Tag Archives: veteran’s day

Happy Veterans Day: Watch Your Language


It had been a long weekend in the Texas sun.  The state guardsman reached for the refrigerator door and a welcome shower of cool air fell over his long military sleeves.

Looking over the grocer’s jugs of milk, searching for the best date, his hand lingered on a handle for just a moment.

That’s when he heard it.

“Kill any babies.”

The tone was aimed directly at him. And it wasn’t in the form of a question.

Quietly the father retrieved the milk his wife asked for and he straightened.  He was on the way home from weekend guard duty.   They would be deploying for hurricane relief soon.  It would mean a pay cut, but that’s what guardsman do. They go where they are needed.  Local relief, wars in distant lands, bringing war criminals before the Hague so they can stand trial for their crimes against humanity; guardsmen and reservists help fill the gap.

On the one hand, it’s sad that our military is paid so small for such great sacrifice and threat of safety.  And yet, you wouldn’t want a military that was made up of people who were only there for the money.  It would be a dangerous thing.  You need men and women who are willing to be of service, to offer a sacrifice of their personal wants and needs for those of another, to help maintain this bubble we live in and call the U.S..  And today guardsmen are depended upon more and more.

So much is given when someone says to Uncle Sam, OK – my life is yours to command.  Not to mention given of the mothers, mates and children left behind.  Not to mention, sometimes even unto death.  Our military needs to know its people love  them.  So to hear something like this is just… demoralizing.

I chose to write about an uncomfortable subject today, in honor of Veterans Day, because it’s a silent abuse that no one talks about.  That father was my husband.  And this kind of treatment of veterans is not often talked about but it happens.  All too frequently.  It happens to the families who support their soldiers.  It happened to me just for “allowing” my husband to enlist in the army guard after 9/11.  Not to mention the persecution against children of soldiers.

I don’t know what the answers are, but the story needs to be told.  It’s bad enough when free people forget to say thank you to those who voluntarily give up their freedom to serve the greater good.  But this other stuff? Whatever it is?

“Kill any babies.”

My husband straightened up, milk in hand.

Taking a deep breath, he looked at the older woman, but only briefly.

He steeled his jaw and pivoted away, replying just simply this:

“Not today.”


To our brothers and sisters in arms and to the families at home waiting for them: we salute your sacrifice and service and we embrace you as our own. We promise to teach our children to value what you give.  May God be with you all and bring you safely home. 

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Filed under Editorial, NaBloPoMo

Suffering in Korea – Veteran’s Day Tribute To Grandpa Chester


Tomorrow is Veteran’s Day.

There are many veterans in my family, including my husband. But at this time, I think most of my two grandfathers, each who served entire careers for the army.

My Grandpa Chester wrote letters and poems for Grandma Leona while he served overseas.  During her last couple years of life, Grandma shared these letters and poems with me and asked me to type them up for her.  Some of the letters were getting brittle and I wanted to preserve anything she’d let me.  I marveled at the works she showed me of his hand.  Grandma said Grandpa was always a little self-conscious about his writing, but it was something special to her.

The following is a poem Grandpa wrote during his time in Korea.  I asked Grandma if I could share this on my blog sometime.  She said she thought it would be alright, but I never did post it before she died.  It seems appropriate today.  I plan to include this along with other writings from my family in a book someday.  Seems we’ve all aspired to create through pen and paper, typewriter or keyboard.

God bless you Grandma and Grandpa – I miss you both.

If you wish to share this, please send people here so Grandpa gets proper credit.  Thanks.  And please note, this poem is presented exactly as it was written.  I did not think it right to change anything even though some of the language might be sensitive.

Suffering in Korea

Below the Russian Border
Korea is the spot
Where we are doomed to serve our time
In a land that God forgot

Fighting the mosquitoes
Digging the ground with picks
Doing the work of gooks
And too damned tired to kick

Down with the lizards and snakes
Down where I get blue
Right in the middle of nowhere
Ten thousand miles from you

We freeze we shake we shiver
It’s more than we can stand
But we are not convicts
We are guardians of the land

We are soldiers in the ordinances
Earning our meager pay
Guarding the people of Korea
For two sixty a day

Living with only memories
Just waiting to see our gals
Hoping when we get home
They haven’t married our pals

Nobody knows we are living
Nobody gives a damn
Back home we are soon forgotten
We belong to Uncle Sam

And when we get to heaven
We will hear St. Peter yell
Bring in those guys from Korea
They’ve served their time in HELL.

By: Chester William David Combs

Grandma told me she thought this was written in 1949.  However, it seems the US did not get involved in Korea until 1950 and I believe Grandpa was actually in Japan in 1949.  Or at least officially.  Still, there was something about my grandfather being part of a special group serving in Korea that I don’t have enough information about, nor that Grandpa would talk about.  All I know is he had some part in helping to set up the new government and grandma was presented with a gift from the new Korean …  someone?  I’m not sure.  But grandma had this poem stuffed inside a letter and she still had the gift from Korea.

Copyright, all rights reserved.  Again, if you share this, please do not copy and paste.  Please send people here so Grandpa gets proper credit.  Thanks. 

Let’s not forget our veterans.  Thank and hug a veteran today.


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Filed under Friends and Family, NaBloPoMo