Veterans Day is coming up and every year at this time I pay tribute to the members of my family who are vets. My family has a long tradition of military service. My late father served in WWII, the Korea War and twice in Vietnam. I was born soon after he returned from the South Pacific. He named me after my uncle who was killed in the South Pacific. My uncle's name was Marlin, but he did not like the name. He went by the name Monte, and that is the name my father chose for me. Thank goodness, he did not pick Marlin. There is a VFW post in Wyoming named for my uncle in Wyoming. All of my father’s brothers served in WWII except one, but uncle Monte was the only one killed. My father and I had a six-month overlap in Vietnam.
My brother served two years in Japan during the Cold War listening to the Russian’s radio communications. Many members of my family continued to serve either on active duty or in the National Guard. My oldest son is a retired Air Force officer with over 20 years of service.
My late stepfather, Raymond Macera, was a 20-year career soldier. During WWII he was captured in Europe and held prisoner by the Germans for six months. I am also remembering some friends and classmates who died in Vietnam.
I think we tend to forget some of the non-military people who served in their own way. My mother, for example, was an Army wife for two military career officers and sent her son off to Vietnam (me). Even the children, the military “brats”, sacrifice when their parents serve their country. My own grandchildren sacrifice whenever their father had leave home for an extended tour of duty. I salute them all-the dead and the living heroes.