U.S. Military

Memorial Day Memories

us a flag on white book page
Photo by Chad Madden on Pexels.com

When Dylan was a little boy he was a Cub Scout. One of my all time favorite things the Scouts did was going to the Veterans Cemetery just before Memorial Day. Troops from all over the Portland area would meet up and be assigned a section of the cemetery. There was a flag ceremony at the beginning of the night with tributes and prayers from some of the local military organizations. “Taps” was played, and there wasn’t a dry eye to be seen.

Once the ceremony was done the Scouts headed out to their designated locations in the cemetery. Each boy was given a handful of small American flags, and a whisk broom. Dylan took his job serious. He swept the grave marker, wiping away leaves and dirt. He then placed the flag, and gave a salute. 

There were fresh graves, some only days old. At that time we still had a lot of U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Dylan would place a flag on a young man’s grave marker, and then place another flag right next to it from a WWII veteran. It took my breath away to look across the cemetery and watch all these boys placing flags and saluting at each Veteran’s grave site.

One year when we were at the cemetery with the Scouts placing flags I decided it was time to look up my dad’s grave marker. He did not die in a war but Dad did serve in the Marines during Vietnam. After roaming around going the wrong direction I finally found my dad’s grave site. It’s on a wall since Dad was cremated. 

As soon as I saw my dad’s name on that grave marker I cried like a baby. My reaction surprised me since Dad’s death was quite a few years before that moment. You can’t predict grief. I was glad to see Dad’s name at the Veterans Cemetery. It’s a beautiful way to honor a family member who has served our country. 

War is hell. So many lives have been lost during war time. Every life matters and is precious to the Creator of all life, Father God. Memorial Day is about remembering and honoring those Americans who have given their lives during war time. 

Thank you to all who have lost a precious loved one while serving in the U.S. Military. May God bless and keep you. 

Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13

Love you all,


Please enjoy this video from the U.S. Army of “Taps” at the Tomb of the Unknown soldier in Arlington National Cemetery.

Faith, U.S. Military, Uncategorized

Thank You Veterans!


My grandpa, Michael T. Whitney, served in the U.S. Navy during WWI. He was just a kid, like so many of that time. Enlisting at 16, he lied about his age, also a fairly common practice of young men in those days. Grandpa was the son of Irish immigrant parents, one of nine children. Maybe the Navy was his chance for adventure. I can only speculate since he died before I was born. I do know that he was on a troop ship, which brought troops to Europe. Grandpa worked in the engine room. That must have been grueling work. There was plenty of danger for him in the Navy during the Great War as German U-Boats sunk many U.S. ships.

All three of my grandpa’s sons, including my dad, served in the U.S. Military. Uncle Tom was in the Army during WWII. He was part of The Battle of the Bulge. Uncle Tom was injured in battle, getting hit with shrapnel on his arm. I remember Uncle Tom’s scar tissue on his arm. I don’t recall if it was his right or left arm, but I do know he couldn’t straighten his arm out. The few times I was around Uncle Tom as a child, I always looked at his arm. It was slightly bent up with a large amount of scar tissue at the elbow.

Uncle Mackie served in the Marines during Korea. My dad, Lee, served in the Marines during Vietnam. My cousin Tommy, Uncle Tom’s son, was in the Army during Vietnam and did two tours. My brother Michael served in the Navy during The Gulf War.

My husband Tom is an Air Force Veteran. My brother-in-law Steve is also an Air Force Veteran. My husband’s Great Uncle James served in the Army during Vietnam. There are records of U.S. military service on Tom’s side of the family dating all the way back through the Revolutionary War.

I just named the few Veterans that I can recall off the top of my head, there are many others throughout my family. I love Veterans, so much so that I married one. I love our current active military. U.S. soldiers have a special place in my heart, and they always will. As you can see, it’s in our DNA to serve, though I have never had a desire to serve, I am so grateful to all who have. Especially my family members.

When my oldest son Dylan was in Cub Scouts they would place American flags at the Veteran’s cemetery in Portland, Oregon for Memorial Day. This was my absolute favorite thing they did when he was a Scout. Each Scout swept off the grave marker, placed an American flag, and saluted. Some of the graves were fresh, as this was in the middle of The War in Afghanistan. Some of the graves were from WWI. It didn’t matter though, they all are worthy of respect and admiration.

A very tiny percentage of Americans serve in our military. It’s a big deal if you have served, you are among a small group. So today Veterans, I honor you.

Thank you Veterans! I am grateful for your service to America.

Love you all,



 Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. 1 Corinthians 16:13