This Memorial Day, I honor my ancestors who served in the Military. Some gave their lives or suffered the rest of their lives with physical and emotional trauma. My father was wounded just four days after landing in France on D-Day. The 6.5 mm Mauser bullet lodged close to his heart. He recovered in England and returned to battle a couple months later. He was lucky. Another inch and his six natural children and nine grandchildren and their families would not be. He nearly died from exposure in The Battle of the Bulge.
My great grandfather was the youngest of five brothers. He was ten when his older brother died at the Battle of Shiloh, at Pittsburg Landing. Another brother died from Measles while serving in Nashville, TN. Another brother was captured and spent the rest of the war in a Confederate prison camp near Tyler, TX. Conditions there became so poor that prisoners tried making soup from their boots. Even the prison guards died from starvation. He died less than a decade after the war.
Their cousin somehow survived years in the infamous Andersonville prison. He lived into his 70's, but suffered with dysentary and respiratory issues. Ironically, their parents were Quakers, known for pacifism.
Had my great grandfather served in the War and suffered a similar fate as his brothers,, his thousand-odd descendents might not exist.
We should remember all who sacrificed their lives in service to this nation.