The Forces of Light and Darkness

by Barb, at home in Portland, Maine

Our theme this month is light and dark. Also, today is Veteran’s Day. Wickeds, are there any veterans in your family? Tell us who and show us photos if you have them.

Edith: My father and grandfather, Allan B. Maxwell Jr. and Sr., both served in the US Army, in WW II and I, respectively.

Edith’s father

Daddy was drafted out of college in Indiana and sent to UC Berkeley to study Italian, where he met my mother at a dance her sorority threw for the soldiers. But he ended up in a remote mountain outpost in India transmitting radio messages, after producing the ship newspaper on the way over. He also wrote letters to my mother every day (yes, I get my writing chops honestly). She much later told that when he asked her if she would write, she didn’t think he meant every single day. My grandfather, Allan Maxwell, Senior, was on the boat over to Europe when the Armistice was declared. I don’t think my mother’s father, Richard Flaherty, served, but she talked at length about their victory garden and putting the car up on blocks to save rubber. And my brother, David, is an Air Force veteran.

Liz: Thanks to them for their service. My grandfather was on track to join the army but a chronic knee issue kept him out of active duty. He and my grandmother both pledged to help in any way they could, though–and both were volunteers during WWII.

Julie: My grandfather Hennrikus served in WWI, and was in Europe after WWII as part of the Marshall Plan. My grandfather Stockbridge was in the Merchant Marines as a young man, and served in the Coast Guard, in the Pacific, in WWII. I also have uncles and cousins who’ve served. Grateful to them all.

Barb: My dad, Richard Morrow Ross, Jr., in Korea in 1953. In spite of four years of ROTC, 3 years on active duty, and then ten years in the reserves, this is the only photo I have of him in any military setting. After he got home he never spoke about Korea again. He obviously sent this photo to my mother. The note on the back says, “Your own at home. Really living it up in the Far East.” The pictures on the shelf above his head are my mom and me.

My grandfather, Richard Morrow Ross, in service during World War I. After he returned, his maternal aunt and her husband, a tailor, who had no children of their own, paid for him to get his undergraduate degree from Columbia University. That generous act had a significant impact on the future of our family.

My grandfather’s grandfather, Adoniram Judson Dickison during the Civil War. Opposite to my father, Judd, as he was called, became something of a professional veteran after his service. He was active in the G.A.R. and marched in veteran’s parades until his death in 1928. I remember my grandfather (above) telling me, “When I was a kid, all the old man wanted to talk about was the Civil War. I wasn’t the least bit interested. Now I wish I had listened.”

Adoniram Judson Dickison. (My brother has the sword.)

Can you tell I spent a significant amount of my quarancleaning going through old family photos?

Jessie: My maternal grandfather enlisted in the Marines just as soon as he turned eigtheen. He served in the Pacific theater during WWII. Two of his brothers served as well, as did his mother who ended up outranking all her sons by the end of the war. My father served in the air force just after WWII ended as an air craft mechanic. Both of my maternal uncles served during Vietnam, one as a Marine and the other in the Coast Guard. My brother-in-law served in the air force.

Sherry: I’m the proud wife of an Air Force veteran who served for twenty-one years. Bob retired in 2008 at Hanscom Air Force Base in Bedford, Massachusetts. If not for being stationed there, I might never have become so close to the Wickeds. I’ve loved my experiences as an Air Force wife in my Sarah Winston Garage Sale mysteries. My father served in World War II, my father-in-law in World War II, and my grandfather in World War I. I’m amazed by the selfless service of some many wonderful men and women. The photos are of Bob on the day he retired and my father when he enlisted.

Readers: How about you? Are there any special friends or family members you’re remembering this Veteran’s Day?

22 Thoughts

  1. I’m honoring my dear father whose ship, the SS Pei was torpedoed. My dad died at 38. He left me a letter he wrote me the day I was born, money for college and a copy of Shakespeare’s sonnets. Edith, my father was a Hoosier and I have fond memories of my Indiana family

  2. I am remembering my Dad who was a proud Marine who was on a ship headed for Korea when the Armistice was signed. He was a sergeant and we were his 5 little privates and our chores had better be done before he got home from work or else. Cancer took him from us in 2013 and I miss him every day. Semper Fi!!

  3. I had the honor and privilege of serving in the U.S. Navy for 23 years. Definitely some interesting times and places. I couldn’t have done it without the support of family and friends, including you, Barb and Bill.

