Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

A Personal Remembrance on Memorial Day

On this Memorial Day I am remembering the members of my immediate family who served in the Armed Forces.

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Colonel Norwood Hughes

11/10/1914 – 09/25/1992

My Uncle Bud was a career soldier. He served in the Western front in World War II.

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Private Eugene Hughes

10/01/1924 – 07/04/2006

My Uncle Gene lied about his age to join the Army in World War II. He was captured by the German Army and spent time in a prisoner of war camp.

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Sergeant Hazel Adele Wilson

05/19/1917 – 12/08/2001

Aunt Hazel was one of the first women to join the Women’s Army Corp.

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General Jack Lloyd Wilson

01/30/1919 – 05/04/1999

My Dad was in Tinian in the Pacific during World War II. Dad helped to develop the encryption device that was used during the war. He remained in the Army Reserve all his life and was made a General.

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Master Sergeant Michael Eugene Wilson

12/03/1946 – 05/29/2013

My brother Mike was a Vietnam veteran. He served two tours of duty in Vietnam as a Chaplain’s Assistant. He won the Bronze Star for bravery when his unit came under attack and he rushed out and threw two of his fellow servicemen onto his shoulders and carried them to safety.

They are all gone now but on this Memorial Day I am remembering them with love and pride.


  1. Cheryl Kopec

    SSG Eaton was the only member of the unit I was cross-leveled to while I was serving in Balad, Iraq in 2003-2004. He was at a different location when he died. But there were others we worked closely with, such as the MP unit that routinely sent escort teams out on patrol with us. Now I can’t remember their names, and I’m in too grim of a mood to risk opening my journal from those days and searching for them. There was also a contractor whose cot was next to mine — he used to make coffee in the mornings right there in the tent, and offer me some. As the only female in the tent of 8-10 personnel, I was often resented when my presence meant that none of us could strip down to skivvies in the 130+ heat, so it was nice that at least one guy made an effort to be kind.

    I remember one night, returning to the tent after a particularly long and frustrating day, thinking, “I hope nobody says a word to me — I am just not in the mood.” I felt like I could literally explode on someone. As I walked in, Todd said, “You look like you could use a beer.” “Yeah, right,” I snarled, tossing my head. “No, really,” he said, “you want one?” Incredulous, I asked, “You got one?” Yep, as a contractor, Todd was allowed much more freedom to come and go than we were, and he had managed to make a trip into Baghdad and pick up some beer. Wow.

    I only remember his first name, Todd. But he was killed in November 2003. That was when I quit writing in my journal for the rest of the war.

    Partial prayer from the website for St. John’s in McCloud, MN:

    We give thanks for all who made the ultimate sacrifice for us. We ask that you be with those in pain from their loss and keep us mindful that you promised to comfort all who mourn and help us to be a comfort to them as well.

    And by your grace, may we have the strength and courage to truly honor those who have served by working for peace. May we see in them not only their courage, but also our own call to work for a world that no longer sacrifices life in the quest for peace; that we might envision in our hearts and work in our lives toward that which you have promised through the prophet Isaiah: that day when swords will be beaten into plough shares and spears into pruning hooks, that day when nation shall not rise up against nation, and that day when we shall not learn war any more. Amen.

  2. Avilyn

    While several in my family have served in the military, none that I knew personally were killed in their service.  My grandfather’s brother died fighting in the Korean War, but that was before I was born, so I never knew him.

    My grandfather, Ken, served in the Air Force, but never talked about his military days.  He died from complications due to smoking when I was 15; I never got the chance to ask him about it.

    My dad served in the Navy during the Vietnam War.  He’ll sometimes share stories from the days of training, before he was shipped overseas, but never talks about the war itself, aside from saying that he’ll never eat rice again, because he ate enough for 3 lifetimes while he was over there.  He still keeps in touch with some of the guys he served with even though they’re many miles apart (NJ, GA, & AR).

    My cousin, Nate, served in Afghanistan.  He’s been home for about a year now, but he is no longer the young, cheerful, boisterous kid that I knew.  War, seeing men he served with killed…  his young body is more akin to an elderly person’s now; hearing loss from the explosions, back/spinal problems that require him to use crutches to help him walk, and not to mention the PTSD from all of this.  Still waiting for the military to process his medical discharge.  

    War is Hell.  We should always remember that, and the lives that it costs, and be far more cautious about sending our troops to war.  We remember and honor the fallen, and their families and friends.  

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