Some gave all and all gave some

Rev. Billy Holland
Thursday, November 15, 2018

Though I did not serve in the military, I am very appreciative of those who have. I’m very proud of my son who is a Marine that spent time in Japan and Thailand. He has a Masters degree and served with Homeland Security is now working as a police officer at a Veterans hospital. Neither my father or his dad were soldiers but on my mother’s side of the family, it is quite a different story. My maternal grandfather fought in WWI and was in France. He was injured in the war and according to my mom, he was never the same. I can barely remember him as a child but do recall a few details like when we would visit, he would greet us at the door making meow sounds like a cat and then he would always peel and slice apples and set them on the coffee table. I ate the apples and laughed at his meows. His wife, my grandmother passed away when I was even younger. They had seven children, three boys, four girls, and my mother was the baby. Like many families during that time period, all three sons were eventually enlisted in the military. However, I thought it was even more unique how the father and each son was a soldier in a different war. The dad World War I, the oldest son was in Japan during WWII, the second son was killed in Korea, and the youngest son served in the Vietnam era. I vaguely remember two of these uncles and now realize they both suffered terribly from PTSD. My uncle who was killed in action died in 1950 eight years before I was born.

I wish I had been old enough to speak with these family members about their military experiences. My mother can recall a few memories and recently I contacted the department of military affairs and requested some of their offi- cial documents. I received a few things but much of it was difficult to read and some were unfortu- nately destroyed in a fire at the National Personnel Records Center Archives in 1973. My mom was very close to her brother who never returned and was convinced that he was her mother’s favorite child. His nickname was Kenny and he worked a little part-time job before he went to the war and she remembers he would give her ten cents every Saturday to buy some candy which she really looked forward to. He would also buy his mother flowers every week and she would set them on the kitchen table. She also remembers the day when military representatives knocked on their door and told her mother that they were sorry to inform that her son had been killed. She ran through the house wailing and screaming no please no, over and over. My mother said it was a terrible time and she can recall her mother going to bed and staying there for weeks.

I currently have the privilege to volunteer as a chaplain at a veterans health care facility and it’s truly an honor to spend quality

time with the many fine men and

women who have served our nations armed forces. I teach Bible studies and lead worship services with the old hymns which they really enjoy. I’m on call whenever a resident becomes seriously ill and present with the family whenever someone passes away. I’ve come to accept that many veterans who need constant medical care do not have family or friends to visit them. Many of the older ones have outlived everyone but its still sad to walk into a room and not see any pictures or greeting cards. I’ve asked the staff on numerous occasions if a certain resident has had any visitors and they cannot remember the last time someone was there. I’m also a chaplain for a small honor guard team which presents memorial services for military veterans. I open and close in prayer and have been known to sing the national anthem on occasions. I encourage you to set aside some time and visit a veteran. They would appreciate it very much and I promise you will also be blessed beyond words. Veterans Day not only remembers those who served our country in the past but also recognizes those who continue to serve today. We share a sincere gratitude to all who gave some and to some who gave all to preserve our freedom.


Upcoming Events

Tuesday, September 17, 2019
Tuesdays, Noon, Beartooth Grill, 305 1st Ave. S.
Wednesday, September 18, 2019
10 a.m., Laurel Public Library, 720 West Third Street, Laurel, 628-4961
Wednesday, September 18, 2019
Every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., check for more info. Find them on Facebook . Email them to find out meeting time and to join: The club will have a meeting or volunteer activity. Meeting location is Sid's East Side Bar & Grill on first and third Wednesdays of each month. Members and guests eat free.  Volunteer activity on the second Wednesday of each month. Check their facebook page for updates.  Every fourth Wednesday is for a club social activity. 
Saturday, September 21, 2019
Third Saturdays, 1 p.m., The Crossings, 600 Roundhouse Dr.
Tuesday, September 24, 2019
Tuesdays, Noon, Beartooth Grill, 305 1st Ave. S.
Tuesday, September 24, 2019
Fourth Tuesdays, 7 p.m., Eagles Hall, 313 W. Main, 628-4503


Are you happy with the cooler weather?

The Laurel Outlook


Click Here to Check Out Our Latest Ads

We use Google cookies to determine our demographic of visitors to our site. You can opt out here.

We also use Twitter Analytics to track clicks from our twitter feed. 

You can find all the City Council documents that we have received here.