Thursday, November 11, 2010

My first heroes were GRANDPAS!

I don't feel like my family is one of those with a long line of military history.  The men in DH's family have all served our country, but my family's service is here and there.  My parents both went to college after high school and established their careers, my dad being too young to have served in Vietnam.  Regardless, there are shining [military] stars in family that I would love to share with you.

Today was an "Ask And You Shall Receive" kind of day.  I was telling Ann Marie @ Household 6 Diva that I was saddened when I looked at the entries that linked up with her Veterans Day post.  Many of these other bloggers had priceless photos documenting their family's history of service in the military.  I had nothing to show for my veterans, of whom I am so proud.  FIL's retired Air Force and was extremely successful in his military career, yet he had no pictures of his time in Vietnam, nor can he find me a photograph of himself in uniform for us to frame and hang here at home.  DH has no photos (and little memorabilia) of himself during his service in the Marine Corps.  He moved from place to place before I met him and lost a lot of stuff in the process.  I have no photos of him from his childhood, another saddening by-product of a difficult upbringing.  

What did I receive today? My uncle and my cousin Michelle posted photos on Facebook of my grandpas in uniform.  I can't tell you how much this made my day.  I didn't have any photos of them in uniform in my possession, so my family really came through for me.

TSgt Robert W. Pooler, Christmas 1943

My dear Papa (1920 - 2006).  Papa enlisted in the Army for a short period of time in the World War II era.  Per my uncle, "He volunteered and did some basic training at Ft. Riley, then they took a troop train to New Orleans and boarded a troop ship and sailed for Panama.  They finished their training on the ground there.  He was assigned to a anti-aircraft post in the mountains based on his marksmanship.  Somebody finally read his file and discovered his talents in shorthand and typing and then suddenly he was at Headquarters and an NCO working in an office."

Donald D. Wildman, US Army, WWII

My Grandpa Wildman.  Grandpa died early in my college career, far too early in my mind.  I miss him.  My brother and my cousins made so many wonderful memories as kids at my Grandpa and Grandma's old house in Bakersfield, CO.  We used to spend a week there every summer, hanging out and playing in the pool.  We all miss those times, those were the good ol' days.  I know DH would've gotten along fabulously with Grandpa.  Grandpa loved John Wayne movies and loved to laugh.  He was super tall (that side of the family runs about 6'4"), he had a great smile, and was very outgoing.  I definitely think that runs in the family.  :)  He was the commander at his American Legion hall and had a 40's themed 70th birthday party.  I wish I could've enjoyed that as an adult.  The only downside to Grandpa was that he was a double degree holder from USC, although he was still proud of me for attending UCLA.

Both of my grandpas were strong, upstanding men of integrity.  Both were proud soldiers and loved to share about their time in service.  I am so proud that my grandpas both served our country during World War II.  These gentlemen were definitely members of The Greatest Generation.  They are true American heroes and both are firmly lodged in my heart.


the whyte house said...

the photos are so great! i only have one of my dad at marine boot camp in 1946 and it is one of my favorite photos in my whole house!!

Trinnie S said...

Your Grandpa Pooler is definitely a Pooler! I can't believe how much I can see your dad and uncle in that pic!!!