Sunday, May 26, 2013


(I've updated this post a little since last year, but I think it's worth repeating.)
This Memorial Day, I'm thinking about a few of the heroes in my life.  I have many uncles who served in various branches of the military.  My own father was a Corpsman in the Navy, and completed two tours in the Pacific Theater in WWII. (If you don't know what a corpsman it....these guys are beyond heroes...they are every soldiers hero on the battlefield.)  My father-in-law served in the war in Korea.  He was a Lineman....I can't imagine climbing up on a telephone pole in a war zone.  I wonder how many snipers had him in their gun sights.  That kind of bravery deserves some serious respect.  I have a treasured nephew in the army who has a lovely wife and 3 beautiful small children he leaves behind every time he goes overseas.  I don't know how he does it, but I'm proud and grateful for his service.  
This is my nephew Josh saying goodbye to his 3 children.....again.  These three kids are some of the bravest little heroes I know. 
Thank you Maddi, Rylee and Josh Jr. for giving up so much time with your daddy!
This is his gorgeous wife Shannon, who somehow manages to keep it altogether while her husband is overseas keeping us safe!  She's a hero in my book!
Josh and Shannon
Thank you Joshua for your service to our country and for the time with your family that you give up.  I love you and am indebted to you for it.  We all are.
I have another nephew Jacob, who is a Marine.

Check out this's one of my favorites:
The young Marine on the left is my nephew Jacob.  He is my hero in so many ways, for so many reasons.  The young man on the  right, is his brother, my other nephew Ben.  He's a different kind of hero, who fought a different kind of battle.  He is very sadly no longer with us, but he was an organ donor and so, a hero to many who will never know the wonderful young man that he was.  Ben was so proud of his brother's service.
Here is another picture from that day:
What a fine pair of heroes.

This is my sister Jennifer, mother to both:
I know you can't see her very well in this picture, but I love it anyway.  I know that on this day her range of emotion was off the charts.  I can't imagine.  Jennifer is a hero too.  All military mothers are.

This is Jacobs wife Kelsey:
I can't even begin to imagine how proud she is and how she must have worried when Jacob was in Afghanistan.  She is an amazing woman in her own right.  All military wives are courageous heroes.
Here is a picture of them together at the Marine Ball:

This is my brother-in-law Mike, father to both:
He is at the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, DC.  It was his dream to go there.  I don't think that I know of anyone who has greater respect for ALL of the men who have served our country and fought and died for our freedom.  His knowledge and enthusiasm of military history is vast and his respect for those who serve and have served is limitless.  I know that he is proud of his Marine son.  I also know that he is aware of the danger that his only surviving son faces.  Mike is a hero too.  All military fathers are.
I am proud of this family and the bravery of each and every one of them.  They have all fought battles of different kinds.  Not all of the battles were won.  Some are over, some will never be.  They are heroes to me each and every day.  I love them and I'm grateful for them....each and every day.
Thank you for your service Jacob. I love you. You are my hero for so many reasons!  You were training for it at an early age:
(As an update to this post, Jacob has completed his military service with honors.  Thank you Jacob!)

Thank you Mike and Jen.  (Parents of both Ben and Jacob) Your sacrifices and patriotism are beyond words. I love you both. You are my heroes.
Thank you Ben...your organ donations were honorable sacrifices, your bravery was amazing in the face of a battle so unfathomable.  I am so sorry that you lost.  You are a hero in my book any day.  You are loved and missed by so many on this Memorial Day.
I still miss you Ben.  Every.Single.Day.
Please remember on this Memorial Day, heroes come in all sorts...past, present and future! 



  1. So true Danni. Lovely photos and great heroes, all of them.

    Anne xx

  2. What a great tribute to the military men in your life and all others!

  3. Brings tears to my eyes Danni...these stories always do. God Bless, and happy Memorial Day to you!


  4. *blowing nose loudly* Thank you, Danni! Loved reading about these amazing men and women (and kids) you are so lucky to be related to. My favorite picture is the three littles attached to their dad. So much honor to all of them, and you for telling us a little of their story. It's too easy to take people for granted amid the day-to-day.

  5. So sad, but such a beautiful post, Danni :-)

  6. Wonderful post Danni! I'm so glad Jacob I safe. I come from a Marine family....Semper Fi !

  7. Lovely post, Danni! Thank you! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

  8. A beautiful and touching reminder of the thanks we all owe to our servicemen and women and their brave families. Thank you to all your relatives who have given to help keep us safe and free. May God bless them all.

  9. Oh Danni what brave men to fight for their country, I'm do sorry about Ben xo

  10. What a beautiful post, Danni, and I'm definitely teary eyed. I am honored that you shared your "heroes" with us and we are extremely fortunate and thank all of our service men and women for protecting us each and every day.

  11. This is what Memorial Day is all about. Taking that time to step out of our own safe, comfortable lives and imagine for a moment what it must be like for those who are sacrificing so much to keep us all safe. What a beautiful tribute to heroes of all kinds, those in the military, and your family. Condolences to your family for the loss of Ben I hope his memory will comfort you all as time goes by. ~ Amy

  12. These are my heroes too, thank you for giving them names and faces.


  13. Danni, what an amazing post. Thank you so much for sharing your heroes. Saying a little prayer for them this morning.

  14. A beautiful tribute, Danni. Happy Memorial Day!~~Angela

  15. Beautiful Danni, I'm in tears. Hope your well, miss our chats. ~ Paula

  16. I am a little choked up but what a great post Danni!

  17. What an incredibly beautiful post. A great reminder. You certainly do have a lot of heroes in your life...I am proud to know you Danni and your brave family.

  18. Wow, Danni! So many heroes in your family...what a beautiful post with gorgeous photos!

  19. What an amazing post Danni. Love the photos and I'm so sorry about Ben xxx

  20. This is a beautiful tribute and has touched all our hearts. Flag waving is fun but it's the quiet stories behind the service and sacrifice that are the true story of patriotism. You have written it so well. I have a hard time imagining what it is like to leave you family behind for such a long time or how a parent endures sending their child off into such terrible danger. You brought that home to us and I thank you.