It’s Veteran’s Day…again

I was 22 when I raised my hand, took the oath, and began down a path of service that would change and inform my life forever. My father and grandfather were only 18 when they volunteered.

My grandfather volunteered and served as an infantry soldier in World War I. He fought at the Battle of Huertgen Forest. When he came home, he married grandma and had a family; but the horrors of the battles eventually took his life when my dad was a child.

My dad was a Navy Medic who was on his way to Korea when the treaty held, creating the DMZ. He spent two years in Japan in support of the Marine units stationed there as a quick reactionary force if the treaty failed. When his service ended, he came home, learned a trade, had 4 boys, and lived a full life; but in many ways he missed the service and wished he had made it a career. His wish was something he only confided in me about, and I let it go with him to his grave. Never told my mom about it because she would’ve reacted badly,

Getting back to me, after visiting the wonderful State of Georgia for 16 weeks, I was assigned to Ft. Carson, CO and spent the next almost 2 years traveling down range, and going to such exotic places as Pinion Canyon and Ft. Irwin for enhanced war games training. When my active time was done, I spent two years in the Utah Army National Guard where I got to learn the skill of parachuting into exotic desert and mountainous places. During this time I was attending school at the U where I met my wife. Eventually injuries, and the peace divided since we weren’t at war at this time, ended my service. I earned my degree and headed off to find a job. Regardless of the rhetoric the private sector spews about supporting servicemen and servicewomen, my life experience has been it was total BS. Most of these companies, including the ones where I did find work, looked at us like “damaged goods.” It was like I should be grateful they hired me at all. Some were OK, but all of these jobs had time spans of around 5 years before I was shown the door. Eventually I landed a job in government and things changed. For once, I felt like I was given a fair shake, could promote at my pace, and got to work with people that respected me.

It has been a full life with only one regret. I should’ve fought my mom and had my dad buried in a Armed Forces Cemetery. Maybe it’s just me, but I think he would be there swapping stories with the rest of the men and women buried there, and he would be happy.

So here’s to another one. Missing my dad and wishing he was still here. I am probably too old to be getting like this, but here I am, going off the rails again just like I have for the last 7 years.

Thank you to all of you who served, and are still serving. I hope you had a good day.

Somewhat on the topic of Veteran’s Day. I swear I recall that one of the soldiers who found Saddam Hussain hiding in that underground room was a Ute Alum. Does anyone recall that? I swear it was posted on Utefans back in the early days of the site.

Anyway, my Dad volunteered and joined the US Navy in WWII. He was assigned to the USS Blower, a submarine. At that time something like 25% of the submarines were sunk. He was eventually stationed in Perth, WA where he attended an LDS branch. My mom’s family were members of that branch. After the war my mom’s family immigrated to the US and mom & dad were married.
It was a time when every American favored fighting fascism, now there are millions of Americans who have embraced fascism. My dad would be shocked by the recent turn of so many Americans.


My father was a Lieutenant and platoon commander in the Canadian Intelligence Corps. His father was a Lieutenant and platoon commander in D Company of the South Saskatchewan Regiment. He was killed in France September 17,1944. 5 of my grandfather’s uncles served in WWI. 2 of them did not come home, one is buried in France and one in Greece. The others were never quite the same after the war and became estranged from the rest of the family.

My mom’s father was in the Canadian Engineers but never wanted to speak much about the war. His brother was a bomber pilot and was shot down over the North Sea. Grandpa also had a cousin in the 101st Airborne who was killed on D Day. My grandma’s youngest brother was a clerk in Patton’s HQ and would never speak of the war either.

It’s not surprising then that when I looked into joining ROTC in college that my dad discouraged me. He said “our family has done enough”. I honor them all.


Greg, Thank you for your service. Same also to your father and grandfather.


I would apparently be between you and your father in terms of era served: 1984-1992… SO I caught al the Reagan 2nd term actions, and the Bush choices over Iraq/Kuwait. I was stationed in Naples, Italy, so we werent in the declared combat zone, though our base served as home for the Mediterranean and Red Sea fleet operations (lots of cruise missiles etc). Our hospital where I served got slammed every time the ships pulled in, and we locals got stuck with a cleaned out commissary and Exchange every time… But God forbid the powers that be award us any of the copious medals/ribbons etc handed out. I would have loved to see those Western fleets do their jobs without our support.

In any case, Naples wasn’t the safe place you might imagine… do a news search back in the late 80s and you’ll see our USO got bombed. And during the Gulf War our bases were all but on lockdown, with Italian Carabinieri patrols thru the general neighborhoods as well. I loved my years in Italy and the opportunities that brought for travel (Scandinavia, USSR, All over western Europe, etc). But trust me we who served in that area brought home ou8r own hidden issues.

THanks for your honorable service Greg, and if your dad is still around tell him hello from a fellow “Hospital Corpsman”, not medic. [Only Army uses “medic”]