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It’s Veteran’s Day, a day when we thank and honor all the folks; men and women, who’ve served our nation in wars and the armed forces.

Our family has fought for American Freedoms since the beginning.

There were Brads and other family ancestors in the American Revolution.

My Great-Grandfather, John Brads fought for the Confederacy, his cousin fought for the Union as did my Mother’s Grandfather during the War Between The States.

My great Uncle Jake fought in WW I. He and a friend went in on the Buddy System.

Buddy System

This is them on their enlistment day.

Daddy and his brothers, Andy and Chuck saw action in World War II.

Andy, Grandma, Grandpa, and Daddy WW II

Andy, Grandma, Grandpa, and Daddy WW II

Daddy spent 219 days in continuous combat and was a sniper in the Philippines. He also served in Korea, which is where the picture below was taken.

Dad in Korea

Andy, a medical officer, ran Bellevue Hospital during the war, and Chuck drove a boat for the Navy onto the beach of Anzio.

Uncle Chuck

Uncle Chuck

He was never the same.

Cousins, Grady and Carroll Saunders served, as did many other of my cousins and some of their spouses.

Such as my cousin in law, Ken McFaddin.

Ken McFaddin

And my cousin Vincent Brads who spent time in Viet Nam.

Vincent

I was in the United States Nuclear Navy on the buddy program along with Jack Daniels and Jim Beam.

I still glow in the dark!

During Desert Storm, Colin Smith, my nephew in law spent two tours in Iraq in the Army Medical Corps.

And not to the let the family tradition die, my great-nephews, Rusty and Brady Johnson are serving as we type!

Rusty and Brady

Their mom, Amy, spent an anxious year while Rusty served in Afghanistan,

Rusty Johnson

and an anxious 13 weeks while Brady endured Marine Boot Camp at Parris Island.

Brady Johnson x

As I look back on the list, knowing I’ve left several out, it seems impressive.  In reality, it both is and isn’t.

Patriotism and service are not only part of our family’s legacy, they are part of the legacies of thousands of families across America.

I don’t know what makes men do this, but I’m glad they do.  Freedom isn’t free, and though that might sound trite, it can never be said enough.

Dad suffered from PSTD in the later years of his life, Uncle Chuck was battle scarred and tormented from Anzio to the day he died.

Finding he was suited for little else, and loving the life, Andy made a career of it, retiring in San Antonio.

There are millions of men and women who’ve served, sacrificed, and sustained the nation we love.

Generation after Generation, men and women leave home, take risks, and offer UP their lives for ours, our freedoms, and our homes.

So to those serving today, and especially Rusty and Brady, Grandpa would be very proud, and very grateful.

Take time today to thank a Vet.  We’re free because they served.

Happy Veteran’s Day.

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