Monday, November 14, 2016

Veterans Day Event 

My grandfather from my dad's side of the family spent time in the war during the second World War. My dad told me that Grampy had dropped out of high school  so he could fight for his country. My mom told me that he was not of the age to even enlist in the war. I remember my mom said, how she could not believe that he left school and then had to go back to graduate. Coming back must have been strange because everything in the world I am sure looked different. I cannot imagine how my grandfather was able feel and function like an average american citizen.
  One day I was given the opportunity to look at photos while I was with family. These pictures were of my grandfather in his Army threads. He looked so serious and somber. I thought about how little I knew about his time in war. Almost four years ago I found out that my other grandfather had been in the war, I was 19 when I learned this. My mom did know that my grandfather was in the service for a little while. However, I discovered he was given an honorable discharge. He looked just like my other grandfather, very somber. I could not believe it, I knew this two men for my whole existence. I thought about how I did not know this until now. There were pictures and documents among the array of his belongings that were placed around the table. In growing up, I thought about how unless I ask I will not find out. My dad said that my grandfather was not one to talk about it and my mom had said the same. I was not as surprised because my grandfather, Grampy D was on the quieter side. 

I thought of this a few days ago, and I found my way to the Social Work Veterans Days thank you. I talked to this really friendly man who said he spent 10 years in the army. He said that all of his recognitions towards his dedication to this country are in a box. He mentioned that because I had said how my grandfather always would joke that his recognitions would be put behind the toilet. This man, who teaches within the Social Work project said that felt his work of helping others by teaching social work. It was so refreshing to hear this even though this conversation lasted only five minutes. He gave ten years of his own time to fight for our country, making sure others were safe. This man was brave enough to share his physical and mental being. 

This conversation reminded me of the book, The Things They Carried as it reminded me of the emotional issues they faced during war, such as worry about losing a fellow army solider and the effects of losing that person post war. They had to worry about living to the next day, it was saddening. They could risk their life for safety of the country yet I could not even imagine enlisting in the army or any other reserves. Some of these men had to deal with PTSD, something that hurt them and would affect others that are around them. Some men could not even sleep because of nightmares that would never go away. At this event put on by the BSW students, many veterans were homeless. It is so frustrating to know that a group of people assisted our country were not given aid by non veterans. If someone helps another person who is in need, this group of people should be given some such of appreciation. 

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