Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Memorial Day: Have 'we' Americans 'lost' that loving feeling?!?!?

Memorial Day is the day that we honor those that have paid the ultimate price or they came back, lived more of life and are now passed.  I would say that it is just this last generation, the one before or the last one before me (though I was born a few months before the baby boom generation 'officially' ended) but no, sadly all generations in our great Untied States of America have lost that loving feeling for those that fought for all of us to have the freedoms we all enjoy to this day.  If you are one of those then, shame on you, now go to the flipp'in corner and think about it, you disgust me!


passport photo going to Guam-the 7th grade
I tried to write this article last night, only for the internet to gobble it up and then I had to start all over again.  After more than a few times I gave up.

At four in the morning I decided to get some sleep and try again today.  I am sitting here, it is now 2:16 Tuesday morning and I have lost this article 3 times today but, I will not stop until I have had my say, I am not one to accept defeat.

I don't want to lecture to folks, I just want them to remember the men and women that have gone into the face of danger and 'do' what needed to be done for the well being of all United States citizens and many more folks from around the world.

Freedom; to see it bestowed on one that has never known it before and you witness those (daily) that accomplished this mission, it is life changing, I know.

While we were living in Guam and Saigon fell, I saw just this very thing, I shared part of my story while writing an article for our troops, to help them get their vote on, back in 2012...

""At the age of eleven years old, my world and my mindset on life changed after one moment in time.  When a a South Vietnamese woman thanked me for saving her and her family.  I did say 'after' that one moment, why me?  It had taken a bit for it all to sink in, I went home and contemplated it for awhile. 

Why me, why did she thank me, kept running through my head.  I then got it, it was because she was thanking my country and those that did the work to give her the chance of having freedom for the first time in her life.  I was so proud of those that wore uniforms that day, those I never really paid attention to coming and going for years, I then got it.  I also have so much admiration for those that stood by them (the wives of those living on Base, including Mama) during these hard times in our lives and it has not changed to this day."

When people say that those that fought in Nam fought for nothing, it just sits in my stomach like a lead balloon and also... I feel sorry for them, since they were 'not' told the 'whole' truth on what did happen during these times in our country's history. 

From me:  You will 'always' be appreciated and never forgotten, remember this!


Oh the character of this man has lived with me throughout my life, he always went above and beyond the call of duty.  My grandpa Shaw served as a Navy cook and my stomach wants to thank the U.S. Navy for that one very gift (among
Grandpa & (my) Auntie Evelyn
many more) that helped him to become a fantastic cook and share his talents with (some of LOL) his children.

I only had the opportunity to get to know my grandpa when we arrived back to the Untied States after Dad (and us) were stationed (64-69) in Japan.  This was a few years before we were to move to Guam.

Though it was just a short time, it was a time in my life that I will always cherish, as long as I am here on earth.  The love that I felt from this man is more than I am able to explain.

Though I just love the mere fact that as a child I was able to see what 'most' are not able to see here in America, I did hate one thing about all of it, I missed growing up with Mama's family.

This is the price that we must pay and when all is said and done, I am glad I had this opportunity to see firsthand, how these great men and women did a job and did it with all they had.

Also let us not forget, Grandpa did know how to cook and some of his children did pay attention and I am so happy Mama was one of them that did just that, so I still had a small piece of him.  Thank you Grandpa for your service and for being there so you were able to give a young girl something great to hold onto, I love you.

Not just In-laws...

Just one cool dude

My ex father-in-law Luther (Lucky) Kennedy served in the Army and fought in the Atlantic during WWII and he 'also' was a Army cook, now how lucky can one girl be.  Ever since Luther gave me his secret on how to make the best turkey you will ever stuff in your pie hole, I have yet to alter this recipe, period!

I will never forget the time Luther was in the hospital after suffering a stroke (he did recover), I just gave him his greatest joy in life a little over a year before, I gave him the title of 'Grandfather' for the first time.  He asked for only me to come in the room for a moment, it surprised all of those in the waiting area, including me.

I walked in, sat down and Luther said to me...

"Denise, I want to thank you for giving me the greatest gift a person could, I appreciate it.".  The rest that was said, well, will stay with us two.  Well okay, I will tell you one thing, he didn't think I was that bad of a gal and that was just fine with me.  Thank you Luther for all you did for 'our' country and thank you for giving me those very kind words, love you.

My kind of Guy

Where do I start with my Father-in-law Gene Ogletree, a man that fought during the second battle for Guam (August 1944) and helped win that battle.

Yes my Father-in-law fought on the beaches of Guam and he sure tested me on the mere fact that I even lived there.  He was bamboozled (told by a man he fought during Nam but the guy did not) by a boyfriend of my sister-in-law's one time and he wanted to make sure that I was whom I stated I was.

Though I knew Gene's WWII experience was in the Pacific, I also know that if a man/woman wants to speak of their time in the fight, they will let you know.  If not, then keep your pie hole shut.  Around seven years after his son and I had been living together, he was ready to talk to me about it...

It was Christmas time, Gene was in his chair (in the den) and I was sitting on the carpet wrapping presents for the kids and he asked me "Denise, did you live on base or off base in Guam?".  I was taken aback for a moment, then I told him, on base.  I was then drilled with every question about that island that is, until he was pleased with all of my answers and that was when Gene relaxed.

