As Veteran's day approaches every year, I am reminded of my wonderful Grandfather, aka Pop. He has been one of the most influential and inspiring persons in my life. I would go as to say that he is my hero. I am saddened every day that he did not get to see the person I turned out to be, but I hope he would be proud because he was a huge driving force behind my decisions. Some people may ask why and I'll tell you.
James "Bob" Andrews was no one famous. He did not invent any great invention. He was no genius or wealthy man. He never won any great prize and never found the cure for cancer. What did he do that was so special? When he was a young man, he voluntarily enlisted to fight for his country. Out of the tons of things he could have done, he went and placed his life on the line for the freedom of others because this is what he thought was the most important thing at that time in his life. He enlisted in the navy and spent several years defending our country in WWII.
I can remember listening to the few stories he would tell us when we were kids. He told us that he was next in line to get on a ship in the Atlantic, and they cut off right in front of him. That ship, he told us, would later be blown up with no survivors. He also showed us a Japanese gun that he took home from war with a bayonette on the end. I thought this was the coolest piece of history that I had ever seen. He also had pictures and a journal from the time that he served in the military, and I received these treasures from my grandmother last year along with 2 uniforms and a flag. The flag, I later found out, was hung in the front window at his mother's home as a symbol that she had a soilder in the war.
You may still wonder why he's so influetial on my life. I can't imagine making that kind of sacrifice at that young of an age. What an admirable thing to do?! At 18, I'm pretty sure that I was more worried about where I was going Friday night and who I was going to be with. Not worrying about if I was going to have to kill someone or be killed. I have a major respect for veterans and the sacrifices that they have made in order for us to enjoy the freedoms that we have. I'm even more greatful that my pop got to come home from war and I was able to enjoy the time I did get to spend with him. I know there are so many that did not get to come home. I get so angry when people are disrespectful to Veterans and those serving in the military. At least they had the courage to make sacrifices we couldn't!
All in all, I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm very thankful for those veterans, past and present, who chose to fight for our freedoms. I feel that what I do is nothing compared to leaving your family for an extended period of time and deal with less than ideal conditions in order to protect our country. Thank you thank you thank you to all you vets out there and thank you for those that continue to serve. God bless you and God bless America!