My Father’s Flag Connects Me

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Love You More Than You Know

The attack on 9/11 prompted my son to enlist in the Ohio Army National Guard. He said, “There is even more reason now than before.” Weeks before my son was to leave in December of 2003 for deployment to Iraq, my father, a WWII veteran, passed away.

My son was part of the honor guard and handed my father’s flag to my mother. When my son returned from Iraq, my mother returned the favor and handed my son, my father’s flag. Whenever I see our country’s flag, my heart beats faster and my eyes fill with tears. My father’s flag connects me to my two veterans in my family.

U. S. Veteran’s Day honors all of our veterans, who served past and present. God bless our troops and the country that we love. Take time to do something for a veteran for their faithful service. I will be saying thank you to my son by bringing him lunch at work.

Excerpt from my story, “Boots To Ground” in Love You More Than You Know Mothers’ Stories About Sending Their Sons and Daughters to War:

The sweet mournful sound of taps honored my father’s leaving, echoing in the cold December morning. The silence was shattered by a color guard firing a twenty-one-gun salute. Our country’s flag fluttered, as it lay draped over the casket of a hero, Joseph Vayo, a Navy veteran of WWII.

Reverently, the color guard folded this bright symbol of freedom into a triangle. My son, Specialist Joseph Reinart, Ohio Army National Guard, stepped briskly forward to receive the flag. Turning to my mother, Joe said, “ On behalf of the President of the United States of America, I present you with this flag for your husband’s faithful service to our country. May God bless you, and I love you, Grandma.”

Just weeks later, Joe was leaving. My son, my father’s namesake, was being deployed to the Middle East to serve his country. . . We made it through his fifteen months of active duty and deployment. Joe’s homecoming was February 11, 2005, a wonderful Valentine’s Day present. In the crowded cafeteria at a school in Youngstown, teary eyed, my Mom presented Joe with my Father’s flag for his faithful service to our country.