Gene started talking about the battle he fought to take Guam from the Japanese and it was as if all of a sudden it was just him and I in the world.  I can not tell you 'exactly' what he did say but, I was there with him, as he went on about how they had run up on the beach.  I knew of these beaches, I have stepped on them, I might had at one time, stepped right where he stepped so long ago.

Gene then started talking about the caves and I knew of these caves on the side of the cliffs, as I too walked/crawled through them.   My friends and I also found many WWII relics during our adventures around the island.  I was lost in time with this great man and my pride for him kept going up and up with each word he shared.

Gene and I will always share that moment and I feel that by me being where I was at back in the 70's, in its own way, helped a United States Marine lay it all to rest what happened to him back in the 40's.  Gene you have always given me your kindness, your wonderful sense of humor and a great appetite that had 'never' forgotten to thank the cook and do it with much vigor.

I miss you so much Gene, as does your son, we weep from the thought that we lost you but, we are so happy that you were in our lives to make both of us better people.  At times I can still hear Gene yell at (his wife) Clara "Clara, if you die first, I'm going to live with Danny boy and Denise!", still cracks me up!

The Apple Does 'not' Fall far from the Tree

I was not able to meet my brother-in-law, as he passed away, way before I was in the picture.  Randy was on leave, he and his friend went to a wedding of one of their friends, driving home, a truck went over the line and hit them head on.

Randy and his parents were in the hospital waiting room when all of a sudden Randy felt tired, as they had been waiting for awhile as his friend (that was in the car with him) was having surgery to repair his body.  Randy went over and laid his head down on some chairs and never woke up.

They later found out the whole time Randy was waiting for his friend to make it out of the operating room, Randy was bleeding internally.  I wish I had the opportunity to know this man, as I have heard a lot of good things about him but, it is just not to be so.

Knowing the love that my husband's mother had for her Randy, I have to say I was surprised when Clara one day said to me, right out of the blue "I know my Randy and you would have been great friends.".

Though it has been well over 40 years since his passing, (my husband) his brother has never stopped missing him, nor has he ever stopped having that gleam of pride in his eyes when he talks about Randy, speaks volumes!

My Uncle Sonny

My uncle Sonny just recently passed away and though we have lived so many miles apart over these years, I have had the opportunity to get to know him here and there throughout my life.  Here is my Uncles obituary...

Glenn S. Shaw Jr. 80, a Franklin native and former longtime resident, died peacefully Sunday March 23, 2014 at the Serenity Hill Nursing Home in Wrentham, following a long illness. 
Born in Franklin March 5, 1934 a son of the late Glenn S. Shaw, Sr., and Edna (Lanagan) Shaw he was raised and educated in Franklin and is a 1953 graduate of Franklin High School. He was a retired self employed painting contractor and handyman. 
He served two tours of duty with the United States Air Force. Serving during to Korean War, he attained the rank of Airman First Class. He was awarded the Good Conduct Medal upon his discharge in 1959. 
Glenn loved the outdoors and especially enjoyed boating, fishing, scuba diving, camping and was an avid Boston & New England team sports fan. 
He is survived by his son, Brian G. Shaw and his wife Beth of Milford, a stepson Harvey Eno of Milford, a brother, Richard E. Shaw and his wife Terry of Bellingham, 2 sisters; Edna Rinaldi and her husband James of Plainville, Evelyn Breton of Plainville, 3 grandchildren; Lauren, Ryan & Payton and many nieces & nephews. 
He was also the brother of the late Esther Gallup. 

My uncle not only gives me pride for his service to his country, he also gives me great pride for the mere fact that when life gave him a huge lemon, he didn't stop and quit, he kept fighting and made some wonderful lemonade while doing so.

At times when I want to just cry from the pain I am enduring throughout the day, I stop and think of my uncle and I carry on.  My uncle's life was not defined by the wheelchair he had to use, it is defined by the can do, must carry on attitude that he lived with until his last breath.

The very thing that those that serve do and do it daily, it does not leave you, no it doesn't, you were born with it and I for one am very grateful that you were born with what a lot of us were not.

I miss you so much, the thought of not sending you a Christmas package this year brings tears to my eyes.  I know it was just a little something but my dear uncle, it came straight from the heart.  You served your country and your loved ones well, we are all grateful for having you for the time we did.

I am sure you and Mama are giving Nana and Grandpa a hard time goofing about but, you go on, you run until you can not run anymore, I miss you, yet I weep in the knowing that you once again are able to leap as high as you legs will allow you to go.  I love you Uncle Sonny.

Fire'em UP!

It's MORE than just Grilling!

So the next time you decide to fire up your grill, why not stop and think about those that are not here anymore, yet leave a legacy that few are able to live up to.  Why just think of them on Memorial Day, be grateful that they came when duty called and they did it with honor and bravery, think of them often.

Why not go to one of our troops that did make it back but, their brothers and sisters in arms didn't and help them heal, listen if they need a ear, do not wait to honor those that serve, when they are six feet under.

When we do not make sure those abroad get the opportunity to vote than we are (in a way) leaving them behind, help all you can, so their voices are heard...

Help Them!

I am just getting back to being able to write once again, so please take the time to read one of my first articles on my political blog.  There is more to this story and I plan on adding to it, oh yes I do...


Now, after you have read all of this and you are still not grateful, then get back in the damn corner and think about it.... GEESH!

All photographs are the property of Denise O.  Do not use unless you get 'my' written permission. All written material is owned by Denise O, it will not be 'used' (sharing my article is acceptable and appreciated) without 'my' written permission.  Just keeping it real folks.:)