Memorial Day … A Day of Remembering

As the sun sets on another Memorial Day, I didn’t want the day to end without remembering and honoring our military men and women who have given their lives for our Country and without acknowledging the heartache’s endured by the families and friends of those heroes. Below are some thoughts my husband wrote down this weekend as he was remembering and reflecting during this Memorial Weekend. I asked him if I could use his words in my blog.

“When I was a small boy and lacking in any worldly knowledge, my heroes were Roy Rogers, Zorro, and Gene Autry. My heroes rode into town , took care of the bad guys and rode away with a sense of self pride … the good winning over a make-believe evil. As I grew older, my heroes sometimes did die, but they rose again to star in a brand new show or movie.

Then I grew up; I joined the Army and became a helicopter pilot, no longer living in someone else’s story. My heroes were no longer fictitious characters who felt no pain and did not die. My heroes were now soldiers. They were my friends, my brothers in arms, someone’s forever relative. They fought not for money, but for an idea … a cause … a proud nation. They were vulnerable to pain and death.

I have shed many a tear for my friends, my fellow soldiers, and I always will, but my tears will never, ever compare to those tears shed and the heartaches that are felt by their families.

Parent’s, wife’s, fiancee’s, children, brother’s, sister’s, cousins, aunt’s, uncle’s, niece’s and nephew’s … to those family members, I am with you forever in sorrow, but I will never know the true heartbreak you have and what you continue to struggle with. But, I know one thing for certain … within the deepest parts of my heart is a place set aside for your relative, my true hero. Their sacrifice will never be forgotten … and to your family’s … your sacrifice is and always will be something I may never fully feel or comprehend, but I am beside you always, and thank you for yesterday, today, and tomorrow. God bless our heroes and God bless their families who continue to feel the emptiness.” ~ written by Richard

(Click here) To see this Memorial in honor of all the helicopter pilots and crewmen who lost their lives in the Vietnam War held in Arlington National Cemetery in 2018 Richard looking over one of the many hillsides covered with the graves at Arlington National Cemetery

For those of you that have asked me what my husband did in the military and about his time as a helicopter pilot in Vietnam … his story and the speech Richard gave at Bill Seaborn’s Memorial in 2017 has now been written in a book Helicopter Rescues Vietnam Vol. XI … True Stories of Daring Helicopter Rescues as Told by the Men Who Flew Them written by Phil Marshall. The publication of this book is in perfect timing with this Memorial Weekend and is a reminder that “FREEDOM ISN’T FREE.”

A day of reflection and remembering …

From my cottage to yours ~ Trenda

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

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Veteran’s Day … honoring our veteran’s

by Trenda

Being married to a veteran, my eyes always “brim” when I hear the Star Spangled Banner … when I go to the Veteran’s Hospital … or when I hear the somber strands of Taps being played.  Today is a very special day.  This is a day I can collectively thank our veterans and tell them with a heart full of gratitude … “thank you for your service; thank you for your sacrifice; thank you for your selflessness.”

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A Day in the Life of a Veteran

Today I am writing about my husband … the strongest, most courageous, unselfish and unpretentious man I know … my very own soldier, my very own veteran 💗

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It’s because I am so very proud of him and all of our military heroes that I am writing this. I am writing this for those who have asked me over the years about Richard’s military career.  I am writing this for those who have wondered what it’s like to be a soldier.  I’m also writing this for those who wonder … why do we celebrate Veteran’s Day.

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This is a summary of the very last day my husband, Richard, ever flew a helicopter and the price he and his crew paid for helping others live a life that is filled with the freedoms we take for granted.

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While flying a Special Forces Team in on a rescue mission during the Vietnam war, the helicopter – my husband, Richard and Bill Seaborn were flying – came under attack and was hit by AK-47 fire, and a rocket propelled grenade (RPG) exploded into their ship, and destroyed the flight controls and they crashed headlong into the trees and into the jungle of Vietnam.

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Richard was knocked unconscious when the helicopter crashed, but his gunner was able to pull him out of the wreckage before the helicopter burst into flames.  For the next 6 1/2 months, Richard was in the hospital with head injuries, and bullet wounds in his hand, his ankle, and along his spine.  He had a broken jaw, a broken nose, shrapnel wounds all over his face and hands, and both eyes were hemorrhaged.  His leg was in traction and he had a broken femur, a broken tibia, a broken ankle, and all the toes on his right foot were crushed.  When he was finally released, he was still in a body cast.  His life was forever changed, but he never complains.

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Thankfully, Richard and 2 other soldiers in his crew, survived that day. However … sorrowfully, Bill Seaborn, Richard’s friend and fellow pilot and 4 Special Forces soldiers didn’t survive, and were killed that day.  The day their helicopter was shot down over an obscure jungle in Vietnam there was no fanfare, no applause; no accolades … they were just fighting for the freedom of others and fighting to protect the men they were with.

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My husband standing in front of the Vietnam Wall Memorial in Washington D.C.  – the friend and fellow pilot that was killed the day their helicopter was shot down … William H. Seaborn 

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It’s inappropriate to say “Happy” Veteran’s Day … so how do you truly thank a veteran? With eyes brimming and a heart full of gratitude … “thank you for your service; thank you for your sacrifice; thank you for your selflessness.”

thank-you  You honor Veteran’s Day remembering … “The price of freedom, isn’t free.”

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Honoring all our Veterans ~ November 11, 2016

From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda

Thank you so much for spending some time with me today!  I’d love to hear from you!  Please leave any questions or comments, below.