Giving Thanks, part 11: Veterans

Today I am grateful for those who have fought to protect my freedom.

Here’s my Grandpa George serving as a Private in the Korean War.

 On this picture you can see the love note he wrote to my Grandma Marilyn before he sent the picture home to her.  
My favorite war story my Grandpa George has shared with me goes as follows:

During President McKay’s administration, the seeds for the
growth of the Church in Asia were planted by Church members
serving in the armed forces. A young private from American Fork,
Utah {my Grandpa George}, serving in South Korea, noticed that 
United States soldiers who met Korean civilians made the Koreans 
jump aside off the path while the soldiers passed by. The young Church 
member, in contrast, moved aside and let the Koreans use the paths. He also
made an effort to learn their names and greeted them pleasantly
as he passed by. One day he entered the mess hall with five of his
friends. The line to get the food was very long, so he waited at a
table for a time. Soon a Korean worker appeared with a tray of food. 
Pointing to the one stripe on his arm, the soldier said, “You
can’t serve me. I’m only a private.” The Korean replied, “I serve
you. You Number One Christian.”
Our Heritage, pg. 116-117

I am so proud to be associated with that kind of Christian.  A real, true Christian.  I’m grateful my grandpa makes choices that bless others’ lives and lift others up, even when he is in a foreign land away from the ones he loves.  He knows now, like he knew in Korea during the war, that we are all God’s children and all deserve to feel His love through each other.

Here is my Grandpa John, who eventually retired as a Colonel from the US Air force.

My Grandpa loved to fly planes.  He talked about it a lot.  My favorite war story he told me goes as follows:

At a point during WWII my grandpa was a pilot who transported soldiers and supplies back and forth from China to India.  On one particular flight my grandpa was transporting supplies form China to India when his plane unexpectedly caught fire.  He had to make an emergency landing in India.  The plane a blaze, my grandpa quickly looked around for an escape from the plane.  With fire blocking all the exits, and with adrenalin rushing, my grandpa saw a window that wasn’t engulfed by the fire.  He broke the window and squeezed through the small opening, falling to safety.  On the ground, realizing he was going to be okay, my grandpa looked up at the window he had just emerged from.  It was a tiny window that no grown man could fit through, let alone the large man my grandpa was, yet he just had.  Grandpa John knew at that moment that he had been preserved by the Hand of the Lord.  He gave credit to his Father in Heaven for that miracle till the day he died.  

I miss my Grandpa John and his warm smile, lip kisses, and chocolate turtles.  He was such a good, good man.  He served his country and his God faithfully his whole life and endured many trials with a smile.  He will be held in fond remembrance by many forever.

Thank you to both of my Grandpas for rising to the call to protect my freedom and yours.  And thank you to all who have since.  God bless you, and God bless America.