Could the calling to serve be inherent? To answer a call to leave loved ones behind and go off on your own to something unknown. To suddenly adult in a way many will never understand.
The following are photographs that I’ve discovered, of veterans from my own family. These men walked those steps before me. Some saw things that no CGI movie could reproduce. Many lost brothers and friends and lived out their years with heavy hearts. As I type this I realize it’s only men that I have to represent as I was the first female of my direct line to serve in the Armed Forces.
I honor them with this living memorial.
My Handsome Dad served US Navy 1959-62
Aboard the USS Oriskany and USS Coral Sea as an Aviation Machinist Mate (the same rate I would later select when I joined.)
Fredrik Thorfinson 1920-1979 My Paternal Grandfather during WWII. Story goes that when he enlisted he dropped one of the N’s changing our line from Thorfinnson to what it is today. He was a demolitions and underwater welder.
Haskell Webb 1916-1964 My Maternal Grandfather enlisted during WWII but served in the CCC Camps in Wyoming never leaving stateside.
2nd Great Grandfather
William Riley Webb 1845-1910 My Maternal 2nd Great Grandfather. Served with his brother in Company H 6th Tennessee Calvary Regiment USA. (aka, 1st West Tennessee Calvary Regiment)
3rd Great Grandfathers
Chester Smith 1830-1862 My Paternal 3rd Great Grandfather Served as Chief Bugler at company B Regiment 1 Wisconsin. Died of Typhoid Fever in Missouri.
Thomas S Copeland 1815-1904 My Maternal 3rd Great Grandfather. Served in Company G 10th Regimental Middle Tennessee Infantry. (There is a soap opera of a story with this old man.
5th Great Grandfather
Thomas Bouldin III 1762-1840 My 5th Great Grandfather served in the War of 1812 in Virginia.
6th Great Grandfather
Thomas Bouldin II 1738-1827 My 6th Great Grandfather served in the Revolutionary War out of Virginia. (see my blog about him building America)
7th Great Grandfathers
Thomas Bouldin Sr 1706-1782 My Maternal 7th Great Grandfather. Served as Militia Lieutenant Colonel in Virginia
Nehemiah Howe 1721-1777 My Maternal 7th Great Grandfather fought in the Revolutionary War
My Mom’s brothers serving during the 60’s. Marvin Webb US Navy 1940-2006 Eugene Webb serving US Army 1943-2008.
George “Rikky” Oleson 1943-2002 My mom’s cousin actually served on the USS Coral Sea with my dad at the same time. They didn’t know it until years later.
Robert Thomas Oleson 1910-1974 1st Maternal Cousin 2x Removed served US Army WWII
Lavern Williams 1917-2004 My mom’s Step father and the only grandpa I ever knew. Served during WWII
Raymond BUD Staudt 1922-1986 My Paternal Great Uncle. Served on the USS DuPage where a Kamikaze pilot crashed into the port side damaging the ship severely and starting fires. Killing 35 and wounding 136 including Bud where he received extensive shrapnel wounds.
Laurence “Ole” Oleson 1926-1986 Maternal Great Uncle US Navy
Merle Oleson 1917-1997 Maternal Great Uncle US Navy
John N Kearns 1887-1959 My Maternal 2nd Great Uncle. Served in WWI
Thomas “Oakley” Kearns 1892-1959 My Maternal 2nd Great Uncle. Served in WWI. (Younger brother of John N Kearns)
Everette Staudt 1897-1955 My Paternal 2nd Great Uncle Served WWI out of North Dakota He’s the 6th from the left first row.
Sabin Cicero Tanner 1875-1942 (left) My 3rd Maternal Great Uncle served in the Spanish American War.
Chesley Richard Guinn 1828-1905 My Maternal 4th Great Uncle. Veteran of two wars Company I 2nd Mississippi Infantry USA and Wrights Calvary Regiment CSA
Thomas Ashley 1738-1810 My Paternal 7th Great Uncle Served in the Revolutionary War out of Vermont