Thank you for your enlightening comments. I really appreciate hearing your experiences. Time has just flown since my last blog post. Life certainly goes on super-overdrive once you have kids!
On the tail of Memorial Day, I wanted to share a little about one of my personal heroes. He was a young married father of three. History found him toward the end of World War II. He decided to enlist in the Navy.
Commanding officers assigned the young man to the U.S.S. Callaghan, a destroyer, in the South Pacific. July 27, 1945, the sailors found out they would be going home after one more night of duty.
During the early morning hours of July 28, a kamikaze struck the ship, blew up, and one of the plane’s bombs ignited the Callaghan’s supply of ammunition.
The explosion sent shrapnel flying violently, and the ship flooded. 47 sailors died because of the attack. As for this young father, wood and metal shrapnel struck him in the neck, breaking it.
He thought he would die. He thought of the faces of his wife and three young children as he drifted in and out of consciousness in the water.
He said a prayer then that would shape the course of the rest of his life.
“Dear God, if you let me go home and raise my family, I will never say ‘no’ to anything you ask me to do”
He thought he was paralyzed, doctors weren’t sure he’d survive, but eventually he regained the ability to walk and then run.
For what ever reason, God saw fit to save his life.
Did he make good on his promise?
Well, he literally served in the scouting program till he was nearly 90 years old – nearly 80 years in all!
He served in his church as a youth leader and a bishop. He became a popular high school music teacher.
He was also known to not only mow his own lawn, but several of his neighbors, especially widows, who
My hero, Doug Merrill. Standing, far right.
would find their grass cut as well. – The same went for snow blowing, too.
He was given “Museum Association Volunteer of the Year Award.” I could go on and on.
You could say he made good on his promise.
His example of service has been a light to me and to my family and to all who know my grandfather.
My mother’s father, Douglas Merrill, is one of my heroes.
I hope we keep the memory of the service of countless men and women of our armed forces in our consciousness throughout the year – not just on one day. Because so many of them gave all they had – or were willing to give all they had, so we could have what we have today.
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This post was written by qni_it on June 1, 2010