I am humbled. I hope the stories and photos keep rolling in!
@NaJoBeLe It is tough. But at the end of the career is an entirely new world waiting for you, the kids, and your wife. They can hold their heads high because they've been through things many people can't even imagine! And at least today Vets are respected. I think the toughest part for me was watching Ken coming home from VietNam, getting out, then trying to find a job. Nobody would hire vets. We tried to find a nicer apartment but landlords wouldn't rent to VietNam vets. So Ken went back into the military just a few weeks after getting out. The day he was flying back out he was in uniform and we made the mistake of stopping by a small diner for lunch. The waitress - out loud and not caring who heard - gave our table to another server because she wasn't "going to put food in front of a baby-killer." I hated the embarrassment in Ken's face and the sadness in his eyes. Yeah. Things have improved since then for vets, but it's amazing how much of it is lip service. Well, at least most of the open hatred is gone. I've had people tell me that we lived off "their dime" since they pay taxes and the military is paid from tax money. Well, the military pays those same taxes, both during active duty and retirement, so I always smile and ask them if they'd risk their necks and their family's stability plus pay their own wages. Kinda makes me sad, but I still would do it all over again.
@Cynthia12 You must be so proud of your husband, son-in-law, and grandson. Think of that - so much honor there!!
@Jessimom Nuclear power school is tough, and Jamie called several times to tell us he just didn't think he could get through it. But with the help of some excellent instructors and a few words from Grampa, he made it.
We raised Jamie and he had decided to into the Navy when he was only 11 years old. He never thought of doing anything else. After he finished protoype school in Balston Spa, he was stationed on board a nuclear submarine. He had to do all his classes and get his "quals" done to earn his submariner's dolphins. Ken put in a call to the CO of the boat and explained that he'd served on an old diesel sub, and wanted Jamie to have his dolphins. The CO thought it was fantastic, so Ken sent his old dolphins to the boat. Jamie had no idea that during the ceremony when the dolphins were pinned on, they'd be his grandfather's. They look a little different than the new ones, but still within regs, so those are the ones Jamie has. He sent his new ones - the ones he would have been awarded - to Ken. Love tradition!
Jamie with the set of dolphins once worn by his grampa.
Congrats again on graduating and getting his dolphins. How did they tell him that the dolphins were his grandfathers?