11 November 2015

Happy Veteran's Day!

Happy Veteran's Day to all of you out there. Have you thanked a veteran today? Find one, shake his or her hand, give them a hug...whatever you and they are comfortable with. Let them know how much you appreciate the sacrifices that they have made for the freedoms we often take for granted.

As I study my family's history and that of my husband, I find more and more men that have served this country in one capacity or another. I thought that I would share some of our family's military history with you here today.

Jared, US Navy. David, Jr., US Marine Corps
We do have two sons serving. Jared is in his 11th year with the US Navy in the silent service under the ocean somewhere. He is stationed in San Diego. Davey has been in the US Marine Corps for about 17 months now and will possibly be promoted to corporal in January, ahead of schedule...that's my boy. :) He is stationed in Okinawa and should be there until sometime in 2017. I don't know where he goes from there.

Both of my brothers were in service. Ray was in the Air Force and then the Navy. He was severely injured in Afghanistan earlier this year. Robert was in the US Army.

Uncle Bobby Joe Gunter
My daddy went to sign up. He was rejected due to a bad back caused by a motorcycle accident when he was 19. His big brother, my Uncle Bobby Joe, died in a streetcar accident in Germany in 1963. Uncle Bobby Joe was 24 years old when he died. His picture sat in a place of prominence in my Granny's living room for as long as I can remember. My papa kept a box with the letters that he received after Uncle Bobby Joe died along with the letters he had written to him.

My uncles, my mama's brothers, were in service. The oldest, Uncle Billy, was in the US Navy. Uncle Jerry was in the US Army in the 82nd Airborne. He got a medical discharge due to an injury he received jumping from a helicopter. I don't know how long Uncle Billy was in service, but he brought home husbands for all of his sisters. Aunt Carolyn got Uncle Earl Moore, who was a chief petty officer by the time he retired after 20 years of service. Aunt Brenda got Uncle Billy Moody (Navy) and I don't know a thing about him as they divorced when I was very little. The one that he brought home for my mama didn't work out. She was devastated. She met and married my daddy. Aunt Judy got Uncle Ken Bostain, also in the Navy. They had 5 boys, some of which also served.

To my knowledge, neither of my grandpas were in service. They were too young for WWI (less than 10 years old at the end of it). Grandpa Spence would have been 31 and Papa Gunter would have been 23 at the beginning of US involvement in WWII, but I have never heard any stories about them being in service. I have seen Papa's draft registration card, so I know he registered.

My great-grandpa William Perry Fowler, my Granny Gunter's daddy, was also in the US Navy. The ship that he served on, the USS Cincinatti, was born the same year that he was. His brother, Robert E. Fowler, was in service, too. Both served during WWI. Robert didn't survive the war. The flu pandemic of 1918 got him.

There are many others in my family that served, all the way back to Andrew Pickens, my sixth great-grandfather and a revolutionary war general.

My husband David was unable to serve due to diabetes. His brother was in the Army then in the Navy. His brother's son is now serving in the Navy.

Robert Bruce McClendon, Jr. (David's daddy) and his brother Carl E. McClendon, were in the US Air Force.

Robert Bruce McClendon, Sr.
Robert Bruce McClendon, Sr. (David's grandpa) served, but we do not know what branch. We have a picture of him in his uniform, but can't find anyone that can identify the uniform for us because the picture isn't crisp and clear. Aunt Gloria was only 9 years old when her daddy died and she doesn't know what branch he was in. Aunt Gloria's husband Franklin Mitchell joined the US Marine Corps, but did not make it through basic training due to a problem with his feet. His heart was there; his feet just didn't cooperate. David's maternal grandfather did not serve as far as we know. David believes his blood pressure kept him out.

I have located the draft registration cards for 7 of our great-grandfathers. The missing one is my Great-grandpa Andrew J. Gunter. I do not know if I just haven't located the registration card for him or if one does not exist. He had some significant health issues that took his life in 1927, but still I think he would have been required to register even if they didn't take him into the service. I do not know how long he was sick, so his health may not have been an issue at the time of World War I.

That's enough of our family for now. Thank you to all of you out there that have served and those that have donated your children to the service of this country. May Heavenly Father bless them and they all return home safely!


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