What an interesting piece, Bob, and how wonderful that you've been able to get to know your uncle better! Treasure this time, as we often don't realize what we've had until it's gone. I've been surrounded by veterans my entire life and am married to one. Most of them I've found to be humble and reticent about their experiences. That doesn't excuse me from saying 'thank you' for their service, though. I need to keep that in mind.
An excellent piece. Your opening reminds me of myself. I come from a family full of people who never served in the military and I never thought too much about Veteran's Day until one year I spent some time with a great uncle who told me he had been in the Navy during World War II. I was too young at the time to really understand and ask questions but years later when I saw him again for an extended period, I asked about it and he told me many wonderful stories that I cherish. Again, many years went by and the next time I had time to spend with him, dementia had set in and I wasn't able to get any more stories. He died a few years back and I inherited a bunch of pictures including a couple from his time during the war. Among them were two records that he made while in port in New York during training that I paid to have digitized and treasure. Perhaps the greatest gift though was a copy of some recordings made by a young teacher that lived near him in his final years who made them as part of a project for her class on the war. She talked about them at the funeral and when I inquired, she sent me copies. I love listening to those.
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