Memorial Day

Memorial Day seems like a good time to remember the veterans in my own family and say a heart-felt “thank you” to all veterans, past and present.

As adults, my great-uncle Alfred and and great-aunt Amelia (Mae) LeClair would both serve in the army
My great-uncle Alfred LeClair, who was stationed at Plattsburgh Barracks at the time this photo was taken (1929)
My great-aunt Mae was a WAC
My uncle Bill Clarida served in the Navy in Korea and Viet Nam

My grandfather on my father’s side went into the shipyards at Wilmington, NC, at the beginning of WWII and helped build the ships that were needed in the Pacific theater.

Both my grandmother’s brothers-in-law were veterans:  1) great-uncle Fred lied about his age (said he was 16 instead of 14) and ended up in Mexico with General John “Black Jack” Pershing in pursuit of Pancho Villa. He saw action not only in Mexico but in both World Wars and Korea, too. He earned a battlefield commission in WWII and reached the rank of Colonel by the time he retired after 40 years of service (and a hula-girl tattooed on his arm!). Great-uncle Benny was part of the invasion of Italy (at Anzio, I think) and lived to tell about it.

My father’s parents, Paul & Louise Sexton; Daytona, 1969. And yes, that’s iced tea in their glasses, even though they’re looking pretty relaxed!

My father served in the Naval Reserves for eight years–I love this picture of my mom & dad from April 1958–long before they were my mom & dad!

[Check out the shelves behind them and you’ll see pictures of my Aunt Mary Lou (top shelf) and her then-boyfriend Rex, who was in the Navy–and probably needs his own separate post. Glad she married my Uncle Dale instead of that character! My Uncle Bill, still a teenager and before he went into the Navy, is on the lower shelf.]

My brother attended Naval Officer Candidate School after college and served as a Lieutenant aboard the U.S.S. Finback (SSN-670) for several years.

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