In Which We Don’t Talk About Job Hunting At All

In Which We Don’t Talk About Job Hunting At All

by Kerry Scott on 11 November 2009

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:

Grandpa

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.

Uncle-Bob

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.

Uncle-Ed

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.

John-Wesley-Johnston

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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{ 12 comments }

Bev November 11, 2009 at 8:44 am

I wish I could go back as far as you have been able to do, Kerry. I know that my maternal grandpa, Bennie Skoog, served in WWI. My dad was career Army (22 years) and served in WWII and during the Korean War. I am a Vietnam War era veteran having served in the US Navy.

I’ve approached men and women in uniform in restaurants, airports, and malls just to say thank you. I’m a big flag waver – here’s major waving for all veterans past, present and future. You are my heroes!

Julie O'Malley November 11, 2009 at 9:12 am

Very cool post, Kerry. I loved the photos. You look a bit like your grandfather — shape of face, etc. :)

Hugs and gratitude to all vets and families!!!!
.-= Julie O’Malley´s last blog ..Critique Your Resume Like a Hiring Manager =-.

RunnyNose November 11, 2009 at 9:41 am

My Grand father is a Philippine Army Veteran, and served the US army during the world war II and came back wounded and safe for his 7 children. Later on he retired and served Politics on 1980s but didn’t pursue it and got married again and died on 1997 before he got his US benefits..until now many of Filipino-US veterans didn’t get the the things that deserve for them ahh….just half on some of it though.

And then, one of my Grand Father eldest son, sons’ is graduating Philippine Airforce this year.One of my Uncle also and 3 more of my cousins are serving philippine airforce now..i got jelly…i took the exam for army before but i was afraid because of some rumors….then nah…ok fine….Happy happyyyyy!

class factotum November 11, 2009 at 9:44 am

My dad was a career air force officer who served in Vietnam and died 20 years later of what the VA says was an Agent Orange-related cancer. My mom was 25 years old when he was at war. She had three kids under six and no email.

One cousin was a Marine and was in Iraq. Hoorah! Another cousin is an air force pilot and is in Iraq now.

My uncle (married to my mom’s sister) immigrated here from Germany after WWII and joined the army. I think he went to Korea. His father was a general in WWII, but on the other side.

I have a great-great*-uncle who died in the siege of Vicksburg. Another great uncle who died in WWI. Grandfathers were farmers and I guess weren’t drafted because they were supposed to stay here and grow food?

* There may be more greats in both of these.
.-= class factotum´s last blog ..Blast from the past =-.

Sabrina November 11, 2009 at 10:00 am

There’s really no storied history of service in my family. My grandfather on my dad’s side lied about his age so he could enlist. He served in the Navy and was sent to the Pacific just in time to see the end of WWII. His brothers also served I believe also in the Navy. My moms two brothers were both in Vietnam, I think in the Navy though I’m not positive.

Anon November 11, 2009 at 12:00 pm

I can’t go too far back, but a couple of my great uncles were in the Army in World War II, they all came back.

My grandfather served in the Army in Korea, he came back too.

One of my uncles was drafted to serve in Vietnam, he came back and he was physically okay, but my mother says he was never the same, he has suffered from a drug problem since returning.

One of my cousin served in the Air Force – he did not go to Iraq or Afghanistan but he served at Dover, so he saw all the bodies come back. It affected him so much that after completing his stint in the Air Force he enlisted in the Army.

Another cousin served two tours in Iraq, he came back okay physically, but mentally he is very injured. He has severe PTSD. It makes me so sad to see how much he hurts. It’s almost worse than him having a physical injury. I don’t say that to minimize the terrible injuries that many our veterans have experience, but because if he had a physical injury, at least we’d know how to help him.

Steve November 11, 2009 at 12:23 pm

Um… me. I was a tank officer in Iraq for the invasion, then was presented with a choice of becoming an intelligence officer or a personnel officer. I picked the second one (because if you think people don’t listen to HR, you should try military intelligence!) and was HR for a second tour in Iraq, and have stayed in the field post-military.

