Jim Young AF and Current

We Pledge Allegiance to the United States of America.

This is my Country, land that I love….America, America

We love America. We travel and meet people and love America.

While managing an independent living community my husband and I shared our lives with hundreds of seniors. They shared their lives with us.

Most of the men and some of the women were Veterans. One man never wanted to talk about his experience in the war. He was special operations in WWII and had no desire to relive what he had gone through; therefore he always stepped away from any conversation that steered in that direction.

At one particular table in the dining room four Veterans sat together. They often talked about their time in WWII. It seemed to do them good as they shared the part they had played in keeping America free.

Show Respect to America

One gentleman was a wonderful character that lived there. He loved to laugh and greet all the newcomers to make them feel welcome. The ladies adored him for he was Mr. Charisma. But Wall of Honor Americathere was something about Bass I will never forget. Families often came to visit their grandparents during mealtime. One such time, there was a very nice teenage boy sitting with his family. He was wearing a baseball cap. This gentleman saw him from across the room and walked straight toward him. He leaned down and spoke to the young man. Although I could not hear that conversation, I had heard him other times, so I am sure he said something like, “To show respect, please do not wear your hat inside and especially sitting here in the dining room.” That was him, always standing up for his values, and what he felt was right in respecting and honoring those around him. He especially wanted respect shown to the American flag and America.

I will Never forget this day…..

Of all the conversations overheard, shared, and the programs witnessed, none surpassed the spontaneous entry into the dining room from one special resident who had served in the Korean War.He had Parkinson’s disease when he moved in. The disease gradually got worse until he could no longer walk without falling. He now drove a little scooter so that he could get around safely.

On Memorial Day we were all seated for our meal and slowly into view at the entrance of the dining room, shuffled in this gentleman in full Marine dress uniform. No scooter, no one beside him, just American pride and tenacity. One by one, we in the dining room saw the proud figure as he walked into our presence. One by one, we stood and began applauding him and holding our breath as he made his way to his table and sat down. Never will I forget what he represented that day. Never will anyone in that room let go of the pride of America and what it meant in the eyes and feet of this American Veteran who stood, who walked, for pride in America.

The Boys in the Pacific suffered for America

In a different setting, I recently asked one of my patients where he served in WWII. He immediately teared up and slowly spoke the words, “The Pacific”. That is all he had to say. That is all he could say. It was terrible for the boys in the Pacific. I knew it from my reading. He knew it from being there. We changed the subject. These Veterans are always Veterans in their mind and their heart.

Bob is another Veteran I had the opportunity to know and love. He was an Ace Pilot in World War II, and also flew in the Korean War and Vietnam War. He was 97 the last time I saw him and only used a cane to walk with. He passed away the next year. His mind was keen and he was the kindest gentleman. There was something special about him and everyone felt it when they were around him.

Jim Young AF and CurrentJim spent 12 years in the United States Air Force

I love to look over at him whenever there is an American flag passing by. Even though he never saw the battlefield, he was ready if needed and proud to serve America.

Our privilege is to live here in America, to be part of this great land that was founded by divinity through our forefathers. Our responsibility is to honor those who served by taking care of them to the best our ability.

From the 1700s to the 21st century we will fight our country’s battles; In the air, on land, and see; First to fight for right and freedom. We pledge allegiance to the United States of America.

Excerpt from Rhenda’s  book, “Voices From My Heart“. (Available on Amazon)

Written by Rhenda Wilson