Men Like Him

For the LORD is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation. Psalm 100:5

In preparation for writing this, I thought about the stories I could tell and what I would say to honor a man that not only fought for our country and our freedom but survived so many things to live, in my eyes, a successful life.  
Often times, when I think about either of my grandpa’s, both WWII veterans, I think about such a rich historical perspective they had. I think about our Sovereign God who has the big picture on life and how he delivered both of them out of the trenches of war to continue their legacies through their families. God is so good.

If you had a family member or friend who served our country in a war make sure to thank them today if you can. Because of what they did we can continue to enjoy the freedom that we have. Make sure to thank God for his hand on their safety and leading them home to carry on your family tree.  

My grandparents had six children and seventeen grandchildren. Our holidays were very fun. We spent birthdays and holidays together and they were such a happy tradition for me growing up. I can’t imagine them any other way. Our holidays actually got so large because some of those seventeen grandchildren began having children and holidays grew to epic proportions.

My grandpa, my paternal grandpa, was 93 when he passed away 4 years ago. He was an amazing grandpa who stood about five feet tall but was never short on telling us how much he loved us.
In fact, one day I walked into his house and I said, “Hi grandpa” and he looked at me and said, “I love you and don’t you let anyone tell you anything different.” We were surely loved and he wanted us to know.

He was the sort of grandpa who always smiled when you walked in the door. He always called us kids “peach” and he always needed a hug. When the great-grandchildren would come over he would say, “You watch out boy, you get any closer and I’ll squeeze your gizzard out.”
To my grandpa family was everything and you could not spend time with my grandpa without laughing.

My grandpa told such fantastic stories and when I would go to visit I hoped he would tell my favorite story again. Although there were so many.

My grandpa served in the Army. He was stationed in Australia, where he met and married my grandma. He fought in many battles, including the Battle of Buna along the Kokoda Trail.

I heard many war stories and now wish that I would have had it recorded or written down. I think it was just a part of his coping but you never left his house without hearing a story or ten.
I cannot imagine what it be like to be in a war or what it would be like walking through the jungle just trying to fight so you could survive. I am so grateful for his service. I cannot imagine having to live a life after having seen the images of war up close.

The most precious story that I have of my grandpa is from June 1, 2007. The tornado sirens went off. I was teaching and remember my students asking me if this was a real tornado and I said, “It could be but as long as I have lived here I have never seen a tornado.”
Moments later, I got a phone call from my sister saying a tornado had hit my parents’ house, my grandparents’ house and my aunts’ houses. (They all live on the same block.)

Leaving school I tried rushing home to my then 5-month-old because I was told the tornado hit close to my house. Every attempt to get home was blocked by trees and debris. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Anyone who has seen the damage of a tornado knows it is like a war zone. Everything in its path destroyed.

I finally made it home and eventually to my parents’ house and could not believe my eyes. The trees were all down. A limb stuck through their roof, windows were broken out, their garages were in ruins.
I looked over at my grandpa’s house next door and his barn that had been there since my dad was a kid was off its foundation. My grandpa’s yard was covered in trees, he had a few broken things on his house and there he sat on his front porch solemnly looking at all the damage.

I went over to check on him and he just stared at the damage and said, “I have never seen anything like this in my life.” I asked him if he needed me to get him anything. He just looked out at his yard as if all else faded away and said, “Honey, can you go and pick up my flag.” I couldn’t believe my ears. Everything that was going on around him and he couldn’t stand to see his flag lying in the dirt, lying in the debris.

I immediately went out and picked it up, shook it off and handed it to him. He said, “Oh thanks so much, honey.”

When my grandpa passed away. He had a military funeral. You can imagine how precious and honoring it was the moment the military men removed the flag from my grandpa’s casket,  gently folded it, placed it into the hands of my father, and stood to salute the life of a fellow soldier.
The flag meant so much to him. It symbolized a country he fought for. It symbolized thoughts and memories he never seemed to be able to escape. It symbolized a freedom he fought for. It was something he honored and was proud to fly.

My grandpa was a great man. He was a great American. Men like him are the amazing heritage that is our countries history and backbone. As I think of my grandpa, the tears run down my face. He is truly missed. I am honored to be his granddaughter. I am honored in all that he did for me, our family, and our country.
When you fly your flag remember the men and women that have fought for you to fly that flag and to fly it freely.

In the words of my grandpa, take your time going but hurry back.
Please share stories in the comments of your grandpa. I look forward to reading them.
To Read Last week's blog from my Father's Day tribute Read A Life Like His
I hope you stop back next week as I conclude with my story about my father called,  A Carpenter’s Daughter.                        

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James 1:17
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of Lights with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.

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2 Timothy 1:7