Wwi_fighter My Grandfather was a glider infantryman in WWII, an advisor in Korea, and lost one of his sons, my uncle Gary Edwards, in Vietnam. I worked in his auto repair station during high school and he flew his flag in front daily. One day while I was sweeping the oil dry out of the bays it began to sprinkle rain. He told me to go get the flag and I said "gimme a second." He said, "It is raining, go get the flag NOW." Well I popped off my mouth about how he should cool it, it isn’t going to melt or some such typical teenage comment.

My grandfather is the toughest man I’ve ever met. He explained once that he thought basic training was some sort of country club during WWII, because he was used to hard work anyway, and at home he didn’t have indoor toilets or hot running water! And when I said whatever it was that I said to him, he turned deep crimson and I thought, "God save me, he’s going to kill me for talking back." Instead tears welled up in his eyes and he squeaked out "You don’t understand what this family has paid for the right to fly that flag." Then he turned his back on me and went out and got the flag. I just stood there feeling like the smallest person to ever live. Those words cut me so deep. I wish the entire country could have heard them.

[ I ] hope that this Nation might yet have enough people who understand the cost of liberty to turn things around.

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Comments

  1. Major, thanks for special story about a special man. A friend of mine’s dad was a glider pilot and was a cartoonist. He has some great pictures of how it was, including the bad landings. They made me realize that these warriors did not have it easy and odds of success were not great. All I can do is thank YOU for HIS service. OOH RAH!
    Semper Fi,

  2. Thanks Major. I’ve been trying to help my kids understand this. I did a tour in the Air Force. I have an older daughter currently serving, along with her husband. I just haven’t been able to get across to them what it means. But, this seemed to bring it across to them.

  3. That is a great story that should inspire us all.
    For any of you that might not know, Operation Dream Seed was started by an Army officer…who like the Major started as a contact on Any Soldier several years ago. Additionally, he is also is a wonderful writer and an exceptional man that I’ve had the honor to correspond with over the years.
    His program is just another one of the many outstanding programs that Any Soldier has supported…and through their efforts to increase awareness…has helped it to thrive.

  4. Thank You for sharing this. Younger people today really don’t understand. Your grandfather’s generation has paid dearly for the freedoms we take for granted. God bless them all, including my own special WWII Veteran.

  5. I UNDERSTAND EVERYTHING YOUR GRANDFATHER THOUGHT .I WAS LUCKY ENOUGH TO SURVIVE TWO TOURS IN NAM , AND I PROUDLY FLY OUR FLAG EVERY DAY.AND WHEN IT RAINS IT COMES DOWN IN FASHION. GOD BLESS GRAMPA.

  6. What a stirring story, your grandfather’s response was the best thing he could have done for you. It makes me proud to fly my country’s flag knowing the blood that has been shed to keep it that way

  7. No matter how gluttonous devouring all the time, we need to breathe at this time, and strive to win our reputation, the sickle of time can not hurt us. – William Shakespeare

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