Due Honor

Most afternoons of the week, my Beloved leaves his office and drives the couple miles to the assisted living facility where his 92 year old mother resides. (I’ve posted previously about her here.) Some days, she’s able to converse a bit; most days, she tries to make sense but can’t. She sets her focus on things that appear wrong (a lost teacup someone must have stolen), but are often her perception (the teacup is in its place on an upper shelf in the cabinet).Photo Dec 17, 2 44 56 PM

The photo above shows my Beloved and his mom (Charlotte) during a Christmas dinner a couple years ago. When the picture was taken, she was still able to converse and interact with others. She has always been enthusiastic about holiday celebrations and decorations, but as her dementia has progressed, she seems uncertain about things that were once important to her.

In last week’s Veteran’s Day post, I wrote about my granddad’s service during World War I and noted the tragically short arc of Charles Frederick West’s life after being gassed on the battlefield. My brother-in-law reminded me of another Charles Frederick … Robson who also served in that war and who also suffered mustard gas poisoning during his service. Charles Frederick Robson was father to Charlotte (above) and grandfather to my Beloved (and his brothers). I would be terribly remiss in not recognizing the service of this veteran as well. Continue reading “Due Honor”

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”