Tag: Family

Celebrating Real World Heroes – Pt 4

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In past celebrations of real world heroes, we’ve had some beautiful love stories and also spoke of the family sacrifice necessary for those who love the men and women who serve. Today, we are privileged to have both of those elements in our story.

Private 1st class, James Lee Phillips, turned 18 in July, 1944 and was drafted the following month. After completing 17 weeks of training, he was then allowed to go home for 7 days. With only one week to see his family and loved ones, he then said goodbye as he headed to Europe via the ship Queen Elizabeth where he became a truck driver for the Army.  He served overseas for 18 months.

During his time away, his family – knowing how much he must be missing home – would send him packages with deli meat/sausages.  When he finally returned home, he met a woman who he fell madly in love with. They had their first date on Valentine’s Day.  He took her home to meet his parents who were delighted to discover that she worked at the same deli his mother shopped at to send him the sausage. The family fell in love with her just as Private Phillips had and they were wed St. Patrick’s Day the same year they met (If you aren’t sure of the math…that’s 31 days later!!). The marriage has withstood the test of time and they are still married today, 63 years later.

As is the case in many families, the desire to serve runs from generation to generation. This year, James’ grandson, who served in the ROTC through college and received the ranking of 2nd Lieutenant was commissioned into the US Army National Guard. As part of the ceremony, he gave his first salute to his Grandfather, James Lee Phillips, World War II Veteran. His mother attests to the fact there wasn’t a dry eye in the place! They received a standing ovation.

 

Dan and his grampa

We thank this week’s real world hero, Private Phillips, for serving during World War II and for instilling the same call to duty and desire to serve in the generations that followed.

How many of you come from families were multiple generations have served?

Celebrating Real World Heroes – Pt 3

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For the past two weeks, we’ve been sharing stories between our real world heroes and the women they love.  This week, we’re going to look at it a little differently. Our story and hero this week comes from a small town in Wisconsin. Logan Artz, the only son to John and Peggy Artz, has been serving our country for a little over two years. Logan had dreams of serving his country in the area of aviation. After meeting with recruiters and discovering he had some color blindness, he was told not only would he never be able to serve in his chosen field, his opportunities in the Armed Forces were significantly limited.

Logan absorbed the information from the recruiter and ultimately decided that serving his country, in whatever capacity they would have him, was what he wanted to do. Not wanting to take the easy way out, though, he decided to join the Marine Corps, In his opinion, it was the toughest and he wanted to push himself and excel.

He shipped out for boot camp on Mother’s Day-2012.  While his mother was proud and supported his decision to join, saying good-bye on such a special day proved bittersweet.  As a close, personal friend of his Mom’s, I witnessed the heartache she felt while he was away. After having spoken to him every single day of his life for 18 years, she would now have to wait weeks before hearing the sound of his voice. His letters proved that being so far away from the only home and family he’d ever known was putting him through some serious emotional trials, just as the day-to-day tests in boot camp provided physical and mental trials. 

The bond between this family was strong, though, and Logan graduated with his proud family watching, I’d wager, with a few tears in their eyes. Their son had transformed into a man.

Me and Logan UniformEven though his marksmen scores were exceptionally high, because of the challenges with his eyesight, the Corps assigned him an administrative position in finance. That hasn’t stopped Logan from wanting to serve his country overseas. In fact, he has volunteered to deploy on several occasions.  While waiting for orders, he continues to perform his role in finance exceptionally well according to his commanding officers. In fact, he is up for a promotion by October 1st. 

Knowing that he wants to have “life after the military,” Logan obtained approval for tuition assistance and is currently enrolled in some evening college courses held on base.  He is hoping to complete his Associate’s Degree in Accounting over the next two years and, unless he re-enlists, plans on attending a University following completion of his enlistment term.  All of this, of course, provided he is not chosen to deploy. 

Heroes serve our great nation in all different capacities. Their willingness to leave their homes, families and, many times, everyone they know requires a sacrifice that not everyone is willing to give.  Knowing their son could be deployed worries his parents, but they know-whatever happens-they are so proud of the man he has become and his desire to serve the greater good of his country. Most definitely their (and our) real world hero!

Me Sonny and Logan

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