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Unsung Hero: The Family Soldier

Joined: 1/29/2015
Posts: 1
"What day is it Renee?" asked Papa. "Pa! I'm Natalie not Renee! Its Thursday morning, Papa. We're going fishing today while Ray, Mommy and Grammy stay home." I replied. "Oh that’s right," my great-grandfather said, "well, we better go get the stuff." We both left the kitchen table and went to the storage room. As he was looking for my yellow Snoopy fishing pole he asked me again, "What's today?" and again responded, "Its Thursday morning Papa."

My family and I had been over at my great grandparents, Bill and Phyllis’, little blue house over in Fort Myers for vacation. I always enjoyed going there because I have always adored my great grandpa and loved to spend time with him. He would take my sister, Rachel, and I fishing all the time. Rachel, though, didn’t typically fish, she preferred to look for manatees and feed the pelicans. Bill would take us on so many adventures like bike rides around the neighborhood, going to see the alligators and taking us to the pool. Papa would always tell the best war stories, sure he could never remember what day it was and had trouble with names but he would tell memories from WWII like they happened yesterday. But most of all I adored the way he loved my great-grandma and my family.
Before high school graduation he was drafted into the army to serve in World War II as a paratrooper, which reveals one of the things that I idolized about him, his bravery. Anyone who jumps out of a perfectly good airplane has to be brave… especially when you’re jumping into a battle zone. I also looked up to this man because no matter what obstacle or battle came his way, he would fight through it. For example, my great-grandparents had four kids; Scott, Jeanne, Jayne, and Joyce, but at a young age Scott passed away due to a brain tumor. Instead of being defeated my great-grandfather fought through the pain and suffering and bottled up all the sadness as to not let it show around his three girls and wife. As I said earlier, I adored the way he loved and cared for my great-grandmother. When she passed away my Pa was never the same. The highlight of his days would be when the grandkids and great grandkids came to visit but even then there was something different. Why wouldn’t it be though? The man had lost the love of his life that he had been married to for 61 years.
My great grandfather has been my hero ever since I can remember and I don’t think he ever knew it. Bill died on July 29, 2009 and even though I was young, his death hit me hard. This man was the most humble and respectable man I had ever known and will continue to be the number one hero in my life.
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