by | Jun 3, 1999 | Veteran's Day

Dedicated to all those whose service has made us free

“Mommy can I pin the medal on grandpa’s uniform today?” I asked.

“No dear this is not the time nor the place.” She responded.

My young years did not make me understand.

I went to my father and said, “Daddy can I pin the medals on grandpa’s uniform today?

My father looked at me for a long time, as if pondering the weight of the universe and replied, “Yes, you can. But first do you know what the medals means?” He queried.

“I guess it means he served in World War Two and did brave stuff.” I responded.

“Let’s sit down and I will tell you a story before we go see your grandpa. During the battle of Okinawa he personally attacked a machine gun nest and saved the lives of his company. Then during Truk Island he carried off his wounded commanding officer, during the heat of battle, saving his life.”

“During the retaking of some of the other Islands he carried ammo to men that were almost out. During the battle he was wounded and yet still fought because he felt he made a difference.”

“Well he received two bronze stars, a silver star, purple heart and the medal of honor, presented by president Truman himself.

Your grandpa being shy, kept the honors quiet and keep the ribbons and awards in a drawer to be worn only during special ceremonies.”

“Now do you understand about your grandpa?” My father asked.

I was in awe of my grandfather. He always treated me so gentle and with all the love in the world. He told me once he treated me so because of all the anger, evil and hurt he had seen.

“Love” He said, balances out all the bad in the world.”

“Yes. I understand.” As I looked at my father.

“Then lets go and you can put the medals on his uniform.” Stated dad.

We drove for about 15 minutes, the medals weighing heavy in my lap. I tried to think about what it must have been like for my grandpa, but I couldn’t imagine how it must have been.

We pulled into the driveway where grandpa was and entered the building. I walked up to the casket where grandpa was dressed in his army uniform and I pinned his country’s pride upon my grandpa’s uniform.

“Thanks grandpa, thanks. Thanks for your sacrifice and my freedom.” I tearfully gave him a boy scout salute then waited for the service.

B. J. Cassady Guthrie, Oklahoma