What a wonderfully patriotic - yet, sad day.
My paternal grandfather joined the Army at 18 and began a journey that took him far away from the farm he grew up on in rural Alabama. He was a handsome young man with a head full of black curls and a crooked smile.
Shortly after basic training and the the attack on Pearl Harbor he was sent overseas. He didn't talk much about his experiences in WWII - just a comment here and there. It wasn't until his funeral that I heard this amazing story.
In a dark fox hole somewhere in the Philippines, my grandfather sat watch with his then best friend. Their job was to peer above the fox hole and follow enemy movement. In the dreary confines of this fox hole they endured something I will never experience. They decided to take turns peering above the fox hole. It was my grandfather's turn, but his best friend told him to sit back down. You see, my grandfather wasn't a tall man and had to jump up or step up on something to see over. As his friend made a joke about his height he stood and took my grandfather's shift, stuck his head above the fox hole, and almost instantly he was shot in the head. He died in my grandfather's arms.
Today my thoughts and prayers are for that man and so many others. I don't know his name but I pray his soul is at peace. He sacrificed everything and if it wasn't for him, I wouldn't be here. God Bless all the men, women and their families.