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.

Dying Veteran Casts Last Vote

Frank Tanabe, a WWII veteran has always led by example. Barbara Tanabe said her father “feels like joining the Army, going to the camp, fighting in the war, and fighting discrimination — these were all things he did so that we have this precious right to vote.”

Mr. Tanabe was sent to a Japanese-American internment camp. Even after being in the camp, he volunteered to serve our country. “It’s hard to imagine — after his family business is torched, his family imprisoned, and denied the opportunity to finish his college education — he volunteered to serve,” his grandson said. “I don’t know if I would have done the same thing, but we are all very proud of him.”

Mr. Tanabe, 93 years old, is in hospice and has inoperable cancer. His mind is good and he keeps up with current events by reading the newspaper and watching the news.
Thank you Mr. Tanabe for your service and for continuing to teach us all the importance of doing our duty. Go out and use your precious right to vote.