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My Grandfather’s unit captured Coburg, Germany, which was the seat of the British Royal Crown. Queen Victoria’s mother was from Coburg and Queen Victoria’s Husband, Prince Albert was born there (Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha).
According to my Grandfather, the people were very friendly but begged the GIs to not eat their chickens. Unfortunately, they ate the chickens because other food sources were scarce, as one can imagine. Anyway, one day my Uncle Peter (also a war vet), his mother, my Aunt, Grandma and Grandpa were having dinner together and my Grandpa mentioned this story. He spoke of how his tank fired shots at the castle and various other places in their fight with the Nazis.
Suddenly, my Uncle Peter’s mother exclaimed teasingly, “It was you! You destroyed my house!” You see, my Uncle’s mother is from Coburg (as is my Uncle). So my Aunt used to tease my grandpa saying that it was his fault that Peter and my Aunt met and got married, since his unit captured it from the Nazis, and due to a large US Army presence afterwards, kept it from falling behind the Iron Curtain.
My Dad is Donald N. Blanton, US Marine. If you know a Marine, you know "Once a Marine always a Marine." He served in Vietnam in the late 60's and early 70's. A number of men in my family have served this wonderful country and loved it when they did and still love it to this day. Serving his country made an ever lasting impression on my Dad. He would go back and fight today if they would let him. He is 63 now (sorry Dad - have to make a point) and too old to be active, but as I said "Once a Marine always a Marine." He now is very active with the Patriot Guard in the State of Maryland. Most people know who the Patriot Guard are but if you don't they attend the funerals of our young men and women who gave the ultimate for their country - their lives - and salute, say a prayer, and keep unwanted protesters from interfering in the privacy of the family. This is his ULTIMATE THANK YOU to these young heros. His way of paying his respects to all the men/women who lost their lives doing exactly what he did - PROTECTING THE RIGHTS OF OUR COUNTRY AND ALL THE PEOPLE WHO LIVE HERE. Thank you Dad, and all the men and women who have served, who are serving, and who will serve this country and its people. If you run into a Veteran or Active member of our military, take the time to shake their hand and thank them for their service. It's the least WE CAN DO. I love you Dad. YOU ARE MY DAD, MY HERO.
I am PFC Ellis, Jontell D.
I enlisted in the US Army Reserve July 10th 2002. My ETS date was July 11th, 2010. My MOS was Chemical Ops Specialist-Dragon Soldier.
My unit was put on a homeland defense mission for 3-4 years. Before then, I was with a detachment who helped the company with their mission. I participated in an overseas mission in Camp Carroll, South Korea.
One of my best friends is currently serving in Afghanistan and he has done 2 tours in Iraq. My grandfather was in Air Force and retired there. He was in the Vietnam War. I am the only woman in my immediate family to have enlisted in the military.
I am honored to have served and would serve again if I could. I honor, respect and support ALL branches of Armed Forces. I salute you!