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I grew up in Colorado at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, then lived in Denmark and traveled throughout Europe before coming back to Colorado. I have two adult sons, whom I cherish. I started my writing career as a columnist and investigative reporter and eventually became the first woman editor of two different papers. Along the way, my team and I won numerous state and several national awards, including the National Journalism Award for Public Service. In 2011, I was awarded the Keeper of the Flame Lifetime Achievement Award for Journalism. Now I write historical romance and contemporary romantic suspense.

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Thursday, November 05, 2009

Fort Hood & Veteran's Day



My heart and prayers go out to the families of those killed in today's attack at Fort Hood. I can't imagine their grief. As the investigation unfolds in the coming weeks, I hope we'll come to understand why the shooter was still in the Army and not already given the boot for poor performance. Based on what I read on the news wire before coming home, there were many reasons he could have been discharged prior to today's massacre.

It's so senseless and terrible.

On Wednesday, we observe Veteran's Day. The holiday began as Armistice Day, an observation of the armistice that ended World War I, the war that was supposed to end all wars. Well, we all know how that turned out. Now, the day is called Veteran's Day in the U.S.

My family has had someone (or even more than one person) serve in every war since the French and Indian War up through the Vietnam War. My mother's father served in the Navy during WWII, and she had an uncle who died at Pearl Harbor on the U.S.S. Utah. He'd been married for a week and had just gotten back from a very short honeymoon with his bride, who became a widow faster than she could possibly have imagined. I've always found that to be very sad.

Tell me about the veterans in your families.

8 comments:

Lori said...

I agree with you - it's so tragic what happened at Fort Hood. Moreso if it was preventable.

As for veterans, I can only go as far back as my grandparents - all of their parents emigrated here from Europe. But of my grandparents and their families, my grandfather and his brother both served in WW2. My grandfather was a doctor,but never served overseas. As an OB, he stayed stateside and delivered all the babies for the wives left behind.

His brother was the lead distributor for Seagrams, so when WW2 started, he used his connections to bring in all sorts of alcohol for the mucky-mucks. Needless to say, he had friends in very high places, and never was sent overseas. Not so sure how noble that was, but we're grateful that nothing happened to him. At least it made sense for my grandfather to stay here.

Hubby's family had a lot of veterans, all through Vietnam. His grandfather was a Colonel. Not sure of everyone else.

Hoe impressive that you can trace your family history here in America to the French/Indian Wars! Way cool!

Linda A. said...

I have to wonder not only why this man was still in the army, but why no one saw that he needed help. His performance surely should have triggered some red flags. How ironic that he was a psychiatrist.

I had two great-uncles on my mother's side who served in the Canadian forces in WW2. One of them committed suicide after he got home. He took part in the liberation of Holland and, though I'm told he wouldn't talk about it, I think he probably saw the inside of some of the concentration camps. Of course,no one knew about post-traumatic stress syndrome back then. My mother's father, an Aussie, served as a pilot in WW1. He continued flying in barnstorming shows after the war and died in a freak accident a few months before my mother was born. I've always wished I'd known him. He had a colorful life, if short.

Hi, Lori — I love the Seagrams story. That's fantastic! It's great when interesting tales like that pop up on the family tree, isn't it? Where did you great-grandparents come from? Cool that your husband's grandfather was a colonel. That's some pretty serious rank.

My family on my maternal grandfather's side can be traced back much further. His many times great-grandfather arrived in 1610 out of Suffolk, England, on the second wave of ships to land at Jamestown. My maternal grandmother's family were recent immigrants from the Madeira Islands, where they were forced to relinquish land and titles (they were nobility) for being Protestant. It was one of their daughters who made Mary Todd Lincoln's inaugural gown.

Hi, Linda — You're so right. I should have said that, as well. Why wasn't he getting help? I suppose part of that is that there are so many soldiers coming back with PTSD that the system is a bit overloaded. But still... The military needs the funding necessary to take care of all soldiers who need help, and obviously this guy, who'd been exposed to the horror stories of all the soldiers he'd treated, was having MAJOR issues.

How sad about your great uncle — speaking of PTSD. Yes, no one knew what it was. Poor guys! I know someone here who helped liberate a concentration camp, and it has haunted him all of his life. I interviewed him and it was the most difficult interview I think I've ever done because of how hard it was for HIM. And so sad about your grandfather! It sounds like he was an amazing man. That almost sounds like a movie, truly.

Debbie H said...

It is tragic. If he didn't want to go, why take out innocent victims?

I have a grandfather and four uncles who are veterns. They did their duty and didn't talk about it much.

Ronlyn said...

Vetrans in our family go way back. We have a really cool photo of Scott's grandfather, a pilot during WW2 seated on a camel with the pyramids in the background.
My father served as a Marine in Vietnam, Scott's dad was in Korea as well as Vietnam while in the AirForce. Most recently my cousin became a private cit. after serving as a Ranger, and another cousin flies F18s for the Navy.

JennJ said...

I completely agree Pamela it was such a senseless tragedy. My thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by this awful incident. And to all the brave men and women who serve our country so selflessly day in an day out. They deserve all our support and gratitude.

Christine said...

That's so unbelievably sad!
My grandfather served in WWII as a marine stationed in Siam, which is now Thailand, and somewhere else, but I forget where. He and my grandmother had my uncle charles before his deployment, and they would send pictures and letters back and forth nearly every day. We found the picture of my grandmother and uncle that he kept with him where ever he went, and she had written a very touching "i'll always be here" note on the back. I want to say he also served in the battle of saipan, but I'm not sure. He passed away before I really had a chance to ask him questions like that.
Then my mother's father was in the army, during the vietnam war. He was a dentist.... he kinda just fell into the role. He never served overseas, as far as I know.

Hi, Debbie — That's a lot of veterans in your family! Is that how you ended up in Oklahoma? There are a lot of military installations in Texas. I figured maybe your family passed through there on the way west.

Hi, Ronlyn — Wow, from camels and Pyramids to F18s. That's pretty amazing. I wonder if your cousin who was a Ranger would let me interview him sometime if I should ever decide to write a contemporary Army Ranger. That photo of Scott's grandfather is priceless!

Hi, Christine — Siam. There's a word you don't here every day. How touching about the note on the back of the photo. In those days they couldn't get online and send an email or call on a cell phone. Being apart truly meant being apart.

Wonderful stories, everyone! Thanks for sharing them.

Hi, Jenn — Yes, they do deserve our respect and our gratitude. I hope all is well with you!

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