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Over There

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VFW Department of New Hampshire
 

Daniel Greenlaw
Commander
2006-2007
"Over There"

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From Beth,

            How does one begin to write all that you feel in your heart for our Veterans, their families and their personal triumphs and tragedies?  A person truly needs to sit down and reflect and rely heavily on what’s in their soul. Our service members today are faced with so many different situations and life changing factors that many of us do not know or choose not to know.

            Personally, I am humbled to be in the presence of those who have worn the uniform of the Armed Forces of the United States, long ago and today. I almost become tongue tied (which for me is a fete), because I am so in awe of their presence. I also know their pride by the look in their eyes, the way they walk and the way they speak with me.  I become overwhelmed with emotion meeting them and their families.

            My longtime affiliation with the Ladies Auxiliary to the Veterans of Foreign Wars began as what I would call a “personal” reason. I needed more time with a loved one and he spent a lot of time doing all the great things the VFW does! However, in short time, I got it. Today, I can truthfully say to you, I am a member, I do the things I do, because they are the right thing to do. In my heart and soul I know I am here because someone (more than one) in my family sacrificed a piece of their lives and left a part of themselves somewhere far away. I am the daughter of a WWII Veteran. My father John Williams, served in Burma. As WWII Veterans go, I know very little of what he left there. I do, however, know some of the things my mother had to endure while he was gone for those four long years. Sixty years ago does not change the fact that then and now, families all over this great Country send their loved ones off with Pride and Fear in their hearts.  Wives, husbands, and in some cases grandparents are here at home, raising families alone, trying to make ends meet, and often succumbing to the costs of not enough money, not enough help and not enough of those of us out there saying, “How can I help”?

            I am fortunate to have not had to witness nor bear the brunt of the catastrophic way of life that comes when a loved one is injured. God has spared me the tolls of experiencing first hand the physical wounds of war. I have, however experienced first hand the after effects of war. My fiancée’, John Kisielewski, died of Esophageal Cancer at the age of 50, which I and many others attribute to his service in Vietnam. I also have many, many friends who suffer in silence from the after effects of their service to their country.

            John not being here has a tremendous affect on my life. Just knowing how I feel each and every day, makes it that much easier for me to promote this Special Project, “Over There” with zeal and tenacity. I know there are many right here in New Hampshire that are experiencing that feeling in “real” time. My heart is with our Veterans, young and old. Supporting our Troops and their families is the reason I took my oath of obligation in this Organization so many years ago.

            Imagine my pride this past Memorial Day when I had the distinct pleasure of marching in the annual Memorial Day Parade with WWII Veterans, Korean War Veterans, Vietnam War Veterans, Persian Gulf Veterans and Operation Iraqi Freedom Veterans. One Iraqi Veteran touched my heartstrings for he was still sunburned, home from the desert just two weeks and marching with his comrades from all wars. He also was only twenty four years old. He could have been my son. I was as proud of him as if that were true. He has a small daughter who held up a sign during the parade that said “Welcome Home Daddy”. Please don’t think that that didn’t bring on the lump in my throat. I am still one who cries when the National Anthem is played.

            I could go on for days, but I will suffice it to say, that “Over There” is in my heart. It’s under my skin, as each person serving our Country today is, along with their families. If it’s the only thing I ever do, I will support this effort on the behalf of the Veterans in my family, the Veterans who are my friends, for those serving today and for their families.

            My appreciation goes way beyond the limits of this universe, to those that are making this possible, who work tirelessly and with great effort and personal sacrifice, namely Joe and Mary Day. I am, often humbled by their dedication and love.

            My pledge to you, visiting this Website, is that no family or service member here in New Hampshire will sacrifice more than they already are if it is in my power to help them. I ask that you pledge the same. They are our family and it is everyone’s duty to take care of our family.

 

Beth

Department of New Hampshire
VFW Ladies Auxiliary
Beth Castricone
President
2006-2007
 
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Loyalty
Friendship

"Overseas Veterans Emergency Relief"
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