First, want to thank my followers that I know of who have served: @SashaBeauloux, @veterans_i, @ctbballfan, @wack_robert, @JohnKaminar @RedTRaccoon, @semperdiced and @JoeFunderburke!
Second, thanks to all of my family members who served our nation. I have over 45 relatives who served in the military, going back to at least WWII. My uncle Walter (Navy) rescued pilots in Vietnam, my uncle James (USMC) fought at Khe Sanh.
After graduation from high school, my uncle Charles went to Knoxville College for a year, and volunteered for Vietnam. Went to basic training over the summer, was "in-country" by September, was shot on Thanksgiving Day and died just before Christmas in 1969.
He name is on wall 15 West, line 66 on the Vietnam Memorial. Our whole family went on that rainy, dreary day. The Washington Post printed the names of all of those in the DMV who died in Vietnam on the front page that day. It was surreal.
I call all of my relatives who served. Two I miss the most are John "Jack" Wack and Eugene B. Williams. Jack, a mine sweeper in WWII, was at the Battle of Anzio*. A land mine blew off both his legs. He rebuilt his life, got married, had 8 children, and taught at Howard University
My grandfather, Eugene Williams, was drafted with 7 dependents at 27 + his wife was pregnant with twins. Part of the famed 761st Tank Battalion (the Black Panthers), he fought six months straigth at the Battle of the Bulge. Marched in 1963. One of the greatest men ever.
As many as 25,000 Native Americans fought in WWII. Don't forget them or their incredible sacrifice to our nation. The famed "Code Talkers" made it possible for our messages to go undetected by the enemy.
Women were also a key part of WWII. Among others, Josephine Baker and Beatrice Arthur served in WWII. Yes, the "Golden Girl" was a Marine.
There was no way a Veteran's Day goes without the photo of the founder of the Tuskegee Airmen, West Point graduate Benjamin O. Davis, Jr.
Japanese Americans, despite being snatched away from their homes, businesses and livelihood, fought with a special ferocity. They were one of the most decorated units in WWII.
The famed "Red Ball Express" kept vital supplies to the front during the Normandy landing. This unit was segregated like all others made of ethnic minorities.
A Happy Veterans Day to those like my grand parents, who are Gold Star parents. To the families who are left behind when mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, serve overseas. To the LGBTQ warriors who have served in every war this nation's fought with zero love in return.
Thank you for our freedom.
You can follow @JamesMWilliam18.
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