Bompa, my paternal grandfather, who served as a Naval Communications Officer in the Pacific Theater during WWII and endured Guadalcanal.
Bumpa, my maternal grandfather, who served as a Merchant Marine in the Pacific.
Grandpa S., my step-grandfather, who soldered steel on the Battleship Missouri, on whose decks the Japanese surrendered to General McArthur.
Uncle Stan, my grandmother's brother, who parachuted behind enemy lines during the Battle of the Bulge.
Uncle Jack, my Nini's dearest brother and elder by only 18 months, who as a Staff Sergeant and tail gunner lost his life on July 9, 1944 when his B-24 bomber was shot down over the Ploesti Oil Fields in Romania. He was 21 years old.
And one of my great great great uncles on my mother's side, whose name I don't know, who was the first of his small town in Virginia to be killed in the Civil War.
These are my honored soldiers. My ancestors. My dead.
It's Veterans Day: Hug a Soldier.