Dad's VA Memorial was great, and reminded me (again) of how lucky we are to have been part of a greater military family in the US.  Yes-- it demands a lot from its servicemen and women, and their families.  But, it's also taken such care of our family.  Through the Navy, Dad found a path to citizenship, an opportunity to be recognized and grow as a leader, and so many lasting friendships.  The men who Dad trusted most in the Navy are the men we call our uncles today; their wives and children are our 'ohana, too.  They have watched us grow, listened to us cry over the loss of our parents, have stuffed food in our fridges and mouths when we couldn't find the strength to remember to eat-- without us ever having to ask.  Later, the military helped pay for our educations, helped Mom and Dad get into their second home; it saved us from ever having to worry about our parents' healthcare in their older age.  What else?  It subsidized our wedding welcome reception, the food we put on our table (yay, Commissary!), the fuel we put in our cars (yay, NEX diesel!), our family movie nights (yay, North Island!) ... and how we were able to honor Dad's service after his death.  To this day, I cry when I see ships come in for homecoming.  And I know I'll never forget how the other uniformed military at Holy Cross-- people who we'd never met-- stood at salute for Dad's honors, in solidarity and brotherhood. 

I'm so grateful.  If the VA or the Navy ever, ever ask me to help in any way, I will.  In fact, I promise myself that I will find a way to help give back, and honor the US military in case they never get around to asking me :)
Eva
2/24/2011 09:35:35 am

Beautifully said, Ev. Please let me know if I can join you in giving back to the military, too as they have done so much for my family as well.

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tl
5/10/2011 02:09:15 pm

Very beautifully written, Ev. I too am a Navy Brat for life. I still remember the USO & how much they have done to keep families entertained while loved ones are away. I haven't had the chance but I was going to volunteer from time to time at the USO. I do volunteer whenever they do the Operation Thanksgiving in our building at work :)

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10/6/2013 12:18:13 am

First time to your blog and just wanted to say hello.

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