Friday, November 10, 2017

Veterans: Our Peacekeepers

A shout out this Veterans Day for all the men and women who served our country.  To Veterans still with us, we thank you for your sacrifice; to the families whose warriors have left us, please accept our gratitude and condolences. 

Leah’s blog about being sure to vote for measures that improve the quality of our country and add value to our place in the world, was spot on.  War is surely the last and worst option for solving conflict; in the end, we yearn for a day when there are no veterans of war to celebrate except those long gone.  My brother, Brian, who retired as a Major from the Army, assures me that a robust Army, Navy, Air Force deter other countries from making war with America; soldiers want peace, not war, just as police and firefighters wish for law-abiding, safe communities. 

So I honor the peacekeeping efforts of my father, Lt. Col. Alford C. Shellum, who fought in the 164th Infantry at Guadacanal (the landing took place 13 October, 1942).  My father was wounded in Guadacanal and left the war early, but continued to serve in the Army for another twenty years.  He died at the age of 89 in 2006.  Paintings of him and my mother, here, the way he looked when he fought in the war.  They were so young!

I also honor my brother, Brian, who served in the Gulf War, 2nd Brigade, First Armored (Tank) Division.  (His picture, with me, below) My two other brothers enlisted and served short terms in the Army.  Though they did not see battle, they were peacekeepers, too.  

Brother Colin is pictured below (searching for a pic of Steve!):

It should be said that the families of our servicemen and women are extremely important to any peacekeeping effort.  We accompanied my father on every domestic and overseas assignment (Germany, Japan, Korea), in each posting, tasked to support him and my mother through tough transitions. 

So on this Veteran’s day, we honor all those connected with our servicemen and women and our cumulative effort to keep the peace, at home and abroad.

Feel free to do your own Veteran Shout-Out here.

It was Brian, by the way, who helped me with my Army soldier character in FEAR LAND.  More about that experience, in another entry.  So here's FEAR LAND

A psychiatrist’s attempt to help a soldier and his son struggling with shades of anxiety, puts them all on a collision course with corrupt, revengeful foes.

Web and Blog:
Facebook page:


Jannine Gallant said...

Your family certainly has done their share, Rolynn! Wishing all veterans a great day and thanking them for their service.

Rolynn Anderson said...

Thanks, Jannine. I guess it's not unusual for Army brats (boys) to follow in their father's footsteps. Out of three brothers, only one, Brian, made a career of the Army (starting at West Point). But the life still resonates for all of us in how we live and how we see the world...and who to root for at the Army/Navy game :-)

Brenda whiteside said...

A military life sure requires the whole family to make sacrifices...but for me, I enjoyed the traveling around while Frank served. I think it served you well too, Rolynn, and resulted in your outgoing personality and world view beyond your own back yard.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Veterans, service members and their families are National treasures to be sure. Though I didn't know it at the time, our travels while Ron served taught us a lot about people and life. It's wonderful to see our veterans honored today and always. Your family is to be saluted, Rolynn. Thank them for their service.

Alicia Dean said...

Wow, these pictures are fantastic. You must be so proud. Thank you for sharing such a timely and beautiful post. Your book sounds great...definitely going to check this one out!

Rolynn Anderson said...

Brenda, thank you for your compliments. You're right about my sense of the world. I've attended so many different schools and lived in so many houses in the U.S. and foreign countries, that I am far from normal :-)
The fact you enjoyed your travels says much about your multi-cultural awareness/comfort. And you haven't stopped traveling!

Rolynn Anderson said...

Margo, thanks. It seems we share similar experiences. I consider us lucky for these ventures that were not chosen, but we treated as gifts. I wonder about people who are afraid to move even once! Travel teaches us about risk...and there are so many rewards.

Rolynn Anderson said...

Thanks, Alicia. I think my parents looked back with fondness on our experiences; they made the best of every move, treating each posting as an adventure...or at the very least, purposeful and patriotic. One thing, our family was a close unit, because, in the end, we only had each other as we moved place to place.

Diane Burton said...

Beautiful tribute to your family and all veterans, Rolynn. My dad and three of his four brothers served in WWII; the fourth was too young, although he ended up serving as well and later became a police officer. You bring up a point that is often forgotten, Rolynn. The families serve, too. Spouses keep the home fires burning. They raise the children, many times alone. Because of the moves, they rely mainly on themselves and learn to become self-sufficient. Although we didn't move as often or as many times as those of you in the military, I know what it's like to uproot the family, put on a brave face for the kids, and follow the spouse to a new posting. Never easy, but it gave me (as it did Rolynn) a bigger view of the world.

Leah St. James said...

Great post, Rolynn! I know a number of military families, and I think many of us are unaware of the hardships they face, even when their loves ones come home safely. (I'm sorry I'm late commenting!)