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Memorial Day is a day about honoring those who died in all of America’s wars, as well as those who are Veterans and current members of the US military. I wanted to take a moment and give honor to a great man in my life, my grandfather or as I called him Pop’s.
Pop’s was born July 4, 1940 the youngest of 13 kids, he use to tell me that fireworks went off on the day he was born.
Pop’s enlisted in the United States Army and was a part of the 82nd Airborne Special Forces during the Cuban Missal Crisis. He didn’t talk about his service time much. In fact I didn’t know he was in the army until we were sitting at the funeral home making his final arrangements.
What he had said to other family members about it was, while standing nose to nose on enemy line the Cuban Army was spitting in the American army men’s faces. While on a mission they were dropped low. His commanding officer landed in a tree and later died from his injuries. Pop’s parachute pulled him across rocks causing both of his hips to break. Because of the broken hips Pop’s was giving an Honorable Discharge. Most of his discharge paper’s are blacked out because of being classified information.
Building a family
After returning home, Pop’s meet and married my grandmother. Grandma had a handful of kids and was 6 years older then him. He took on all 6 of grandma’s kids like they were his own. They built a life together that lasted 43 wonderful years. My grandparents suffered the lost of my uncle when he was under a year old. Then a few years later they lost another son.
I was a teenager when I learned that Pop’s wasn’t my biological grandfather, that’s how much this wonderful man loved his family.
Being his grandchild
My Pop’s had a way of bring out the silly side of you. He would stick out his tongue at us just to get us to do it back, most of the time it was wrong timing. I have a family picture that shows me sticking my tongue out, I just know my Pop’s was on the other side of that camera. My Pop’s thought it was funny to teach me some nursery rhymes, that had his own twist to them. Old King Cole was a merry old soul, with a buck skin belly and a rubber. Well its best not to finish that part.
He was a giving type of person and was always willing to talk with anyone. I can remember standing in the parts store with him once for what seemed like hours, because he was chatting with the guy behind the counter. I really don’t know if he needed a part for his car or if Pop’s knew the guy. He just found something to talk to him about. If Pop’s had a pop in his hand it was free game for us kids to drink it. He didn’t blink an eye if we would hand it back to him and it would be gone. I think that is where I got calling him Pop’s from.
My family moved a couple hours away from my grandparents when I was 7. My grandparents made sure they were always a part of our lives. They would come for weekend visits and we would spend time during the summer with them. My grandparents would do some traveling so they bought an rv. On a trip down to visit with us once, Pop’s stopped at a rest stop. When he got back in the rv he asked if grandma was ready to go, not waiting for her response he took off down the road. I got a call from grandma asking if I could come pick her up from that rest stop. Yes Pop’s left my sweet grandmother at that rest stop and she just laughed.
Thank you to all who have served and to those who have fallen a special thank you to them and their families.
Thank you Pop’s for being the silly grandpa that you were, thank you for loving us all the way you did. But mostly Thank you Pop’s for your service.
Happy Memorial Day~ Jenny