My Uncle Neal was drafted into the Army during the Korean War. He was sent straight to the front lines. One day, he was ordered to be part of a point mission along with a superior and another soldier, to determine the position of the enemy. They went ahead of the company and were ambushed. While he lay there waiting for the threat to either retreat or make sure he was dead, the only thing he could think about was his mother and how heartbroken she would be if he didn’t survive this tour of duty.
Thankfully for us all, he did survive. He was a kind and gentle soul who spread cheer and good will everywhere he went.
His engagement in war was not without layers and layers of personal sacrifice. I’ll never know them all, and can only guess at some, but I know there was a resignation on his part to go where he was needed and ordered to go, no matter the cost.
I don’t remember him ever talking about it when I was young. In his considerate and protective way, he probably didn’t want to frighten us kids. And although I never thanked him for his brave service, I was aware of it from stories my mother told me.
In the spirit of the upcoming Veteran’s Day observance, I have five wonderfully hand-made ski hats to give away in a drawing to anyone who wants to participate.
See my post called Kindness and Generosity for details.