in my family....




Tuesday is America's Veteran's Day.
I lost my first true love at the enemy's fire. SomeWHERE back when...

I will tell you just a bit of our friendship and 'almost' marriage below, but first:

FAIR WARNING....IT'S LONG! extremely long today. Prepare to sit a while...go get your juice or your coffee or your soda or tea, come back and go back with me in time----


I stand proud to say that I have a family filled with veteran's that I have known and one I never met throughout my history. First my Great Great Grandfather. He served with the New York Infantry during the Civil War. Saw action, and was wounded in Cold Harbor. He is buried in Nebraska with a full-fledged Military Grave marker of which I have a rubbing, and also a photo of which I'll share, along with a Federal copy of his disability/pension paper [1st page of many]...





My uncle. He was part of the American Army Air Corps during World War II. His mission/vocation in the Corps was 'Belly Gunner' inside a B-17 Bomber. His plane was shot down over the English Channel where they took off on a bombing expedition, from Norwich, England. He was wounded, shot in the head. Upon rescue he was hospitalized and the surgeons ended up replacing part of his brain with a steel plate. SomeWHERE in time his wounds became something of an issue...eventually dying at a late age. This photo is of their wedding day...They as a couple produced five children [all boys--the first two were twins that died shortly after birth].

This 2nd photo shows [if you enlarge] the belly gun of a B-17 bomber. Can you just imagine how cramped and how very uncomfortable this would be for just a short time?!! My uncle was very tall and lanky, and this 'hole' in the belly of the plane is very small...he had to slide in, continue to lay while all the time...using the gun.

If you embiggen the photo, the arrow points to the belly gun. And his 'title' is Belly Gunner.


All three of my brothers joined the military. All three in different branches.

This is my oldest brother [United States Air Force] He was Staff Sargent, specializing in Communications. He could take a radio apart in seconds, find out what needed to be done, put it back together, and then call aboard planes in code. He served during the Korean Conflict. Stayed in 18 years and then decided to get out. Why, I'll never understand the reasoning behind giving up short by only two years for retirement. As I grew up, he was always the quiet one, never knew him well. He married while in the Air Force, in fact this photo is of his wedding day on base.


- - -

This is my 'middle' older brother. He is younger by one year from the Air Force Brother shown above. Now, to be honest, this is my 'favorite' brother. He was always there for me; whenever his little sister needed him, he was there --stopping everything to be with me or for me. And I, when I grew up, reciprocated. From the get go he was my angelic guardian. He never done wrong by me but once [that's a whole 'nother story about 'bail money' but I won't get into it...he did finally pay me back, again, always thinking of his little sister]. Yet, he ended up in the Marine Corps not by chance, but by force. You see he was the rebel of the family...the 'black sheep'. He never failed to get into trouble. One year, when he was a teen, he ran away from home, from what I was told, he hitched to Las Vegas. My dad got a call in the middle of the night that his son was in Nevada, in jail. They wanted him to bail him out. Well, being the 'troublesome' child my dad and mom both said, 'jail may do him so good'. Well, when he was released, they called dad again to come and get him. Dad did, took off work, drove to Vegas, and ended up right then and there signing him up for the Marine Corps. I never did find out what he did, but I do know that the Nevada lawmakers gave dad an ultimatum...release him in dad's custody or put him in the Marine Corps to 'straighten him out'. Frustrated and not knowing what to do with him, dad relented. My brother was 16, nearly 17. He needed a parent's consent to be a Marine. Obviously he made it through Boot Camp, but only stayed in the 4 year requirement with no promotions. The Korean Conflict had ended, he was stationed in Guam. A troubled man to the end. He died, alone, just a few years back.

- - -

My youngest, older brother by 5 years. This brother chose to be in the Army. He volunteered before the draft got him. His training took him to Oklahoma then over seas, but during peace time. Now, for me being a teen along with him...he was a race car fanatic...he was always working on his car...'souping' it up and drag racing just north of where we lived...in Erie, Colorado. I loved to mess around with him while he was detailing his car with pin stripes or timing the engine...whatever. We had that special bond. While he served his country, I GOT HIS CAR!! This, is the time the cops in our community got to know my name by seeing me on the streets, driving his car. I'll just say, here and now, I had a heavy, 'lead foot'. And four on the floor...what a thrill! I loved that car. I always thought he'd have it forever, but hey....he grew up, got married and had a child. He's now a grandfather of three boys ---one of which is another favorite of mine that I posted a photo of a while back. Here is my Great nephew if you missed my post. He's a cutie patootie indeed. We both, my youngest older brother and I, have that in common...a love for the younger generations! He doted on my two kids also.

