You might say I’m a ‘military brat’. My life certainly was changed by members of my family serving in the armed forces. So what better time than on this Veteran’s Day to honor them….those who keep us SAFE and FREE! And to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for us and their country.
Gerald Guyer (cousin) US Marines**WWI – gave his life -France ** Son of Gladys; nephew of Violet, about whom I have written many stories.
William Jay Woods (biological father) US Navy ** WWII – South Pacific campaign – PTSD. He met my mother in San Francisco, where she owned a bar and grill. He returned from war an alcoholic, experienced rages and had a parrot named Butch.
Johnny Cable (step-father) US Army ** WWII South Pacific campaign – lost an eye, suffered from jungle rot and PTSD. He later served on a ship in the Korean War as a meat cutter. He was instrumental in serving the troops a HOT Thanksgiving dinner on the beach.
At seven years of age I dare not run in and jump on the bed in the mornings to wake up Daddy. He would wake up ready to fight the ‘Japs’. He was a wonderful father but the horrors of the South Pacific campaign were never far from the surface.
Violet Guyer (mother) US Armed Forces ** Wife, sister, and mother of members in the military.
My mother, who I write about, was auntie to Gerald. She married Jay (active Navy) and Johnny (active Army) and was a military wife for two decades. She was mother to Jack (US Air Force) and Doris, (US Marines).
Jack Borden (brother) US Air Force ** Loaded B52 bombers – hot spots around the world – 20+ years of service. My brother would come home from far away places like Germany, Iceland, Africa, Panama and because he didn’t have a hometown girl, he would take me, his teenage sister, ballroom dancing.
Jack Henderson. (first husband) US Air Force * While in the military, he was on a ship in the Pacific and witnessed one of the first A-Bomb test explosions off Enewetak Atoll in the Marshall Islands. We are still friends.
Robert Berry (second husband) US Navy Seals, US Coast Guard ** 20+ years of service.
Robert was a Navy Seal, underwater demolition during the Viet Nam years. He later served as a warrant officer aboard an icebreaker and was certified to scuba dive under the Arctic ice.
John Sugarek (husband) US Marines ** Viet Nam – John was my husband for 30 years. He was kind-hearted and funny and everyone loved him. I witnessed two of his flashbacks from battle in Viet Nam (twenty years later) and he suffered, untreated, from PTSD. Partially due to the PTSD (I believe) he died at his own hand in 2006. His fellow wounded warriors celebrate at the Whiskey Battery Reunion, once a year.
We are all grateful to our military for their unswerving bravery, service, and loyalty and we honor those who have come home, battered but alive.
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