Remembering their service
When my parent’s high-school friends and my uncles were doing duty in the Vietnam War, I was just a toddler. Some of my earliest memories are when they were home on leave and came to hang out, catch up and enjoy the family. I can remember when my brother Conn was born and named after their close friend who was killed days before in a convoy attack, and hearing that story every year on Memorial Day. Now, my own son’s name carries on a version of that honor and it’s a gift to reflect on what it means this long weekend in May.
Commemorating our military heroes permeates our professional psyche as well, through our Operation: Cape Girl work, where we volunteer our skills to help with the Field of Honor 1,000 Flag Memorial. The commitment of our local Exchange Club Field of Honor board and American Legion Chapter is energizing — we’re inspired by the time and hard work spent by our friends, neighbors and associates helping to highlight the cherished memories of our Idaho soldiers. Hours of planning and preparation go into planning the Field of Honor display each year, as well as hours of physical work to set up the giant flags and poles.
This got me thinking — if MCS-staffers each listed their own family who are being remembered for their service this year — what would that list look like? Turns out, the length of this list is a powerful illustration of how we all have a stake in the protection of our country and the people-power it takes to do so — whether we’re actually in the trenches, sending support here from US soil, or a mine-sweeper in WWII in the Navy like my Grandma Abigail’s brother, David Good.
While it’s not an exhaustive account by any means, our list is a whole lot longer than I imagined. We’re only including names who served and are now deceased, this doesn’t even include all of the others who have served and are still with us. None, that I’m aware of, died in the line of duty thankfully — but when Memorial Day rolls around they are honored along with their fallen comrades for their dedicated service to their country.
Here’s our list of remembered family, no longer on earth, who served in the armed forces:
Great Grandpa, Charles Miller, US Army 1819
Grandpa, Jay C Hawker US Army 1942-46
Great Uncle, David O. Good
Great Uncle, Milburn Hix WWII, served 2 years in Hawaii
Great Uncle, Larry Hawker, US Army
Great Uncle, Earl Hawker, US Army
3rd Great Grandfather, Fletcher Bateman Wheaton, Civil War 1863-1865
Grandpa, Andrew Fischbach, US Army
Uncle, Paul Passolt, National Guard
Great Uncle, Erwin Hoffman, US Army
Great Uncle, Elmer Hoffman, US Army
Great Uncle, Roline Hoffman, US Navy
Great Uncle, Rheinart Hoffman, US Army
Great Uncle, Virden Hoffman, US Army
Great Uncle, Lynn LaBarre, US Army
Great Uncle, Edwin LaBarre, US Army
Great Uncle, John LaBarre, US Army
Grandpa, Charles Oakley, US Army, WWII
Sister, Evangeline Andrews, US Army
Grandpa, Arnold Pfeifer, US Army
Great Grandpa, Robert Smith, US Army
Great Grandpa, Fernando Bravo, US Army
Grandpa, Eric Carlson, US Army
Great Grandpa, Kenneth Kenworthy, Army Air Corps Flight instructor, WWI
Grandfather, Lamar Wangen, US Army
Grandfather, Kenneth Anderson, US Navy