A Brave and Honorable Man

by Karen

My grandfather passed away on December 2nd. He was 87 years old. His obituary read, “[he] was a brave and honorable man who served his country with pride, approached his life with faith, and embraced his family with love.

To be honest, I didn’t really know my grandfather. His health was in decline for the majority of my life and my parents left Michigan when I was a toddler. We would visit every summer, but a true close relationship was never formed.  But he was always kind and always willing to draw a picture for his grandchildren. I remember the first time I introduced Clay to my extended family in Michigan, he was the only one not to make a big deal (jokingly) about me marrying an Ohioan. They talked about football. My grandfather loved classical music and had a wall of CDs to prove it. And most of all, he loved my grandmother, whom he had been married to for 60 years. They eloped a couple of weeks after meeting and the rest is history.

Not much is known about my grandfather’s World War II experience. He was colorblind so the Navy passed him over and he enlisted in the Army. He never talked about his time in the military but the story goes that he was in Whales to heal an injury while the rest of his unit went on to Normandy. I want to know his story. Maybe it is because I am the only member of our family with military ties or maybe it is just because I am fascinated with his generation, but I can’t let his story go untold. The World War II generation is dying. Their stories can’t fade away. They just can’t. I am looking forward to researching his military paperwork and seeing what I can find about his experience.

My grandfather was buried yesterday with military honors in Michigan. My mom and her three sisters were able to attend and to be with my grandmother. I am told that it was a beautiful service and filled with memories. Rest in peace, Grandpa.