Soldiers and Kids

I am loving this extra day off work but I do think it’s important to remember why we are off and able to spend the day doing things with our family that we enjoy.

Kevin is busy smoking/grilling a pork butt for our dinner tonight.

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Peyton and Eli are very happy to help him! 🙂

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I (with Kevin) did my annual 3.4  mile run through our local Memorial Cemetery this morning.

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Several years ago in 2010, I took Daniel to the cemetery when he was just 3 years old. Some old Veterans were at the entrance handing out small flags for people who come in. One of the old men gave Daniel a small flag.

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We strolled the beautiful and immaculately kept cemetery looking at various grave markers for military men and women. We came upon one and for some reason, there was no flag or anything on his grave. (Robert D. Browning – US Army WWII, Korea, Vietnam born Aug 20, 1927 and died March 1, 1988). I told Daniel that he needed to put the flag in the ground at his grave. Daniel did not want to give away his flag. I explained about how the man fought in all those wars to protect our country and freedom in other countries. He reluctantly put the flag in the ground at Mr. Browning’s grave. He had tears in his eyes because he didn’t want to give up his flag but he alone made the choice to do that. I was very proud of that little 3 year old. He wanted that flag so badly but he understood that someone else deserved it more. After we had left Mr. Browning’s grave, Daniel turned around and looked back in the direction of his grave and without any prompting, he saluted. I only realized later that I had captured that picture. He had seen an old man earlier salute a grave and he was apparently mimicking what he saw. I was a proud grandma. 

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Each year since, I put on my most patriotic colors and run from my home to and through Memorial Cemetery in Columbia, Mo where so many military people are laid to rest. I always collect a flag from the volunteers at the entrance as I did with Daniel on that day. I always make a stop at Mr. Browning’s grave to place my flag on it. I do not even know who this man was but I feel he is a relative.

One year, something very weird happened. I always fill out a card that the veterans ask us to fill out. We are supposed to grade them on how well kept the place is. They also ask who my relative is. I put down Robert D. Browning. A few weeks later….I won a $50 gas gift card. That was Mr. Browning saying thanks to Daniel and me. 🙂

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“It is our pleasure, sir….Thank you!”

~RIP and Thank You, Robert D. Browning~

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