- - -

Now, dear people, this is of my hubby before I 'knew him'. Tho we both lived in the same town, he was older than I of course, but still...the handsomest of them all, don't you think? With this photo [his mother at his side] he was on leave from boot camp getting ready to go to Norfolk, Virginia for I C School. He too was in communications. Electrical Communications aboard ships. After schooling and graduating, he was stationed on three ships. A destroyer of World War II fame, the O'Hare, and two others, both Destroyer Escorts. The I C stands for Intercommunications. He could wire a ship for intercoms, Captain's speakers...etc. etc. etc. To this day he can wire a house, electrically without messing it up. Well, not too much. LOL [just kidding my sweet cheeks.] He too served during peace time. The ships took him to the Caribbean, the North Sea, Europe, etc. etc.

- - -

As I grew up and was raised by two parents who remembered and lived through the Great Depression, we had instilled upon us to not take anything, to work for everything you need and want. We were hardly ever just 'given something'...ever. We had to scrimp and save for our bikes, our toys, our cars, our wardrobe [after getting jobs of our own that is]. We were citizens of the world after the age of 18. We were to work for our keep. Even tho we had a house to call home, we still had to be a responsible family member and help pay for things, it was our room and board. We were NOT given anything lightly. It was a strong way to handle raising children, and I am ever so thankful for that. It made me realize that things in this world is not just handed over, and that I worked for what I wanted in life. This philosophy I passed on to both our children. If they wanted a car, for instance, they had to work for it and make the payments or save until they paid cash for one. If they wanted to further their education, they had to work for it either by receiving a scholarship or using their savings, or working to pay their own way. Erik joined the Marine Corps for the experience AND to further his education with what the government pays them by the G I Bill and getting a degree. He had his ulterior motives. This is my son. Just out of Boot Camp on leave with time off before reporting to duty on the western coast in California, Camp Pendleton. for more schooling. He was infantry. He has seen Okinawa, Japan, Hawaii and the Persian Gulf. I, remembering the loss of a good high school friend [below] and how he lost his life, giving to his country, and what turmoil his family went through and what war does to those left behind, fear was part of my everyday life while he was in infantry [his choice]. In the Gulf War he was and could possibly have been in the front lines of the enemy. Once he came back to American soil, Hawaii, I could now sleep once again. He was stationed for the entire length of his time remaining on the island of Oahu...at Pearl Harbor and Kaneohe Bay and was honorably discharged a Marksman; a Corporal. While he was in the Corps I also dealt with the loss of my mother and then within just months before our son being discharged, I lost my father also. It was a traumatic time in my life. I oftentimes think back to those years, and wonder if I could do it all again. Even tho, there is a great deal of pride, the anxieties and the strife and stress of knowing that within a heartbeat he could have been facing the enemy straight on...I don't think I could deal with it. I have so many times empathized with families of war victims; of our soldiers and military personnel, that they have my full support and downright admiration for their selfless service to a great nation. They should be honored!!!! They should be never forgotten and always remembered...someWHERE in time.


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SomeWHERE in time.
    SomeWHERE in time we met on timeless hills. And in the evening mist we kissed and time stood still. Before the dawn we found moments are timeless... When I felt your caress. Love never goes once it has touched your heart....


SomeWHERE in time:

He was my high school sweetheart. We met by chance. His smile I still see. His eyes, they sparkled and he treated me with a great deal of respect. We dated. We were 'in love' as only high school aged kids can call love. We were quite inseparable. We went to games together, we sneaked a kiss now and then in the school's halls. He was a year older than I. Tho, we were in the same grade. He just started school the same year I did because of his birthdate. Anyway, we committed ourselves to each other the last year we were together in school. When school was out, he had joined the Special Services and was being deployed to Viet Nam. We had exchanged our thoughts on his leaving and what might happen between then and his return home. After much discussion, with parents of both of us, we decided it best to put everything on 'hold' and I decided that I wouldn't stop living because he was gone over to the enemy line. I would continue to 'love' him, and still date other men for the years ahead. If by fate, he would return and I would not be married or found anyone else, I had him!

I was lonely and heart broken for many months. Yet, I did find someone. I ended up marrying that 'someone'. It was my choice and my 'sweetheart' accepted my choice with the devotion of a grown man; the fact that he was now '2nd best'. I couldn't help myself. I felt alone, lonely and quite fearful of what the future would hold for me if I stayed 'faithful' to my soldier. Tho, I still cared for him in the deepest way possible., now only tho, as a friend. Bud knew that. And he was man enough to let me talk and think and read about him/his platoon and such in the papers and receive letters. Bud is the most wonderful man, I'll grant that for him...it must be tough knowing that I almost married another guy.....

I almost could have been a widow too.

