Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

In Memory on Memorial Day

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, May 31, 2010

My Great-Grandfather Michael emigrated from Ireland to the United States, and enlisted in the Union Army in Corinth, MS, 1862, and served the United States of America in the First Alabama Cavalry as a farrier. For more history on Union soldiers from the South, and the 1st Alabama Cavalry United States Volunteers, specifically, please see: http://www.1stAlabamaCavalryUSV.com

Age: 38
Birthplace: Langford, Ireland
Rank at enlistment: Private
Rank at discharge: Corporal
Company Assignment: C

12/6/1862  Enlisted, Corinth, MS
12/22/1862  Mustered In, Corinth, MS
12/17/1863 Mustered Out, Memphis, TN

My Great Grandfather, my father – a Korean War veteran of the Navy, his late brother Bill – a Viet Nam veteran of the Air Force, his brother Rufus – a Viet Nam veteran of the Army – and I – an Army Reserve veteran during peace time, are the only ones to have served our nation in uniform, have all done so VOLUNTARILY.

I took the oath to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; to bear true faith and allegiance to the same,” and I have NEVER forsworn it.

My first cousin’s son (for those of you so genealogically inclined, that would be my first cousin once removed), has and may still be considering serving in the United States Marine Corps. He is a rising senior in high school. He said his dad was not happy at his thoughts – he said he thought the possibility of death was his parents’ greatest concern. He is their only child, you see. He has considered Scout Sniper, and said that abandonment by his country is his greatest concern – that is, if he is captured.

I spoke kindly to him… kindly, though realistically. I did not attempt to dissuade him, and expressed respect for his thoughts, desires, and tempered his still-idealistic thoughts with some realism. Again, not to dissuade him, but to be forthright, and honest. I, of course, wholeheartedly support those whose desire is for service. If a young man or woman is not fit for service, that will be found out in Basic Combat Training – where strenuous physical activity is tempered with psychological stressors.

God bless the memory of those men and women whom died in service of freedom for others. God bless those whom are living still, and remain committed to this great nation, its ideals and government.

And for those of you whom find great sport in tearing down this government “of the people, by the people, and for the people” and its duly elected officials, you remain in my and others’ prayers. Though you may not agree with the elected official, you have not walked in their shoes, and likely would never dream of so serving. Criticism is one thing, vitriolic character assassination is another.

Besides, it only makes you look bad.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Memorial Day, the “unofficial” kickoff to summer!

Beach blanket bingo, barbecue and beer, anyone?

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