Thanks for Your Sacrifice

by Joan C Webb on November 11, 2011

House renovation and painting Oct 2011 025Br-r-i-ng! Br-r-r-ing! “It’s late. Who could be calling now,” I thought. I lifted the receiver to my ear.

“Hi, Joanie. It’s me,” said my boyfriend, Dick. “I have something to tell you.” (He was going to school in Chicago. I was at home in Kansas City and planning to join him soon at Moody Bible Institute in The Windy City.) “I’ve joined the army. I’ll be leaving for boot camp soon.”

I sunk to the floor. I couldn’t believe it. What was I supposed to say? This was not in my plan. What was he doing? The Vietnam War was raging.

“I want to do my duty. I’m not in Bible School to avoid the draft,” he said. Before long he was serving on the DMZ line dividing North and South Korea. He sacrificed a lot to be there. So did his mom–and his dad. So did I. He stayed for a year. When he returned, I became Mrs. Richard L. Webb.

Today I honor Richard for serving our country so proudly.

Bob And PlaneI also honor my father, Robert W. Pressler, who as a gunner in WWII, saw his best friend die and barely escaped being shot down himself. When he came home, any loud noise nearly freaked him out. He sacrificed much. So did his mother–and his father. So did his girlfriend, my mom. After he returned, they got married. The effects of the war lingered. And then I was born.

This morning, the day before Veteran’s Day 2011, I thought of these stories. I’m not sure why. It all hit me differently than it ever has before. My husband and my father gave a part of themselves, a portion of their lives to help sustain my freedom–and yours.

And there are still boyfriends, fathers, sons, brothers, as well as daughters, mothers, sisters and girlfriends who are spending scary, lonely, challenging, sad nights and days away from those they love. Thank you, brave people. I’m truly grateful.

Will you join me in thanking the next soldier you see in a restaurant, airport, church, home or walking down the street? And will you pause to tell a veteran–or a veteran’s family–that you appreciate their sacrifice. If you do, leave a comment. I’d love to hear your story.


{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Pam C in Canada November 11, 2011 at 9:24 am

Thank you for this lovely post Joan! Every year, I put up a blog post about Remembrance Day (if you want I can add you to my reader list :) ), and I always mention my Mom’s Dad. He died in 1988, and I don’t remember a lot about him, but he didn’t ever talk about the war, or what it was like. And there were so few resources for the men & women back then compared to now. My ceramics teacher sent me a poem that was written by a friend of hers:

AN AIRMAN’S FAREWELL

Farewell dear friends, and don’t forget
The promise made that you’d not fret
If ever the news should come to you
That my plane was lost with all is crew.
My country called me from those I love
To take a plane and fly above,
And drop destruction and death on those
Who, by their choosing, became our foes.
This wasn’t my choice, an airman to be,
But our country for people like you must be free.
I saw my place was with the other boys,
‘Mid the guns, and planes, and the battle’s noise.
I fought the fight, I tried to do well,
I went through terrors, yes even hell.
Now I’ve found a haven of peace and rest -
My Savior has taken me to his breast.
-Barbara R. White

*The poet’s brother did not return after a raid over Germany in 1944.

Bob Pressler November 12, 2011 at 5:04 pm

Interestingly enough, I just saw the above “stuff” for the first time in my memory. Of course, sometimes, in these later days, the memory has a “mind” of it’s own.

The words above by Ms. White fit me, EXCEPT, I am here today. And I PTL all the things that have happened to me in the last 65 plus years.

God is good and greatly to be praised.

One of the great things that has happened to me within those above mentioned years is Joan C. (Pressler) Webb.

Joan C. Webb November 12, 2011 at 11:41 pm

Pam, Thank you for sharing. And thank you for honoring your grandfather here. The poem you added is quite meaningful, as are your comments. My own father commented on the poem, as you can see from his words above. :-)
And yes, indeed, Pam, I would like to see your blog. Can you send me a direct message and we can email so I can give you my email address, if you don’t already have it? Thanks.

Joan C. Webb November 12, 2011 at 11:47 pm

Oh, Dad, I cherish your comments “One of the great things that has happened to me within those above mentioned years is Joan C. (Pressler) Webb.” How nice of you to say that. I’m smiling inside and out just reading your words. Thank you.

You identified with the poem that Pam C typed into your comment, it sounds like. And I’m so glad that you returned from the war, married Mom and had me, your oldest. :-) I know I can’t possibly understand what it was like for you to serve and fly and be in the war. Thank you for giving that part of your life and for going through that for us. Love you!

Patricia Whiting November 11, 2015 at 8:24 pm

I, like you, am grateful for our servicemen. Always try to thank them. My brother is still in North Korea having been MIA in the Korean War. Freedom is not free, I really wish more Americans understood that.

Joan C. Webb November 12, 2015 at 10:04 am

You–and your family–have made the ultimate sacrifice, Patsy. The words “thank you” will never be adequate. Still I say “Thank you. Thank you from deep within my heart. Thank you.” I am sorry for your loss. I cannot imagine what you’ve been through or the pain you’ve experienced in the circumstances with your brother.

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