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.