May 30, 2011

Love to All our Soldiers

Just a quick post of thanks to all our soldiers and their families. Thank you, thank you, thank you for putting your life on the line for your country.

My great uncle, Staff Sgt. John Forrest Bouldin Jr., fought in World War II with the 453rd Bombardment Group. For their 182nd mission, John and 11 other soldiers took off from a base in Old Buckingham, UK. It was the morning of November 26, 1944, that they took off in their B-24 Liberator Bomber, headed for Bielefeld, Germany. They were to drop a 101-ton payload on a railway viaduct. But something went wrong, and their plane crashed in a field in Port Common, Kenninghall, Norfolk, UK, only 8 miles from take-off, having never been able to rise above 200 feet. Knowing they were going down in a field surrounded by farm houses, they dropped their load beforehand and saved the townspeople, but all 12 soldiers perished in that crash.

John came home, but not the way his family had hoped, and he was buried in Temple, Texas. His Purple Heart hangs in is brother's home, which I spent time in this weekend.

Then a few years ago, a farmer in Kenninghall was plowing his field, and 62 years after the crash there, he found John's military bracelet with his name on it. Many stories had been told of that crash over the years by the Kenninghall community. They were so grateful to the U.S. soldiers and all they did to help end the war and Hitler's march toward "The Final Solution" that they erected a memorial over there for them.

After receiving John's bracelet from the farmer who found it, John's brother Jamie erected a memorial in Pendleton, Texas, where John grew up. The memorial was not only for John, but for two other young men from the local community who died during WWII. The photo here is of the memorial stone. It has three sides, one for each of the fallen soldiers, with special sentiments inscribed by their respective families.

Today I also celebrate my closest active soldiers, my brave sons-in-law Greg and Finn (brave in large part because they married my headstrong daughters). I'll hug you when I see you. (You've been warned...)  :-)

Thank a soldier today. Unfortunately, freedom doesn't come free, and there are far uglier things than war (though surely not many).
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18 comments:

Eva Gallant said...

Amen, Girl!

English Rider said...

I've listened to "American Soldier" by Toby Keith a dozen times this weekend. No words of my own. Thanks for posting this today.

Lost.in.Idaho said...

An amazing post. I am glad that both you and your followers can stop and reflect on this Memorial Day. I know it isn't November, but this is a holiday where we should truly give thanks...

Today's Post: Memorial Day and Heroism: A Moment of Thanks

Leesa said...

Thanks for the blog entry. I rarely know what to say on Memorial Day. I mean, saying "Happy Memorial Day" seems to be inappropriate; it is not solemn enough.

Again, thanks for your words on this Memorial Day.

Irish Gumbo said...

Well said, FL. Thanks all around.

The Mommy Therapy said...

I can't believe how often people neglect to thank a solider when we see one out in public. It's amazing what they do, what they give up and what they endure. Definitely a HUGE thank you too all of them!

Great post!

Watercolor said...

Amen

Red Shoes said...

This is a great tribute... thank you!

~shoes~

Margaret (Nanny Goats) said...

Very nice tribute to the all the brave ones out there.

And up there. *points to Heaven*

Sausage Fingers said...

Well said, great post.
Thank you..

meleah rebeccah said...

Amen, sister. This was a really touching post.

Linda Medrano said...

My husband retired two years ago after 25 years in the Military. My son was a Navy airman. These are hard jobs and it's really not appreciated enough. Thanks Honey!

De Campo said...

Greetings from Afghanistan! Thank you for all your support!

tokenblogger said...

Thanks so much for this!

Joclyn said...

I appreciate your closing remark; as a huge ole lefty liberal, I've just recently been thinking about that very thing. Thanks for this post.

Jocelyn said...

OMG, I hate Turkish keyboards; I can't even spell my own name rightçççççç

Midlife Jobhunter said...

Lovely essay, FL. My dad served in WW2. I can't imagine the sacrifice.

SuzRocks said...

Wow. I always read about these amazing stories from WWII, but I never know any of them. It must be so cool to know that your great uncle was such a brave man- and died saving other peoples lives.

Thank you.