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There was something so routine, but special about visiting my grandparents. They lived in Hilton Head, which was 12 hours from my childhood house. They lived a few streets away from the beach. We visited them every summer and when Mickey and I were married and moved to NC, we drove the (shorter) four-hour drive every few months to visit them.
It was always the same. We were welcomed by a flag that my grandpap put out for us, hanging from the side of the house. We took our shoes off when we walked into the house, to avoid bringing sand onto their carpeted floors, we shut the door behind us and we knew exactly where to find each of them in the house.
My grandma would be sitting in her green armchair, under a reading light, with a novel in her hand. My grandpap would be sitting in a white leather armchair, in the corner of the TV room, watching whatever game was on the sports channel.
Above his chair was this picture (he is the third one in from the left in the top row… he looks just like my brother):
He kept it there as a reminder. A daily reminder of what was and what he has. He kept it there as a reminder of his friends, the ones that you lean on when your family is gone. The ones that become your family. He kept it there as a reminder of his family, of all that he sacrificed to be where he was now: a father with four children (Rick, Sandy, Michael & Eileen) and a grandfather with six grandchildren (Jason, Tim, Becky, Nicole, Patrick & Casey) and a great-grandfather with ten great-grandchildren (Jack, Beau, Dylan, Ethan, Lia, Allie, Katelyn, Lucas, Madelyn, and Paul)
Veterans Day is approaching on November 11 and it serves as a reminder to all of us to say “Thank you.” Say it now, while you can, because we miss my ‘PapPap’ and while we no longer have the chance to say thank you, we did. He was thanked by family, thanked by friends and he was thanked by being able to go to the VA for healthcare and they took care of him, as did my grandma when she would take that two-hour ride to the VA with him.
DAV (Disabled American Veterans) is a leading nonprofit organization that provides a lifetime of support for veterans of all generations and their families whenever they need it, transforming lives in positive ways.
Veterans are woven into the fabric of our nation. They are our fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, and neighbors. On Veterans Day and every day, our nation’s 22 million veterans should know they are appreciated for their service. Join me in celebrating Veterans Day by making a Thank A Vet video for the veteran in your life.You can make your own here: DAV Thank A Vet video.
DAV (Disabled American Veterans) is a nonprofit organization that provides a lifetime of support for veterans of all generations whenever they need it, transforming lives in positive ways. Visit dav.org to learn more.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of DAV (Disabled American Veterans). The opinions and text are all mine.