My grandfather served, my father served and my brother, Major Scott M. Jewell, is currently serving in the US Air Force as an F-16 pilot. He and his wife are currently stationed in the UAE. Lastly, close to home, my dear husband, Tom, is a proud US Army Vet. Tom's affection for the United States started at a very young age.
Tom's Father, Thomas Daniel Rylands, also in the US Army, was killed in WWII on July 3, 1944 when Tom was only 16 months old.
As the sole surviving son of a war vet, Tom was under no obligation to enlist in the Vietnam conflict. Among his family papers is a document from the US government granting him release from any mandatory draft of personnel based on that status.
So, off he went to serve his country in one of the most challenging and politically charged wars in our nation's history. Tom was a helicopter pilot for the Army Security Agency in Southeast Asia from 1966-1969.
So, this is always a holiday that has special meaning and one that we want our children to grow to appreciate. Today, we spent a lovely morning at Beech Hill Elementary School where Principal, Rene Harris, welcomed a very large group of US Vets to celebrate and honor their service. It was a wonderful day that had a great deal of meaning for us.
The festivities started with a parade led by the Brownie troupe and all the Vets. Bringing up the rear was a representation from the Ashley Ridge High School Marching Band.
|Tommy & Colin waiting for the parade to start|
|Tommy with his Dad at the end of the parade route|