Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day - Honor and Remember

As we celebrate Memorial Day I want to give a huge THANK YOU to our men and women in uniform past and present. Thank You and may God Bless you all. I know the sacrifice you give to our country every day. I know this because I come from a long line of proud Army Soldiers. HOOAH!

I would like to introduce you to my Grandfather. This is SP5 (Spec 5) Charles M. Beaver. He was a soldier and a warrior. He served in 2 wars, WW II and Korea. After 22 years of service he retired in 1965. He was stationed at Valley Forge Army Hospital. (Where my Dad was born.)
He was a father to 4 rambunctious boys and a husband to the best lady I ever knew, my Grandmother Beverly J. Beaver.

Pictured below is my Grandma, and her 4 sons, the littlest boy, is my Dad. They are on their front porch, waiting for a ride to the airport. All 5 of them packed and ready to go to Puerto Rico. My Grandfather just had a heart attack while serving there. This picture is from July 1955. I am sure my Grandmother wanted to pull her hair out. Four young boys and knowing her husband had a heart attack must of weighed heavy on her skinny little heart. 

 I never got to meet my Grandpop Beaver, yet he is still one of my Heroes. He instilled values in his sons; which resulted in many acts of selfless service. I honor and respect this every day. I honor and cherish our military. It was my life. I am grateful for the tradition he passed on. I wish I could of heard his voice and some of his stories. I know his sons honored him by joining the service and serving most of their lives. I know 100% he would of been super proud. I have no doubt he watched over each and every one of them. 
He passed away shortly after my Mom and Dad started dating, in 1969.
He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. A great honor for a great man. 

Alongside him his brother also served and was stationed overseas in WWII. My Grandmother would tell me a story about his time in Europe.  She would say "once he was blown open by a Nazi blast. His insides were on the outside. A Nazi soldier came by and put his intestines back in and whatever else was hanging out and bandaged him up. Of course he robbed him but, he saved his life."  I always remember this story as the pure form of human nature. We join the military to protect and serve. Sometimes we are drafted or join because it is what you have to do to survive.  An enemy soldier with a good heart towards humanity showed he could be a good person and a soldier. Never wanting more than to protect and survive (and maybe a few cigarettes, money, a belt, or a knife. This Nazi soldier could of left my Great Uncle to die but he had a heart, conscience and I am sure a belief in God. 

I grew up with a Dad in the Army, well forever, because one thing I know: Once a Soldier, Always a Soldier. In 2009 I was doing some family Genealogy and I was sent the picture below in the left corner of my Grandfather. I was blown away to see a V Corp patch on his sleeve. This picture is taken somewhere in Europe during World War II. My Dad was stationed in Germany and was also in V Corps. I think it was awesome they were in the same unit. My Grandfather would of been super proud knowing his son was in that unit and also a Command Sergeant Major (CSM)! 

Wasn't he a cute little boy?

I was so blessed and lucky to have this soldier walk me down the aisle!!

My Dad was an Amazing soldier. He knew everyone. Even the cleaning lady. He treated everyone with respect and was very hands on. He was old school and had no problem approaching someone in P.T.'s at the grocery store or the PX parking lot. It showed the values of a soldier never stop. No matter if it was a vacation, he was always in "Army Mode". He still is and always will be. It is what we Love about him. He will always be our CSM. (Even if my Mom out ranked him with E-10 status.)

The famous wave. These hand shots only show up in these days in theme park ride photos.

My Dad's last duty station was PEC. I loved it there. I could drive there in one day and they had the best water park. 

All my Uncles (my Dad has 3 older brothers)  served our country as well. They are all retired Army, Army National Guard, or Army Reserves. Combined they have over 116 years in service and 4 combat tours.

Here are the Beaver Boys at Arlington National Cemetery for their mother's burial. 

May 1999

They were blessed to get together again for a Brother Reunion in August 2015.

  • August 2015

My Grandparents are both eternally resting in Arlington National Cemetery. 
If you ever get a chance to visit go sit under the beautiful tree near Area 51, his Marker is 1997.
My Grandmother was also laid to rest on top of him.

The front of the Tombstone has my Grandfathers information inscribed. 

Notice the Shady tree nearby. That is the tree I keep referring too. I find this one of the most beautiful serene places in America. I really want to return, lay out a blanket and just spend some time there. I find it a place of comfort not sadness. I would give my daughter a small flag and teach her about where we are and why we are there. 

 If you or your child ever have a chance to visit. Say hello for me. I do not know when I will ever make it there since I moved so far away. I used to go every few months when I lived in five hours away. 

If you get to visit this grave please take add a rock to the top for me and take a picture. If any rocks remain, please leave them and take a photo as is. I know Arlington is very strict and takes very good care of its cemetery. So I doubt our rocks remain long. If you live nearby and are headed there I would love if you could take a rock for me and place it on their headstone. 

My Dad did this for me on one of his past visits. I hope he stops by this summer and can drop a rock off for me. I always find the best Colorado rock and he will haul it across the country for me. I promise to keep them small. 

Here is my Dad at his Dads grave site.

The back of the tombstone is inscribed with my Grandmother's information.

I know that they are gone and here lies just bones. They continue to live in our memories and our stories. I know we will see them again in heaven. 

I came across two different scripture verses that I thought were good for Memorial Day. I share this with those who lost a loved one and all those buried around my Grandparents. 

John 15:13 - Jesus said to his Disciples "Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends."

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 - "For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, a time to die...... a time for war, and a time for peace.

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed reading your blog. Thank you for posting it!