Members of the military impacted my life in many ways. My life was certainly 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 in Normandy, France ** Son of Gladys; nephew of Violet, my mother.
William Jay Woods (father) US Navy ** WWII – South Pacific – 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/Infantry ** WWII Southern Pacific. Lost an eye, suffered from jungle rot and PTSD. At five years of age I remember not being able to run in and jump on the bed in the mornings to ‘wake up Daddy’. He would awaken ready to fight the ‘Japs’ and in those first few seconds he was back in the jungle. He was a wonderful father but the horrors of the South Pacific battles were never far from the surface. 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 that year.
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.
Doris Borden (sister) Joined the US Marines, Reserve and was upgraded to active duty when the Korean War broke out.
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 Enewetok Atoll in the Marshall Islands.
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 him 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.