This day in 1944 3 of my uncles and my father moved towards the Normandy coast.
My uncles were in the Army. my father in the Royal Navy.
All had to hold for 24 hours, waiting for the weather to clear a bit. For the waves to get down below 6 feet so the DD tanks could be launched.
Luckily all 4 came through. They survived, despite the mines, shells and machine guns, but they were all changed.
As a child I remember both my grandmothers remarking that their sons were changed. Then I didn't understand. They were just my uncles and my father. Now I do.
Some who survive come through almost unscathed. Others don't.
Take my uncle Bill for instance. In 1942 he was a 1st year medical student. in 1943 he was "called up". Because he was useless in basic training with a rifle and because of his educational background, they made him a medic. He went in on the second wave and had to pick up the damaged, the torn apart and the bits of people on those beaches.
He did it. He continued to do it through to the end of the war in Europe. They even gave him a medal for bravery under fire, but it took it's toll.
My maternal grandmother always maintained that she sent her son to war and got someone else back. She still loved him, but she never quite understood him any more. Strangely, my mother said something similar after I came back from my first active posting.
The survivors are never quite the same. Some are harder hit than others and that is my point.
Today we have many coming back, whole in body, but damaged in mind.
In my father's day, you had to cope. In my day, there was some help but today?
15 years ago there was a fair degree of assistance for the returned. Now! With the various cutback in UK and, as far as I can gather USA too, the help for these veterans has reduced drastically.
So to the point of this blog.
The returned, both male and female, have given all they can and more to keep you safe in your comfortable existence. Now it's your turn.
Help them. Fight for help for them to get the help to be able to re-integrate into your society, because without them your life would be very different.