You see, the last time I saw Frank was the very day I found out I was pregnant with Irene. I had gone to the OBGYN's office for testing, the test results came back positive. I was pregnant. Bud has always worked for the government... Well, Bud was already home that particular day. I pulled up by our house, got out of my car, and I was elated; so anxious to tell him he was going to be a father.

I can still see what I was wearing! It's like yesterday.

Anywyay, as I began to walk around the car to step up on the sidewalk, Frank pulls up along side me. Ohhhhhh, his smile! His eyes. I threw myself into his arms. Eventually I told him that I was carrying a child. He told me that he was on leave and he was to go back to Viet Nam in another week....

Bud, Frank and I cried together. I couldn't help having a sinking feeling. When he left we hugged a long time [I'm now crying!]...

Irene was born. Then, my dear mother, who was always protecting me told me after I came home with Irene from the hospital that she had been saving something for me...she went to the car, and came back with a newspaper clipping. One she had saved. No one told me that Frank was killed while in his tour of duty. They were all afraid I'd miscarry if I found out.

I read the article by myself in my room. Cried and cried. Bud came in later and held me in silence for hours. Mom and Dad had left. I still was a mother tho...I had to take my sorrow and broken heart to another level and release my broken heart another day. Irene and Bud came first.

I went to his funeral after his body finally arrived back in the states then transferred to Colorado. I still think about him, I still wonder what might have been...I still see his smile and I hear his laughter. The hurt has subsided of course in time, but the memory lingers...
SomeWHERE in time!!!
If there is an afterlife, I may see him again.
'Til then, I see him and hold onto him with my heart and soul.
Here is part of what was written for me from a 'buddy' in Nam with Frank:
    1969: With artillery still heard in the far distance, we now retrieved the bodies of our fallen comrades. That young second lieutenant from the First Cavalry was laying dead on the ground. We were regrouping as myself and three other ARPs requested permission to search for Frank. Capt. White told us to be careful and also take an RTO with us. We quickly headed in the direction where the second squad had last been seen. We found Frank laying in a ditch. It looked like the enemy had tried to take his boots off and his weapon was also missing. The four of us almost religiously carried Frank off the battle field. He had been shot in the head by the 51-caliber machine gun. He never knew what hit him.


Other than his memory, this is all I have left of him. The newspaper clipping that my mother saved for me for weeks to give to me after Irene was safely born and I carried to full term. I keep the clipping pressed between the pages of a photo album with me in High School, and on the other page...Frank, in High School. If you enlarge it, you can see why I loved his smile!!!


From the Army:
SGT - E5 - Army - Special Forces
20 year old Single, Caucasian, Male
Born 1948
Casualty was 1969
in SOUTH VIETNAM
GROUND CASUALTY
MULTIPLE FRAGMENTATION WOUNDS
body recovered
Religion
ROMAN CATHOLIC

34 comments :

  1. Poignant recollections, and a marvellous post. I don't come from a military family at all, but I joined up and served nine years. Two of my sons followed me, one still serving.

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  2. What a touching story - and sad.

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  3. I hope everyone will take the time to remember our Veterans tomorrow. That is the least we can do for them for everything they have done for us.

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  4. Wow, such a beautiful tribute sweetie.

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  5. Anni,

    What an awesome tribute to the military men in your family. I know you are proud of every one of them and you should be. The discharge of your great-great grandfather is a real treasure.

    Your Frank was a handsome man and I just love his smile. I'm sorry that you lost him so many years ago. So many were lost during Vietnam. Such a senseless war.

    Take care, my friend. I enjoyed my visit. All soldiers are heroes in my opinion.

    Blessings,
    Mary

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  6. Oh Anni,
    I almost can't see to type because I too am crying. What a beautiful story. And what a beautiful person Bud is to honor those feelings and memories in you. I love reading your heartfelt posts. Thank you so much for sharing that lovely memory!

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  7. Oh Anni, my heart goes out to you for what you had to endure during the war...so many people were affected the way you were:-( As they say, sometimes it's harder on the ones left behind. Frank did indeed have a beautiful smile, he was a very handsome man and it's so sad to learn how he lost his life.

    Loved the tribute to your family as well. We must never forget all the sacrifices these heroes made for us. xoxo

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  8. I don't really know what to say. Your family is amazing. Wonderful emotionally charged post.

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  9. Well, I needed to get some kleenex here.
    Very nice post.
    You might like my post under my HoT this week.

    I hope this comment gets on your post. The past few weeks your comment box was not working for me.

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  10. Very interesting family story ! My son never was a soldier and my husband either. And none of our friends. Since there is no obligatory military service anymore in the European countries it is very hard for the army to find some soldiers. There are only very few who want to work in the army and it is mostly a question of getting a job and payed.

