To The Veterans We Love
This past week marked two significant celebrations for myself and my husband, Ben. The first was that November 11 is what we consider our 'official' dating anniversary. The second is that November 11 is Veterans Day.
What Ben and I have come to realize over the years of dating turned marriage, is that we wouldn't even be on this planet had it not been for two very special veterans in our lives - our grandfathers.
Ben's grandfather, Ken Bryan, served in the Army and spent his time of service transferring from one station to another. It even included a stay in Alaska before it was even considered a state. He returned to civil work after his time of service, and spent the rest of his years as close to his family as he possibly could. Always the practical joker, he would sit in his chair and observe the family chatter and laughter that surrounded him, dropping hilarious one-liners. That was his happy place.
My grandfather, Ken Dather (yes, another Ken!), joined the Army at age 17 right after World War II had ended. He was immediately shipped over to Europe to help the Allies in their reconstruction projects. From there, he served in both the Korea and Vietnam Wars. He transitioned from 21 years in the Army to the U.S. Postal Service, and retired after 24 years of walking mail routes.
When I was growing up, Grandpa Ken was transitioning from his mailman days to retirement, and my sister and I became his "job" during his retired years. He would take us to school, attend our school events, and he also paid for many of my piano lessons growing up. Without his and my grandmother's insistence that I begin piano lessons at 5, who knows where I would be now!