Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day :: Remembering

My grandfather Rolland Victor Phend, shown in a 1983 photo with his WWI portrait, enlisted in the United States Army on September 19, 1917 as a substitute for a man who had been drafted. He was very proud of the fact that he had enlisted rather than waiting to be drafted. Grandpa was sent overseas shortly after his basic training and served in France with Company C, 309th Engineers. By the time he was discharged on June 19, 1919 he had achieved the rank of Sergeant. Grandpa suffered from the affects of gas poisoning for the remainder of his life, astounding physician's who said he wouldn't live beyond the age of 30 - he passed away on June 18, 1991 just one day before his 98th birthday!

Stories about Grandpa:
Grandpa is buried at South Park Cemetery in Whitley County, Indiana next to his parents and two brothers.

My Grandfather is just one of the many ancestors and relatives who have served their country in the military. The post, The Veterans in my Family, briefly describes my ancestors and their siblings who served during nearly all of the wars in which the United States was involved.

Last year I went through my genealogy database in an attempt to find all relatives that had served in the U. S. military, these are the ones that I know of, I'm sure there are others.
This past Friday, I took my Mother to visit the graves of family members buried in Whitley County, leaving little bouquets along the way. She tires easily, so after taking her back home, I continued my cemetery tour into neighboring Kosciusko County visiting the grave sites of ancestors on my Dad's side of the family. We really couldn't have asked for a nicer day with a cloudless blue sky and temperatures in the upper 70s. It was a perfect day!


Greta Koehl said...

I just went through the articles you have written on your Grandpa Vic - what a great guy he must have been! And a grandfather who made candy - totally awesome.

Becky said...

Greta - thanks for taking the time to read the stories about Grandpa, I'm glad that you enjoyed them. He was a great guy, though I might be a bit prejudiced. His candy was delicious!