My grandfathers served in World War I and II. I don’t know much about Papa’s time served during WWI. I’m not sure if he ever talked about it very much or maybe I was too young to pay much attention. But I do know a bit about my Grandpa Manka.
At 17 1/2 years old, my Grandpa Manka enlisted in the Marine Corp on April 12, 1944, and earned the Purple Heart during duty at Iwo Jima. He was discharged Sept. 12, 1945.
It was a year and a half that changed his life forever. He went there thinking that he was going to be one of the Marine’s who took Japan but found himself staying there wounded with physical and mental injuries from which he would never fully recover.
He often said that the price that he had paid for our country wasn’t too great. He would have willing given his life to protect this country and our freedom.
He felt that each and every man has a responsibility to serve our country in times of need.
More than anyone in my life, he taught me that you should always be willing to fight for what you love.
Veteran’s Day shouldn’t be about time off from work or shopping. For me, it’s a day that causes me to remember a great man whom I was honored to call Grandpa.
I encourage you to take a moment to remember those who have served. And, if they happen to be alive, take a little bit of time to listen to the stories they are willing to share and say thank you.