Also both grandfathers are WWII vets, one an infantryman in Italy, one a German liguist in Australia, of all places (it seemed like a safe spot for POW camps)

jmkenrick November 11, 2009 at 1:48 pm

My paternal great-grandfather served in WWI and we still have his diary, which is really interesting. I flipped through it (carefully) with my grandmother many times. Mostly, that diary taught me that:

a) it’s really cool to keep around stuff for your grandchildren to later gawk at
b) people had much prettier handwriting back in the day, but it was difficult to read
and
c) war is BORING. A good 80% of that diary is about digging trenches and he was there for four years.

Unfortunately, he was gassed in the war. He came home, but I guess being deprived of oxgan for those few moments damaged his brain and he spent much of the rest of his life in a hospital.

His son (my grandfather) served in Korea, and also worked on an Army base in Alaska for several years. He never talked about his time in the army, even when asked, except to tell stories about the difficulty of making powered milk at below freezing temperatures.

If you go back far enough on my family tree on my father’s side, you can find relatives who were in the Civil War and in the Revolutionary War, which I find pretty cool.

jmkenrick November 11, 2009 at 1:49 pm

P.S. I like this post. What a sweet idea. Makes me think of a story I heard on the radio this morning:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/11/10/ap/strange/main5608562.shtml

Deli Kate November 11, 2009 at 3:40 pm

Sniff. Pictures, how I love them. Really brings it home that every veteran has a loooooong line of people touched not only by their service but all too often, their loss…

GeekChic November 11, 2009 at 4:40 pm

I won’t go too far back because I’ll take over your comments (my dad has an enormous family). All service is for Canada unless otherwise noted (where today is Remembrance Day):

- My maternal grandfather was a tank commander for Poland in WWII and then the UK when Poland was over-run. He was captured and held as a POW until the end of the war. His girlfriend (later wife) had escaped with him to the UK and they came to Canada after the war.

- The rest of my mother’s ancestors were rounded up by Hitler’s men in the Ukraine and Poland and put into camps. They died in Sobibor or Yanivska through torture or in the gas chambers.

- My paternal grandfather was an infantryman in the South Saskatchewan Regiment as were his three brothers. Only my grandfather came home from the war. My paternal grandmother stayed on the farm and raised their 16 children during his service (which was permitted only because one of their sons was of age).

- My 8 uncles are are currently active in various aspects of the Canadian military as are 24 of my cousins.

- My nephew is active in Iraq as a U.S. Army Ranger.

- I am retired from the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry.

Chinook November 11, 2009 at 6:39 pm

Like Geek Chic, all of the following service is for either Canada or the UK:
-My maternal great uncle, Phillip Harnois, signed up out Alberta for WWII and died in Britain, where he is buried. His two brothers signed up soon after his death. My one uncle returned to Canada and never served again.
-My grandfather, Gerry Harnois, was demobilized and the re-upped and served in every UN peacekeeping mission until the late 1960′s. He was injured and missing in Korea for one month, at which time my grandmother gave birth to their son. My grandfather retired as regimental sergant major for the Lord Strathcona’s Horse and was lucky enough to die at home.
-My paternal grandfather, George Connolly, served in the British RAF as an Irish citizen.
-My Aunt Rose Connolly drove during the Blitz in London, England.
-My husband spent the last 7 years as a member of the CF, always willing to serve abroad but never being sent He retired as a M. Cpl. in military intelligence. Two of his bunk mates from his time in Wainwright have been killed in Afghanistan and a third was injured. I gave a guilty ridden thanks today that fate decided he didn’t go with them.
-My junior hgh school classmate, Raymond Arndt, M. Cpl. in the Royal Edmonton Regiment, was killed in Afghanistan a number of years ago. His wife, Darcia, lived the nightmare mere months after they were married. Both of them are always in my prayers.

Thanks for the venue.

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