Veterans

A (Short) Veteran’s Day Note

Take 4.. I have deleted 3 posts with this title.. Why? Short take is I wanted to do a big post with lots of mentions of family members that have served. However, my genealogy software and I are at odds on how to search my trees to find information. The software won… So I’m just going to focus on one member of my family (I could do 10000 words on the veterans in Wifey’s family) – Clifford Leo Hicks. Uncle Clifford was my mother’s younger brother, and the eldest son.

He never married. So, no children. I have several memories of Uncle Clifford, (never Cliff – even his siblings called him Clifford) mostly good, but a couple scary (at least to the child of 8 or 9 that I was at the time). He never told any war stories to me, but I was in the room, or at least close enough to hear some of the tales when he was talking with the adults. Especially when his brother-in-law, Uncle Homer was there. They were both WW2 survivors.

He was at Pearl Harbor that fateful day, and as his gravestone shows, a veteran of Korea as well. I do recall him mentioning that running through the falling bombs at Pearl Harbor was nothing compared to the snipers while on patrol in Korea. He still had nightmares of running for cover while bullets were bouncing off the rocks at his feet.

Florence National Cemetery, Florence, South Carolina
All the Hicks kids. Uncle Clifford is second from the left and my mom is to his left (white sweater and black dress).

My sister says she remembers he thought of himself as a “ladies man”. She has a picture of uncle Clifford with a bunch of women. She mailed it to me a few days ago, so I can’t include it here, unfortunately.

Please leave a comment with the veterans in your life. They may have departed from this life, but they’re never truly gone as long as they live on in our memories.

Peace,
B
(Sgt. (R), US Army and proud father of an active duty soldier)

Two Weeks In

Well, here I am, two weeks into my semi-retirement. Just so you know, I have not been sitting on my ass the entire time. Mainly because I can’t sit for all that long, nor stand, nor lay down for that matter. The herniated discs in my back have not improved as I had expected.

And, since this is Veteran’s Day weekend, we have our annual “smoke out”. We used to do this twice a year, at Memorial Day as well, but we had to cut one out. Just too much work, and too expensive. As usual, we’ll have about 25 folks show up. Some driving an hour or so just to hang out with us. I consider this an honor and privilege to host these folks. Son-the-elder will not be joining us this year as he is still overseas with his Army unit. It’s also granddaughter-the-younger’s birthday celebration.

That’s just over 25 pounds of brisket and 18 pounds of pork butt to smoke! I have never smoked this much meat at one time…

I have also been doing physical therapy three times a week in an effort to get my back and legs stronger, so that I can handle smoking all that meat overnight Saturday and most of the day Sunday. It’s been mixed results, as this week has been a very difficult week with a high level of pain. But between the doctor, my wonderful tech lady, Wifey and doing my exercises and stretches, I feel much better today. The jury is waiting to hear the complaints after this weekend..

I’ve also been trying to do some more of the home repairs/upgrades we started a couple of weeks ago. That is slow going for me, but I do what I can and take a break to rest my back and legs. Much to Wifey’s surprise and delight, I do the basic housecleaning (sweep/mop/etc..) during the day as I can. I am still looking for a part time job to both supplement my income and keep me from going stir crazy. I can only sit and do nothing for so long. I’ve already read three books down my down time.

For now, my beer costs have not gone up. I am doing my best not to start drinking at lunch every day. And so far, that has held true. But “watch this space”. One thing that has gone up is coffee. When I was working I would normally have just one cup at home in the mornings and then drink the job’s coffee. Now it’s my usual four cups every morning. And we won’t get into weekend consumption when both of us are hitting the brew hard.

I think this song is appropriate.. Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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A Quick Thought On Memorial Day

This is a repost of last year’s Memorial Day post. I don’t think I could say it any better.

While it’s never wrong to thank a veteran for his or her service, that is not what today is for. Save that for Veteran’s Day. Today we remember the ones who never got to take off the uniform, those that never came home, the ones that paid that ultimate sacrifice. So we do not “celebrate” Memorial Day, we respect what it stands for. Now granted I will have my cookout and drink several adult beverages, after all, it is an extra day off of work. But in the back of my mind, and hopefully yours too, we will remember our brothers and sisters of all branches of the military and hope that their sacrifice wasn’t in vain. As an Army retiree and the proud father of a soldier, today weighs heavily on me and my family, I am so very grateful for those that served before me and after me. So lift a glass of whatever beverage you choose, and thank those we can only remember, those who fell on the battlefields the world over. And pray that the wars will end, and peace will reign. Amen.

Peace,
B

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Retired Army