A Tribute for our Veterans

Hi to All! Please allow me to write this story in gratitude to my PC and to all of our Nation’s Veterans. My PC, you see, served on a submarine during the Cold War in the 80s. I am fortunate to be surrounded by stories of military respect and admiration, and I am often honored to be able to decorate VFW Floats for local parades.

Crew of the USS Aspro, Mare Island Naval Shipyard, 1988

I am proud that my PC serves as the Commander of the Oconto VFW Post, and that he is an active member of the USSVI – SubVets organization. He, and now we, are active supporters of Veterans issues, and we are humbled often to be in the presence of heroes from WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and now into the modern wars. Since I truly wish to express my gratitude, I am posting a day early. I think that our Soldiers and Sailors should be honored every day.

For my tribute, I’d love to share a romantic little “just because I love you surprise” that PC found for me this week. You see, this week has been a surgical recovery for me – I believe my foot is coming along nicely, thank you. PC decided to find me the most wonderful gift to help my healing.

Not to delay in sharing my surprise, but I’d first like to tell you about one of our favorite mechanical toys. Alright, alright…stop 😉 I’ll tell you, your minds can sink low rather quickly. Not that kind of toy – that is for someone else to blog about.

Our favorite toy is a vintage home jukebox from the 1960s – crafted with rich woods and bringing a sense of nostalgia to our cozy little cottage on the Bay. The jukebox sat, unused for many years while PC was a bachelor. He had picked it up at a yard sale for $20 and thought he might tool around and get it working someday. Eventually he realized that he didn’t possess the ability to manage the repairs, so the music box rested all this time gathering dust.

This past summer, we found a gentleman in Chicago who specialized in this type of repair, so we loaded the dinosaur into the back of the Ford Pickup Truck and took a 3-hour tour down to the Windy City.

Just over a week after we left our baby in the care of this jukebox artisan, we got a call to come and bring her home. Shiny and new, she had a voice that could bring tears to a WWII Veteran as he would sit in memory of how the music could heal his war wounded heart – if only through the end of Side Two of the record.

Since she came home, we’ve tinkered a bit to get her back in shape. After all, she is about 50 years old, and she sat dormant for a couple of decades. Now, however, she is at full strength, and she fills our little home with the cracks and pops of albums from the generations who knew how to get off from the couch and flip the record to the other side without a remote.

Now that I’ve shared a newly rediscovered passion, I’ll share my gift from PC. PC, you see, is an eBay king. He loves finding old treasures: jewelry, antiques, books, you name it. This week, a package came in the mail, and he couldn’t wait until Christmas came to give it to me. He wanted me to be able to use the music to help in my healing, and he knows how I think I become more brilliantly focused with classic tunes of the legendary crooners.

With that, my present is 5 albums from my absolute favorite, Frank Sinatra. I’ll leave you with a couple of lines from his poetry, and I’ll let you in on who I get to listen to now in the way his voice was intended to be recorded – on black vinyl that pops and crackles with wisdom and truth. This morning as I write to you, I put the jukebox on all-play. I have the joy of this debonair gentleman singing me his sultry lullabies all day as I work.

His voice trembles through the walls of my home, reminding me to love who I have become:

But now the days grow short. I’m in the autumn of the year.

And now I think of my life as vintage wine from fine old kegs,

From the brim to the dregs, and it poured very clear.

It was a very good year.

Hmmm… Those lyrics have me thinking, “Self, treat yourself to a deep red Cabernet tonight. Yes, self, enjoy a very good year.”

And for all of you, my friends, join me. Tomorrow is Veteran’s Day. Please, if you raise a glass, raise it high to our Veteran’s. Thank them for keeping us safe.

And raise a glass to the Oldies but Goodies. We can find so much purity in their messages. Like a fine wine….

Thank you to Fire Control Technician First Class, PC. Thanks to my Father-in-Law, Pa; and thanks to Ponch. Thank you to Floyd and to Scott and Laura. Thanks to Tim, Eric, Kevin, Jim and Dean. Thanks to Zach. Thank you Elmer and Cliff, and Uncle Gigs and Uncle Allie. Thank you to our Wisconsin Military that is actively deployed. Thank you Bear who served in our Air Force, and thank you to all of our Veterans, and to our military personnel who are actively serving. Thank you, and here’s to you all! And thank you to the Military families who also sacrifice. Remember the wives, brothers, sisters, children and parents who give their most precious support. THANK YOU!

Please feel free to post a thank you to the Veterans in your life. We’d love the chance to thank them as well.

With Warmest Regards and Humble Gratitude,

Heidi Lee

8 thoughts on “A Tribute for our Veterans

  1. Thank you to G’pa Vandenberg and Uncle Fritz. To all my friends & co-workers ( too numerous to name),we are forever grateful for you and your families sacrifices.

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