In my family we happen to have quite a few soldiers. I'm thankful for all of them. I worry about those who are currently away, but am so proud and thankful for them. I am lucky to be related to such wonderful and devoted people.
My Great Grandpa is one of our Veterans, and he's still with us. I'm thankful for him. Just this last October my family went to see him. We wanted Cormac to meet his Great Great Grandpa. Grandpa was rather taken with Cormac. I think Cormac was a fan of Grandpa as well.
This plaque hangs on the wall next to a plaque with all of the other stories of the veterans living at the facility where my grandpa stays.
It reads: "Harlen Garrison, U.S. Army WWII
"Harlen Garrison enlisted in the Army at the age of twenty three, even though he had a wife and four children at the time. He volunteered to be a paratrooper, jumping from C-47 aircraft so he could earn an additional fifty dollars a month to send back to his wife and family. Harlen was aboard the McAndrews, a troop carrier, with 1,900 soldiers on board when it collided with a French aircraft carrier. "It was like going to hell" Harlen said. According to news reports the collision tore a hole in the side of the ship, and sent 135 soldiers into the cold, choppy water. Sadly, rescue efforts were only able to save 14 of the 135 soldiers who went overboard. After surviving the collision on the McAndrews, Harlen was then shipped to England and later went on to France. From France, Harlen travelled to Germany via boxcar. While in Germany, Garrison joined a machine gun squad as a rifleman and they were given assignments to clean up towns. Before leaving Germany Garrison had the opportunity to see the remains of Hitler's bombed house. Harlen still wears his 82nd Airborne wings around his neck."
And here we are, five generations of Garrisons.
Grandpa and Cormac checking each other out. Grandpa kept saying what a "good one" Cormac was.
It was a really neat experience to see Great Grandpa and to be all together as a family. Happy Veterans Day to all those who have served and are serving our country.