Saturday, November 11, 2017

Thank you for your service

To all of those who have (or currently do) served in the military, thank you for your service.  So many of my ancestors served – Revolutionary War, Mexican-American War, Civil War and World Wars I and II – and I wish they were here today so that I could thank them personally.  But since that’s not possible, I try to keep their stories alive so that in my own way, I am thanking them.

I first wrote about my 2x great grandfather, Emery Waller, and his service in both the Mexican-American War and the Civil War.  What a thrill to “find” him in an unmarked grave and then having the honor of obtaining a headstone for him so that he would no longer be forgotten.  You can read about him here:  Emery’s First Veteran’s Day.

I also had a Special Veteran’s Day post so that I could honor all of my family veterans.  My dad was such a handsome soldier in World War II! 

Today as I was gathering things for this post, I opened up the boxes of military uniforms I have to see if there was anything I had missed.  It seems like just yesterday that I combed through those boxes with my mother but since she’s been gone now for close to 5 years, it’s obvious that time has really gotten away from me.  But I was rewarded with a nice surprise – my grandfather’s WWI military overcoat! 

While it definitely needs a good pressing, it’s done pretty well for being just shy of 100 years old!  And it completes the set with his uniform and hat (you can see that in the Special Veterans Day post above).

And look what else I found today!  Obviously from a more recent time (he has it dated June 6, 1957) but look at the hat he’s wearing!  Could it be?  Could he have found a reason to pull out his then 40 year old Flying Cadet hat to wear to the Fresno Realty Board function?

Sig Yesterday and Today 1957

I’m going to say YES!

I love to be reminded of this day 99 years ago and the loving words my grandmother, Mildred Loraine Gunzendorfer, wrote to her future husband about the excitement of the day.  In her words:
November 11, 1918 – 9 PM 
My dearest Boy 
I was so overjoyed this morn at the wonderful news that I just had to telegraph you and hope you received my telegram O.K. At 4:20 A.M. I was awakened by whistles blowing and bells ringing out the joyous news of peace. They kept the racket up for two hours and started it again at nine this morn. Then at two this aft all the automobiles who could paraded and everyone was so happy. Everything was closed up so we went for a lovely ride around the 17 mile drive and just returned. 
My, but I was busy this afternoon down town receiving congratulations from friends I met, dear. It was rather hard to recognize people in their masks but I managed to.And to think that my boy is really flying. Received your letter this morn and was so happy to get it and to learn that your first flight was so successful and I hope the rest have been likewise. And now that the war is a thing of the past, love, am so anxious to know what they are going to do about discharging you. Guess now that you have had a start at flying you would like to continue but I’d rather have you safe on terra firma. And I hope my wishes will have some weight. But it must have been a wonderful sensation – flying 2000 ft and I am so proud to think of my boy being so brave and fearless. If conditions hadn’t changed you would have probably been driving alone in a very short time. I am wondering and wondering if they will still continue to train you. Hope not. So please, let me know, sweetheart, about it as soon as you can.
It’s days like today that having the personal history to connect to is so meaningful.

Thank you for your service to all those who have served!


  1. Lovely post, Debi. So sweet and thoughtful.

    1. Thanks, Amy. It makes things so personal when you can read the words.

  2. Absolutely wonderful. And don't you wish that war could have been the LAST war?

    1. Thanks. I still have to go through my dad's letters when HE was in the war.