Larry Ebersole – Memorial Day thoughts: Recognizing sacrifices, ways to help in Kremmling
May 26, 2009
Although this column may run a couple of days after the actual holiday, I am writing on Memorial Day, so I intend to respect the meaning of the day.
I am always proud to reflect upon the military history of my family, past and present. My grandfather served in the U.S. Navy with a couple of his sons following his example of service. One of my uncles served in Vietnam and another is in active service in the Army today. He was stationed at the Pentagon on that historic 11th day in September. As fate would have it, he was late coming into the office that day and fortune smiled on him indeed. His office was destroyed in the terrorist attack. Since then, he has been in Afghanistan, Iraq, Cuba and is now stationed in Colorado Springs. We are not privileged to the role he plays anymore, but when history looks back on his contribution, I am sure it will be significant indeed.
Two of his kids are in active service today. This is my family from my mother’s side. My family from my father’s side has also made significant contributions in service to their country. Most notable is my late Uncle Leslie Short, who served as a gunner stationed in Pearl Harbor. He snuck up to the deck to smoke a cigarette, which was a minor rules violation at the time. In his telling of his story, he saw inbound planes and knew for certain that they were not our planes, so he shot one down. His action turned into several accommodations as he had shot down the first Japanese plane at Pearl Harbor.
His brother, Gene Short, was responsible for flying American military leaders behind enemy lines, so he came home with his own unique view of history.
My own attempt at service was short lived. I intended to enter through the local ROTC program I had enlisted in, but I was run over by a car and spent the next five years of my life relearning walking and talking skills. Fortunately for myself and others, there are volunteer opportunities in which we can contribute in a supportive role to our future veterans. I would like to highlight such an opportunity that Barbara, who is a Kremmling resident, took the time to share with me. The organization she has been working with the last couple of months is called Baking G.A.L.S. The initials stand for “give a little support.” Her team is currently sponsoring Kim, a Kremmling resident serving in Baghdad. Baking G.A.L.S. bakes cookies for soldiers in harms way, so the soldiers they sponsor must be stationed in a war zone. One of the teams bakes cookies for soldiers who have been wounded. Every month, there are around ten teams that anyone can sign up to join through http://www.bakinggals.com. Each team builds a profile of the soldier they are sponsoring that can be viewed on the Web site. Only team members are provided with the soldier’s address as that information is not posted.
Team Kremmling Cookies is looking to recruit any Kremmling residents who would like to participate. Barb and Debra, who is Kim’s mother, will be putting up fliers around town with further information. Check out their Web site and help if you can. Regardless of our individual political and social views, I believe it is our individual calling as citizens to use and protect our unique and precious freedoms as Americans, realizing that our opportunities have been protected and preserved by the efforts of our veterans. It is an incredible responsibility indeed, yet we must remain ever thankful for those who fought for us in the past and those continuing the struggle today. No mere words will ever be enough.
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Please continue to share any volunteer opportunities and other items of local interest with Larry Ebersole at Amentalengineer@cs.com or P.O. Box 564, Kremmling, CO80459.