Tag Archives: Memorial Day

Memorial Day Memories

28 May


Judy Wills




Tomorrow is Memorial Day 2017.

Credit Google Search and Time Magazine

I know I’ve mentioned before that I am fiercely patriotic about my country. I’ve had the great privilege of being born and growing up in the United States of America.   I’ve also had the privilege of living in another country. It was such a lesson to see how other countries view the U.S.

My brother, Bill, enlisted in the Navy right out of high school. I remember a time when he was shipped overseas, and I became afraid for him. But he came home, safe and sound.

And then I met the man who would become my husband – and the love of my life. Fred’s father was a Chaplain in the U.S. Air Force. And even though I became more interested in the military at that point – because of Fred’s Dad – it wasn’t until Fred joined the U.S. Air Force himself that my interest became intense. I had not ever really envisioned what military life was all about.

I’ve seen advertisements for t-shirts that state that the military person was one who, at some point in their lives, signed a blank check to the U.S. Government, up to and including their lives.

And that brings us to Memorial Day. I’ve not had a family member die in battle. My heart cries for those who have had that happen. But I do have a family history of military service.

My Dad – I didn’t know for quite a few years, that my Dad served with the U.S. Army in World War 1. He was in the medical corps, and served in France.



My brother served in the U.S. Navy – active duty for four years, then more in the reserves. He was stationed on board ships in the Mediterranean and in Japan.



Bill Lites


My husband served for over 22 years in the U.S. Air Force as a meteorologist. He served in six states and twice in West Germany.



My father-in-law served in the U.S. Army – later in the U.S. Air Force – for over 28 years as a Chaplain. He served all over the world. In 1943 he was wounded in the invasion of Sicily, by shrapnel from a German mortar. He carried the quarter-size piece of shrapnel in his body, too near his heart to be removed, for over 66 years.



My brother-in-law – Fred’s brother – served in the U.S. Air Force as a Chaplain for 20 years.



All-in-all, that adds up to nearly 80 years of service to this country by my family members. And it was all done voluntarily.

All of these men are veterans. And that marks the difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day.

Memorial Day honors those who gave their lives defending this country. They are the ones who, when they signed that blank check to the U.S. Government, actually gave up their lives for freedom.

And that’s the crux of this:   it is our military that has given us our freedom – not the politicians in Washington D.C. As a matter of fact, I think that service in our nation’s military should be a prerequisite for holding government office.

I would like to honor the memory of all those who have died for the cause of freedom. Outside of the cause for Christ….there is no other greater.




Credit Google Search and clipart panda


May God 🇺🇸 bless America!





A Memorial Day Tribute

25 May


Judy Wills


Growing up, I only had a small nodding acquaintance with the military. I knew that my Dad had served in World War 1 as a medic, because he refused to carry a weapon. And my Mother worked in accounting at Kirtland AFB in town. She would occasionally bring home some of those young airmen that she worked with. They were usually quite homesick, and she was attached to them. But that was my only connection with the military.

Until I met Fred.

He was in Albuquerque to attend the University of New Mexico (UNM) (a story in itself), but his family was far away in Japan. I learned that his Dad was a military chaplain, and that they had traveled the world.


About the time Fred and I married and moved to Fort Worth, Texas, his family moved to Bossier City, Louisiana (Barksdale AFB) – near Shreveport – just about a four-hour drive for us. We visited them as often as we could on weekends. That was my first real taste of the military life – staying in their quarters on base.

But it wasn’t until Fred actually went into the Air Force that I came to know about true military life – we began to live it, ourselves. I began to see how dedicated men and women were to serving and protecting their country. I began to see how this country that I love so much could possibly be speaking German – or Japanese – if it weren’t for those who were willing to give their lives for our freedom through both World Wars.

I became fiercely patriotic. And I also became fiercely proud of my husband, his father, my brother, and our father – for the contributions they all made to our freedoms.
When Fred’s Dad died, the military funeral was absolutely breath-taking.

The flag was folded and presented, with a salute.


We have that folded flag in a case. It is a constant reminder to us of what the military life means to the men and women of our armed forces. I know that not all military personnel are as dedicated to this country – but I could probably venture a guess that at least 95% of them are willing to give up their lives to protect our freedoms.

Have you ever visited the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington Cemetery in D.C.?

4 png
Seeing it, and the Marine guard, is one of the most moving and emotional experiences for me. I’m so glad that this country honors it’s military as it does. It shows that we still have “heart” and love of country. And I am so grateful that God has allowed me to live in this free country.

May God bless the U.S.A.


Psalm 147:7
Sing to the Lord with grateful praise

The Home of Heroes

28 May

We are celebrating Memorial Day with our guest  Patricia Franklin. I love home town  stories, hope you do too.

Our town, Pueblo, Colorado, has a designation as “The Home of Heroes.” Our river walk has a section called the “Walk of Valor.” We have four Medal of Honor winners from Pueblo, the most from any place in the U.S. Their statues are at one end of the river walk. On the trail, there is a pedestrian bridge called “Veteran’s Bridge.” It is the only monument in the U.S. to honor veterans from every branch of the service. Originally, you could place the name of a veteran on a plaque for $75 to help build the bridge, so we did that for my husband who was in the service. There is still room for more names, but the cost is a little more now.

Further along at the end of the “Walk of Valor” is a building called the Center for American Values. One of our local photographers took pictures of all the living veterans who were Medal of Honor winners and they are displayed in this building, which is laid out like a classroom. It is free and open to the public and they take school kids there and teach them about the constitution, etc. Some local citizens, including one of the Medal of Honor winners who lives in Pueblo put this in place.

Some firefighters from New York visited here last year and were so impressed that they wanted to give something to the city. They sent a steel beam that came from the World Trade Center. The grandkids and I  were here right after it arrived and it was sitting on the floor of the Center at that time. We actually touched it and unsuccessfully tried to lift it, Anyway, the firefighters came back last weekend and our fire departments, police and sheriff departments, veterans, citizens and visitors were all present and we had the dedication of the monument you see here, dedicated to 9-11.

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