On this Veteran’s Day I say a prayer of thanks for bringing those in my immediate family who served in the military safely home. Back in May, I wrote Those Who Served. That post concerned my great-grandfather, James E. House, my grandfather, Glen R. Johnson, my dad, and my uncles, Norman and Gail Amore.
I wanted to also list other family members who have served in war and peacetime. My first cousin, Rick, was drafted into military service during the Viet Nam war. I remember how scared I was when I found out. My former brother-in-law also served overseas during the Viet Nam war and was gone about a year (if I remember correctly). I remember my sister lived with us part of the time and whenever he was able to contact her, they said “Roger” and “Over” a lot! Two of my other first cousins also served in the Viet Nam war. One of my first cousin’s sons went into the Navy and served during the first Gulf War.
Going back further, my great-grandfather’s nephew, Jesse R. Amore (b. 4 Apr 1898 d. 4 Sep 1964) was a member of Company I, 166th Infantry regiment in Germany. When the American Expeditionary Forces crossed into Champagne-Marne, France, he was taken prisoner of War and was declared Missing in Action on July 15, 1918 and released five months later on December 6, 1918. He was Honorably Discharged on April 24, 1919. Jesse lived until the age of 66 and died on Sep. 4, 1964.
Jesse’s cousin, Leonard Studor Amore (b. 1895 d. 1972), also served in Germany with the American Expeditionary Forces during WWI. He was in Company B, 166 Infantry. He was severely wounded in action on on July 28, 1918. He was Honorably Discharged on May 17, 1919. He had full military honors at his funeral.
Jesse’s son, Fred (b. 1920 d. 1994), served as a Naval Lieutenant and Port Commander in the Pacific Theater during WWII. Fred went on to become a Special Agent with the FBI before retiring after 31 years. He passed away at the age of 73.
My grandmother’s other brother, John (b. 1893 d. 1964), also served as a cook during WWI. He became a logger in Oregon where he spent the remainder of his life.
My great-grandmother’s great-grandnephew, Pfc. Frank Given (b. 1945 d. 1965), died in the crash of a military C-130 transport in Hong Kong Bay on August 23, 1965. He was serving with the 3rd Marine Divison in Viet Nam at the time of his death.
And for all those other ancestors and collateral family members who have served in the United States Military from the Revolutionary War through the current War on Terrorism, I give you my thanks and know that words are never enough to express that sentiment. By loving this country and accepting not only the rights, but the responsibilities, that brave men and women have fought and died for, I hope to honor their memories and their lives.