The Book of Me – Written by You is a weekly blog prompt created by Julie Goucher of the blog Angler’s Rest. This is a fifteen month writing project to highlight my life so that I will have something to leave behind for my descendants. Week eleven’s prompt is the Military.
Did you join the military?
Were you encouraged or discouraged?
Did a family member?
Regular or for a particular incident?
Did you or your family serve overseas in the line of service either during a war or as a posting?
Any thoughts, photographs, relevant memories?
My great grandfather
Malcolm W. Leonard, 1918
The military was something that never appealed to me. I consider myself a pacifist and I dislike guns and violence immensely. The thought of putting myself in the line of fire or anywhere near guns terrifies me. As a child, I remember reviewing possible future professions. Any job involving blood or violence was immediately excluded. A medical career was also stricken from the list. This fear also extends to travel in foreign countries where violence towards humanity is higher than average.
When I came of age in the 1980s, the United States was not involved in any military conflicts. The Vietnam War was still an open wound and the Gulf Wars were yet to come. A career in the military wasn’t even a consideration. For women, there were very few options in the military back then. My family has no recent veterans. My father escaped service during Vietnam as well as all my uncles. We were not touched. Having so many family members in religious professions may have had an influence. Some distant cousins may have fought in either Vietnam or Korea, but the last true family veterans came from World War II.
Civil War Veteran
I readily admit that my opinion of the military has changed over the years. My limited exposure to the military colored my opinion for much of my youth. During college, I was disgusted by the machismo of my ROTC classmates. However, as our modern conflicts have dragged on, I have come to hold our military service members in high esteem. I cannot fathom the sacrifices they have made and the injuries they have suffered.
As I have studied my family’s history, I have felt pride for my ancestors who fought for our country in World War II, World War I, the Spanish-American War, the Civil War, the War of 1812 and the Revolutionary War. They experienced untold horrors to mold the country that we live in today. One of my greatest hopes is that neither of my children (or my descendants) will have to make similar sacrifices to defend our country. I hope that one day we can solve our conflicts through peaceful means.
The veteran dearest to my heart is my grandfather, Roscoe S. Yegerlehner. Please take a moment to explore my blog and enter his world during World War II.
©2013 copyright owned and written by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found at: https://genealogylady.net/2013/11/10/book-of-me-prompt-11-military/