This year's Veterans Day tribute is to all the U.S. (and pre-U.S.) veterans among our direct ancestors.
Pequot War, 1634-1638: Thomas Barnes, Jonathan Brewster, Thomas Bull, Nathaniel Merriman
King Philip's War, 1675-1678: John Curtiss, Isaac Davis, Isaac Johnson
Queen Anne's War (part of the War of the Spanish Succession), 1702-1713: Giles Doud
French and Indian War (part of the Seven Years' War), 1754-1763: Samuel Chapman, Moses Whitney
Revolutionary War, 1775-1983: Jonathan Burr, Erastus Chapman, Agur Curtiss, Nathaniel Fox, Nehemiah Gillett, Christopher Johnson, Anthony Jones, Stephen Kelsey, Seth Langdon, James Pennington, Oliver Scott, Joseph Scovil, Henry Shepard, Elihu Tinker, Benjamin Welles, Moses Whitney
Civil War, 1861-1865: Phillip Barb, Anson Bradbury, Robert Bristol, David Rice, Nathan Smith
World War I, 1914-1918: Howard Langdon, George Smith
World War II, 1939-1945: Alice Porter (Wightman), Bill Wightman. I give honorable mention to Warren Langdon, my father, who served during WWII on the Manhattan Project. I like to say that his work helped save the life of Porter's father, who, being a medic, would have been one of the first to hit the beach should an invasion of Japan have been necessary.
I'm sure there are more whose names I don't know. I have not as yet found representatives from the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, nor the Spanish-American War. I know there were also those who served during peacetime.
I'm sure they weren't all always completely honorable, because they were ordinary people. They didn't even always fight on the same side. But one thing, I'm certain, they all had in common: They gave their bodies, their lives, their health, and their futures to stand "between their loved home and the war's desolation." For that I thank and honor them, and those who still make the sacrifice today.
That said, I'm going to put in a plug here for the all-volunteer military, which I think no longer gets the respect and support it deserves. We are too far removed from the 1960's and 70's, when the military draft cast a long, difficult, and painful shadow on the country. In that respect it is much better to be young today. A career in the armed services can be a very good choice—but it should be just that, a choice. It’s better for families, for society, and for the military as well.