At South Lansing Christian Church, we took a moment to say thank you, yesterday, to our veterans. Like you, I am incredibly grateful for the sacrifices that these fine men and women made on our behalf.
My dad is my favorite veteran. Dad served in the United States Navy Reserve right after high school. He was stationed on the USS Lowry, a destroyer that was an escort vessel to the USS Randolph, an aircraft carrier that operated in the Atlantic. Dad was part of history when he was on the Lowry.
They were just steaming into Norfolk, and were expecting leave when the Captain informed them that leave was cancelled, and they were to undergo emergency resupply and immediate deployment to Cuba. Apparently Khrushchev decided to put some missiles in Cuba and President Kennedy didn't think that was such a good idea.
Dad said they headed into the Caribbean at full steam to take up station as part of the Cuban blockade. For days they zigzagged across the ocean, trailing a submerged contact. Eventually the sub they were tracking was forced to surface. Dad told me that seeing the hammer and sickle of the Soviet flag on the conning tower of that submarine was the most frightened he had ever been.
The November 1962 issue of Life magazine detailed those fateful thirteen days about that time that shows the Soviet submarine with my dad's ship in the foreground. I take pride in my dad's service, and in knowing that he was willing to lay down his life at such a crucial time in our nation's history.
Each of us knows a veteran. Take a moment today and call him or her up to say, "Thanks!"