Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Veteran's Day!

Veteran's Day has always been a day of significance in the Rylands' home.  I am blessed to say that many of my family members have served in the United States Armed Forces and I am the proud beneficiary of the freedoms that they worked so hard to secure and defend.

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.

When Tom came of age, he felt that if his Father could die for our freedoms, then the least he could do was to give a few years of his life to the same cause.

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

All branches were represented.....

Who's that dashingly handsome vet there??????

 Healthy & Injured...

 Young & Old....

 Here comes the TUBAS!!!!

It isn't a parade without the drum line, right?

Tommy with his Dad at the end of the parade route

Today's Program w/ Special Mention......

The Beech Hill Chorus performed several wonderful tunes of tribute to our veterans.

Thank you to the Beech Hill family 
for taking time off from your academic studies 
to honor these fine men and women
who have served us all so well!

Happy Veteran's Day!


kimjax said...

Love this post, Angie!! Tom - great pics from the past - love the story. :)

Annie said...

Angie, what a great day and I loved the pics of Tom from his "younger" years:) My cousin was a helicopter pilot in Vietnam. He still cannot talk much about it.

Jenni Hester said...

Angie - loved reading how quickly your paperwork is being processed! I love veteran's day too! How appropriate that this year Veteran's Day was Friday and Sunday was International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church? We prayed prayers of thanks for our veterans that we have the freedom of worship and are not persecuted! Random question... my step father-in-law was a Vietnam pilot - Michael McNamara - does Tom know him? Blessings, Jenni

Jenni Hester said...

Oh, my heart aches for Tom's loss of his father at a young age - my Granny lost her mom as an infant and her father at 12. She used to tell me how challenging that was - to not know a parent... Rejoicing that Tom is becoming father to the fatherless as an adult :)

The Rylands Family said...


Thanks for posting a comment. Tom says he does not recognize that name from Vietnam, but that there were so many pilots back then.

Please pray that we can get Colin's certificate of citizenship in time for him to travel with me to get Cameron. It is being delayed. Ugh.