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.
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.”
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?