Military Monday: Veterans

Anyone who follows me on Twitter knows that I did the #VeteransDaySalute today. I've been meaning to make a list of my direct-line military veterans for research purposes, and it has stayed on the To-Do list for far too long. So, in honor of my vast military heritage, I'm going to post that list here today.

Thomas Gardner Bartlett, 8th VA Cavalry, Civil War

John P. Clark, 61 TN Infantry, Civil War

Raymond Richard Doyle, Korean War

Lester Edgar Ince, Canadian Expedition Forces, WWI

Moses Blanton Keats, US Navy

Randolph Keatts, War of 1812

Richard C. Keatts, 57th VA Infantry, Civil War

Williams E. Loveless, 45th NC Infantry, Civil War

James P. McKenzie, 29th VA Infantry, Civil War

These are only my direct-line ancestors. Most, if not all of these men had brothers and sons who also served in these wars. If I added all of the veterans I have in my family, the list would include dozens of men. I also have other family members who allegedly served but I have no documentation as of yet to prove it, like Crafton Bennett in the War of 1812.

Lester Ince is my only military veteran who is not from the United States, and it is proving very difficult to find out what happened to him. He does not reappear with his family after the end of World War I, but there is also no record of him dying in the war--at least not that is available through Library and Archives Canada. If I can prove that he survived, it will mean that I have had ancestors in every major conflict clear to the American Revolution, and they all survived.

Being a survivor is every bit as noble as giving your life during a war because to go on living after war is a conflict in and of itself. To be able to rebuild and start again, which proved a challenge for men regardless of the place or the war. Having Veteran's Day is the opportunity to recognize not only their battles throughout the wars in which they fought, but the very real personal struggle they still have, even when they live in peace.

Be sure to thank your military relatives today. They need it and deserve it for all they've given.