Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Most Important Post

This marks post number 1,000.  A milestone of sorts, but that's not what makes it the most important one to me.

No, the most important post began on Nov. 4, 2007 and went on for several posts.  It was also the starting point for the final journey of the MIA bracelet I wore as a kid.  It had always been an important story to me: not just as a writer who was able to put feelings onto paper, but as a little girl who grew up to give back.

After telling someone about our charity for wounded soldiers, the person asked how a civilian kid like me could be so connected to the military.  Well, my hometown was home to Shaw AFB and most of my friends were military.  At the same age I obtained the bracelet, while on a field trip I had a heartwarming encounter with a soldier who guarded the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  I was standing at Kennedy's grave, overcome with emotion as I looked at that eternal flame.  And out of nowhere, one of those soldiers materialized, placed a hand on my shoulder and stood silently with me for a moment, before nodding goodbye and walking away.  That night I was fascinated by the young couple at the next table: he in uniform, she swept off her feet.  My friends chided me for staring at a guy in a wheelchair.  A what?  I hadn't even noticed it.  I just saw the way he looked at her...and hoped for someone like that of my own one day.  Wishes do come true. Hubby's Dad was a Recon Pilot who retired in my hometown....and thus gifted me with a husband. 

I think the answer is that Bracelet was the starting point.  Although it has returned to the son of my Captain, I wasn't ready to let go of the story completely.  The actual bracelet was gone...but the feelings weren't.

So I turned it into a book.


A one-of-a-kind, just-for-me sort of book that chronicles my idea 
to find the son of My Captain and how that unfolded.

It includes e-mails sent between the son, Gregg, and myself, 
his sister's word of thanks...and the photo that finally allowed me to see 
who I'd worried about for all those years: My Captain.

The story itself.

The bracelet.

Greg's original post on a POW/MIA website that sent me down this path.

The poem that hung on the wall in my childhood home.
A copy has always hung in my office, no matter where I worked.

The last page.

May this post serve as a fitting memorial on this Veteran's Day for all who have served and continue to serve.  Still only two words, but truly heart felt:

Thank you.

6 comments:

savannah said...

Thank you, Sister Hope, for sharing this story today. Since 1971, the 11th day of the 11 month has been not only a salute to veterans, but a celebration of the birthday of our first son. Your blog was at the top of my blogroll as I checked out his pics on my page, so here I am. Here's to your Captain, all those who've served, and my boy on his birthday! xoxo

Ponita in Real Life said...

What a fantastic memorial to a man you never met! Coming from a military family myself, Remembrance Day (as it is called, here in Canada), the 11th of November is a date I highly respect and honour. Thank you for your tribute to your Captain, and all your hard work honouring and helping the veterans in your country. xoxoxo

hope said...

Sav: Having grown up with Paul Harvey's "The Rest of the Story", I think that seeped into me along the way. I needed to "finish" the story. And I did stop by to send my birthday wishes to your Captain. :)

Ponita: Ever just feel the need to do something? This was one of those things. Once I could hold it in my hands, I felt like I'd completed a mission...a much safer one than these veterans were asked to handle.

maurcheen said...

XXX

maurcheen said...

XXX

Thom Robinson said...

What what a great tribute to your Captain. Happy Veterans Day