    1. That is so lovely of you to say, though I doubt that it’s true. But we did sure fill up those days with fun when we had little kids our husbands were deployed. (Well yours was. Mine was off doing poltical campaign.)

  4. My Dad served in WWII, Korea and Vietnam before retiring with 29 years in 1967. When he went in the Army were still using horses in the infantry. I’m very proud of his service to his country, his love of family and faith in God! This photo show the earliest photo of Dad in uniform that I have, when he married my Mom in 1946, during the mid-60’s and then in retirement years making sure his uniform still fit nice because that’s what he wanted to be buried in. ❤ God bless our service personnel!
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  5. My uncle Karl who was on the USS Quincy during WWII when it was torpedoed. My brother, Karl, who served in the Army in Viet Nam, my great-father-in-law who served in WWI, my father-in-law and mother-in-law who served in WWII, my husband who served in the Marines during Viet Nam and later with the Air Force. To my friends, Susie, Mary Lou, and Grace all of whom have proudly served their country. Susie and Mary Lou in the Army and Grace in the Navy. Thanks to all veterans, and their families who serve as well, for their service.

  6. Husband and father: both 20+ years in the Army (father Army reserves, hubby 6 years active duty with airborne special forces and the rest reserves).

    Both grandfathers in WWII (one with the 1st Armored Division in North Africa and Italy, one in Europe).

    One grandmother a Navy nurse stationed in Philly (where she met my grandfather).

    One grandmother worked at Bell Airplane making P39s as a Rosie the Riveter.

    Father-in-law and two brothers-in-law in the Navy.

    I toyed with joining ROTC in college, but was advised not to because of my knee. None of my siblings or children had military inclinations.

  7. My late father served in the Air Force in the 1950s–and if he hadn’t gotten his assignment of choice (England) I wouldn’t be here. He met my mother in King’s Lynn, Norfolk, near where he was stationed. Her date stood her up at the Lion’s Head and he was there with a friend.

    We lived in England and France before moving back to the States (I was born in CA). After he got out of the service, he owned his own communications business in Maine.

    1. What a lovely story. I always think these spouses who leave everything they know to follow a service member to places they’ve never been are so brave.

  8. I remember as a child in elementary school watching the newsreels that had been produced during WWII. I would go home and tell my parents what I had seen. My father who was in the Army Air Corps during WWII before it became the Air Force did not talk a lot about his service until his later years. While in Hospice care in 2018 he “revisited” his younger years and talked a lot about his “girlfriend” back home (my mother). I met my husband just before he graduated from college and entered the AF and our early married life was that of an AF family. Our eldest son retired a few years ago from the AF. Three out of my eight maternal uncles served in WWII, all in the Army. We are blessed by those who serve and I try very hard to say “Thank You!” to every service person I meet.

  9. My father, Wesley Silas Nearing, served in the Pacific Theater in WW2. He was in special services, running films, arranging other entertainment, ferrying officers, providing playing cards to the enlisted men(turn in an old deck to get a new one), and delivering the officers once monthly bottle of whiskey. His favorite “chore”. He says he was completely snockered by the end of that day. He was always greeted with “Oh boy great, let’s have a shot”. Music to the ears of a young GI! Just the other day he told me how he ended up in special services. He was on one of the Pacific Islands, either Soloman or Guadalcanal, up in the hills. Unable to wash, due to no water, he developed a severe fungal infection. He was sent down to hospital and said he “wore blue pants” for weeks due to the treatment that was painted on. Apparently his case was so severe, he was never sent back into active duty and was assigned to Headquarters, hence Special Services. He greatly enjoyed the work. I think it was the beginning of his excellent customer service skills.
    My brother, Andrew Silas Nearing, served in the Navy in Vietnam. He was stationed on a small refueling ship, the Tom Bigbe. He is one who never talks about his service. At least, not to me. He is quite close to his brother in law, Jim Vesper, who was a paratrooper in the same war. Ironically, both of them have cancer, probably due to thier wartime experience. My brother is currently in remission. A state we thank God for everyday. Jim, unfortunately, is not. Thier gallows humor it not to be missed.
    I have tried to honor all vets in anyway I can. I’m looking forward to attending Veterans Day parades in the coming years.

  10. Both of my grandfathers served during World War II. My aunt was an army nurse for years. And my uncle (on the other side) served in Vietnam.

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