I’d like to introduce you to our family flag. We love this flag; it’s one of our family’s beloved treasures. I gave it to Jake as a gift almost 13 years ago. I had contacted Senator Ted Stevens’ office and asked that the flag be flown over the U.S. Capitol building on the day Jake graduated from pilot training. After it’s maiden flight, the Senator’s office sent it to Jake. He’s taken it with him in his flight bag on all his missions since becoming a pilot. I took pictures of it with Sam (in his Cub Scout uniform) three years ago. It’s been on The Big Blue Bus Tour and flown on the flag pole here at the Country Home. Tonight it saw a little love from our boys.
It was our way of celebrating Memorial Day. I think people often confuse Memorial Day with Veteran’s Day. Today was the day to remember those who have died in service to the United States of America. My grandfather (1st Lt Clermont Oborn) was killed in action in 1955 just 1 month before my dad turned 12 years old. Grandpa was a pilot in the Alaska Air National Guard. He was killed when his plane crashed while he was flying an observation flight during a Joint Arctic Winter Training Exercise near Elmendorf AFB. Grandpa’s T-6 airplane was restored and put on display as a monument to the founders of the Alaskan Air National Guard for their 50th Anniversary. It’s currently right out in front of the Alaska Air National Guard headquarters building on Elmendorf AFB.
My dad went on to become a load master on C-123s for the Alaska Air National Guard and Jake served as a pilot (flying HC-130s and KC-135s) with them for over 10 years. It isn’t hard to imagine that my boys will have an opportunity and desire to serve their country as well.
Over the years we have come to know families who have given the ultimate sacrifice and today my heart and prayers are with them. Our family has the flag that covered Grandpa’s casket and each time I see it, I’m reminded of the price his wife and children paid for freedom. As a military spouse, that possibility is never far from my thoughts.
All gave some. Some gave all.
May we always remember.