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  11. Thanks for the lovely heartfelt Veterans Day.
    Post almost in tears here... I also have had
    family in the military Civil War,WWI,WWII,
    during peacetime and currently a niece who serves. My wish is for peace.

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  12. I read until your warning - it's long!- so I will be back after my gym class
    :)

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  13. WOW
    There is not anything else I can say. Thank for sharing on this Memorial Day.

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  14. It took me a few minutes before I could comment as I am wiping tears from my eyes. What a beautiful, and moving tribute to your family, and lost love (((hugs))) Thank you for sharing this with us on this day. These people should never be forgotten.

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  15. Oh, Anni. I'm not sure I have the words to express how touched I am. What stories... how different the world was and is... Thank you for sharing your memories with us.

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  16. That was beautiful, Anni. I'm glad I found your blog, via Mimi and Peace Globe day.

    Too many wars and too many sad bittersweet stories.

    Adding a candle for Veteran's day.

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  17. What a beautiful tribute.

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  18. I just put up a Veteran's Day post and I was thinking of your post.. Maybe you can drop by to see it.

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  19. What a great post. I enjoyed learning about the military men in your life.

    Your Frank did have an amazing smile - and Bud was such a handsome one, still is, I'm sure. You really found someone special when you found him.

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  20. I have to come back and read the whole story, I am doing my rounds today on Tuesday.
    grace - mamarehema

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  21. My goodness, Anni, I still have the lump in my throat after reading this. I'm glad you shared it. Wonderful tribute to the military people in your life too. I'm an only child, so I can only imagine the feelings you must have had and still have for your brothers.
    Blessings,
    Charlotte

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  22. Such an amazing post, so well done. Thanks to your family for their service to our country. You brought tears to my eyes with the story of that young man with the beautiful smile.

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  23. your post just inspired me to revised my HoT to include my husbands service.
    the men in your family, they all look handsome. nothing beats a man in uniform ...

    (somewhere somehow this comment was misplaced. sorry about that!)

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  24. What an amazing military tradition there’s been in your family! I found it fascinating to learn more about your relatives who served. My dad was born in 1913 and came of age after WWI. By the time of WWII he was married with two young sickly children … working long hours to support the family my mother raised. His older brothers (my uncles) served as did my cousins. Although my brother joined the Air Force in the mid-50s, his ill health led to a medical discharge. His oldest son served in the Coast Guard … mainly to ‘straighten him out’ … and it worked wonders. My ‘ex’ served in Vietnam for 13 months in 1967-68 …(those were LONG lonely scary months for both of us) … arriving home on Christmas Day … physically okay but forever changed in more ways that either of us realized at the time. Your story could have been mine in so many ways. I’m crying too …
    Hugs and blessings,

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  25. A great post. So sad you lost your first love, but found another although I am sure you never forget that first young man. My Dad and his brothers served in Word War II and my husband was conscripted in the 1960's but did not see action, I am thankful my son's did not have to go to war I can't imagine the anxiety that parents and loved ones suffer. Thanks for remembering them.

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  26. Sniffing. Teary eyed. Grateful for those I, too, remember. And pleased to have read your poignant piece. Thank you!

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  27. Anni, I know you were crying as you typed that... I'm crying reading about it. What a precious memory. *hug* I know you were devastated when you learned about Frank, but I think your mother made the right decision. A shock like that could have caused early labour.

    You know, these days it would be hard to hide that kind of information from someone for very long.

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  28. Oh, bless your heart. And poor Frank's and Bud's and yours again. How sad, but how sweet of your mom to look out for you like that.

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  29. What a lovely tribute and yes, indeed, I can certainly see how magnetic Frank's smile was. Did Irene inherit that? Your story speaks volumes of how deeply both your mother and Bud care for you. My sincere thanks to all of your family members for their service to our country. Thanks for sharing your memories.

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  30. So many veterans to honor. And a sad story toward the end, too.

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  31. Wonderful post. Your family has done this country a great service. Thank you to each of them.
    Bud is a special man to let you charish the memory of one you had loved. This is a true love story.

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  32. What a very special tribute to your family who served our country as well as to all our veterans who fought to keep us free and safe.

    What a wonderful love story, Anni, and what an understanding husband you have in Bud. You are very blessed.

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  33. im sorry to hear that you lost your first love like that :(

    what a sad but beautiful story.

    I noticed you changed your profile pic. nice to see what you look like :)

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  34. What an absolutely moving post. Thanks for sharing this. WOW HA!!! What a story this is. First a family of military must have been awesome and the story of Frank and Bud is just amazing. What a trying time that must have been but I'm telling you that Bud must be one in a million to accept Frank and your feelings for him the way he did. I am so glad that your Mother held that article. Smart woman. Thanks for sharing this very touching story :)

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