This Date Shall Live in Infamy

This date not only commemorates the day the United States of America was purposely attacked by the Japanese military. Chaos reigned in the area, until we gathered our senses, made our plans, and locations like Midway, Guam, and other islands became key areas to defend and win back for freedom. Whatever the other history is, where we made serious mistakes and overlooked intelligence, many young men were lost in this horrible attack. Those who survived never forgot. The people of America united easily to support their military in not only Europe, and Africa, but now in the Pacific. The Japanese awakened the sleeping dragon.

This date is also the birthday of my first mother-in-law, Josephine Gerdun Tomasek. I often thought how difficult it must have been to have this terrible event happen on your birthday. Her family was still growing in numbers, and her husband Frank eventually worked at the Martin Bomber Plant in Bellevue, Nebraska. Offutt Air Force Base was built on the property and became home to the Strategic Air Command.

Josephine had a hard life, many children, and many challenges with life with her husband. She took her marriage vows seriously. Til death do us part meant something to her. Some relationships thrive with struggle. She was a creative woman, fed seven children, clothed them, and made sure they all had a Catholic education. God meant the world to her. She was always kind to me after her son and I divorced. She felt it was important to keep me in her life, and I always appreciated that. She loved that my kids came first to me. Happy Birthday in heaven, Josephine.

The third event on this day has caused my family it’s own day of infamy. In 1988, my father, Thomas M. Jewell, Jr. died of lung cancer. It was a horribly fast moving cancer. He lost 51 pounds in the 51 days from diagnosis to death. He was only 64 years old, had just retired, and was looking forward to traveling for the first time in his life. He made reservations to a European Campaign of his Army Blackhawk Division, following the route he and other soldiers took following General Patton through Europe, liberating each country from Nazi takeover. He never got to take the trip. Mom did.

So today, as America remembers, I’ll remember a lovely lady along with my dad, who Josephine called a gentleman. He was. And yet, he was a badass, too. When I received his medals from the Army, there were many, and also two bronze stars. Badass, indeed. I’m so proud to be his daughter. Remember today. Remember freedom. Remember our military, still sacrificing for our freedom. Thank them if you see someone in uniform today. Be kind to the old gentlemen in their VFW hats. Respect the Honor Guards as they lay heroes to rest. Be grateful. And we’ll see each other tomorrow.

Set the Tone for Your Week

Monday is upon us, and I’m grateful every week for the new beginning again. The weekend was everything it could be, with attending Yesterday and Today Saturday night and ending with the Telethon/Fundraiser for Moving Veterans Forward yesterday. It was a wonderful time.

Jay Miralles, an Air Force Veteran, businessman, motivational speaker, and guy who can do a lot of cool stuff, emceed the Podcast. If you’d like to listen in, here’s the link. Jay isn’t a guy who stays on the sidelines thinking others should jump in and help. He will hold your feet to the fire, not allow excuses, and be by your side until you get it done. He started the charitable foundation 50 Mile March, and walked from Lincoln to Omaha with a crew of others. Funds were raised, spirits soared, and plans are being made for the march next year. It’s energizing to volunteer with these folks, good things happen.

If you’re able, please consider a monetary donation to Moving Veterans Forward. During the month of December, all donations will be matched dollar for dollar by the Foundation managing the funds. It’s a great deal for MVF and the Veterans.

Talk about energizing! I heard from the Nebraska Writers Guild about their their Anthology which will have my short story published in it. I purchased 25 books, and will set up a booth at the Holiday Market at the VFW Post 2503 in Omaha on Saturday, December 11, between nine and three. For less than $20, you will be able to buy a collection of stories, poetry, and short stories. You won’t have to pay postage, either, you’ll be able to take them with you. They’ll make great Christmas gifts! Come by and see me at my booth, under Jewell Publishing LLC.

This is an exciting time for me. I think all this fun stuff will make the holidays happier and speed by. Hope we all have enough time to fully enjoy the days. We have so much more to be grateful for, and plan on showing our gratitude. We can all help others in some way or another.

We have a Christmas Party this evening. It is the only one we have this season. Food and drink with friends is always fun. Remember to take a moment tomorrow to remember Pearl Harbor Day. It’s the 80th Anniversary of the attack. Thankfully, we were able to ward off any further invasion. We are still the land of the free because of the brave. Have a beautiful rest of the day, and we’ll see each other tomorrow.