Thank You, Veterans

If my life continues on its present course until its end, I will have lived my life without directly experiencing war. This statement may be true of many Americans, but I think there are countless nations around the world for whom war is a semi-regular event. Now I’m not saying I haven’t lived during wartime, just that I (thankfully) have no personal experience with it.

The same can’t be said for my family. My daddy served during World War II. My (maternal) granddaddy served and was injured during World War I. His granddaddy was killed in the Civil War. Other family members in previous generations served as well. Suffice to say, I appreciate the service of our veterans and as I grow older, I’m more attuned to what I imagine their experiences may have been. (I am not so naive as to believe I can fully understand their experiences.)West_Charles Army 1

The photo above shows my grandfather (far right) with three of his fellow soldiers. I don’t know exactly when the photo was taken but these men are clearly sitting on the steps of a barracks … the signs say it’s Company L, 315th INF (infantry) and the R-26 on the left side would appear to be their building number. Whether this is a stateside barracks or overseas, I cannot say. Official records show he enlisted as a single man in 1917 for a term of three years and reported for duty to Camp Meade MD on September 22, 1917. He had previously served in the Pennsylvania National Guard for two years.  Continue reading “Thank You, Veterans”