It’s Veterans Day.
We could talk about job hunting, but I’d rather not. Instead, I want to talk about veterans.
Years ago, I belonged to an online networking group for HR people. We had a bulletin board, and every Veterans Day, we’d have a post where everyone talked about who the veterans were in their family. I liked it, so I’m doing it here.
These are my family’s veterans:
That’s my grandpa, Donald Arthur Scheiber. He served in the Navy during World War II, and was seriously wounded in the Battle of Leyte Gulf. I took his Navy scarf with me to the hospital when I gave birth to each of my children.
That’s Robert S. Graham. He was the half-brother of my grandma, Betty Vail Johnston. I know that he served in the Army during World War II, but I have some evidence to indicate he may have joined the service well before the war started (and this picture certainly appears to have been taken before 1941). Uncle Bob died in the service a month after the war ended, leaving behind a wife and several children. He’s buried in Belgium.
That’s Edward Otto Scheiber (with his nephew Don Scheiber, my grandpa). He served in the Army in World War I. I don’t know whether he was wounded, but he did make it home.
That’s John Wesley Johnston, my great-great-grandpa. He was a private in the Union Army during the Civil War. He made it out alive, but his pension file is a half-inch thick, and lists a myriad of wounds and ailments as a result of his service.
My last veteran is my great-great-great-grandpa, Nils Nilson. I don’t have a picture of him, because he didn’t live long enough to have one taken. He came to the United States from Norway in 1857. When the Civil War broke out four years later, he didn’t speak English, and he had a wife and three children under the age of six. Nonetheless, he joined the Union Army immediately…in fact, although he lived in Freeborn County, Minnesota, he actually joined the 15th Wisconsin (the famous Scandinavian Regiment), because Minnesota didn’t organize fast enough for him. He never came home; he died in a regimental hospital of “disease” in November 1862. He’s buried in an unmarked grave at the national cemetery in Nashville. His wife didn’t go back to Norway. She stayed, alone, on a farm in a strange country with three little kids. I think of her sometimes when I’m having a rough day as a stay-at-home mom, with PBS Sprout and tons of toys and a kitchen full of food and a husband who will be home at 6pm. The soldiers are heroes, but their families are too.
Thank you, veterans. All of you. We don’t say it enough.
Who are your family’s veterans?
(NOTE: If your comment doesn’t appear right away, bear with me. I’m writing this on Tuesday night from a public library, because I have no phone, TV, or internet access at home. Basically, it’s like the 1800s at my house. I’m pretty sure Grover Cleveland is president or something. They are sending someone out on Wednesday, but based on the service we’ve seen in the past, I may remain in the 1800s for a little while. Wish me luck!)
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