Hello Reader. I am first and foremost a follower of the Jesus of the Bible: the Messiah, the Christ, the Creator, the "only begotten Son" - I love Him because He first loved me and it was by His death for me on the cross that I have hope past the grave!
I'm an Air Force brat who married a Vietnam veteran, then was widowed young. My husband was a decorated Huey pilot in Vietnam and then a Chinook pilot in the Army Reserves. My dad joined the US Army Air Corps as soon as he graduated from high school and turned 18; he flew in DC-47s air support over the troops on the ground in the Leyte Gulf and Manila during WWII and was awarded an Air Medal. He became a "lifer." My beloved father-in-law fought on the ground in both Guadalcanal and Bougainville as a US Marine and his best friend from childhood is still MIA from the battle on Tarawa, another US Marine. In my family are a US Navy hard-hat diver in Vietnam, Air Force support over Vietnam based in Thailand, nine uncles who served in WWII in the USAAF. Two fought in Korea. Two grandpas fought in World War I; one of those was gassed. One niece served in Germany and Saudi Arabia with the USAF. Four became career military.
So, knowing the cost of serving in the military, and the lifelong impact it makes, I care deeply that the veterans and their families are honored and given due respect when working on their memorials. I work only at the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery, and have some suggestions if you add to the work there:
*Please, please make the photos of these veterans' markers as good as you can. Please don't add photos that are excessively crooked, in the mud, in deep shade, illegible. It is profoundly untrue that "a terrible photo is better than none" because that memorial then no longer comes up when looking for burials needing photos. And a photo that sends the message that you didn't really try is disrespectful to the deceased and their families.
*Please move flowers or tall grass or anything else that blocks or shades the full inscription. You can then put the flowers or flags back. You can always add a second photo covered with bouquets, as a bonus if you like.
* Admin has instructed us in an email, "If their rank is on their stone, put it in the name field, as best as you can." The fact that they chose to be buried in a military cemetery with a military stone says their service - no matter how short or long, no matter their high or low rank - was deeply and lastingly important to them and their families.
*As required by FaG guidelines, please take photos of both sides of upright stones. The back reveals whether or not someone is buried with them, and - at national cemeteries - verifies the specific location. This may mean staying longer, taking a noon lunch break, or making two visits to catch the sun on each side. That's okay; they've earned it.
*There is a difference between an "inscription" and an "epitaph". To transcribe an inscription means all the family chose to inscribe. Having buried too many loved ones and agonized over what to say, what to exclude, on the stone, I can say, "Please honor the vet and the family with the whole inscription." (I notice Admin does that when settling disputes and creating famous memorials managed by FindaGrave, so it clearly is NOT "against the rules") We can show the veterans honor here - "Say their names!" Say them again. It doesn't hurt.
*Please note any new information revealed by the stone and *please send edits*. This is immensely helpful to the manager.
*If you realize someone has put up a marker photo that is significantly better than yours, deleting yours allows the veteran and family to see only that which honors their loved one.
*A military cemetery is NO place to "build up your numbers." This is not a competition, it's a team effort to honor the dead.
Oddly, I began to participate in FindAGrave only a few months before my strong healthy husband of over 35 years collapsed and died without warning or illness. Now as a new widow, I enjoy FindAGrave as something I can do on sleepless nights, paying it forward to future generations and strangers. I find cemeteries places of serenity and sobriety, but also of perspective and hope.
If you see that I am managing your family or friend, please ask for a transfer using the edit tab. It's my hope and goal that every memorial I put up will go to a family member or friend. I gratefully welcome edits, additions, and corrections to my memorials. You may use my photos. I don't need credit. Some aren't worth copying and I'm replacing those as fast as I can. It's a learning curve!
I am willing to share what info I have on my family lines if I can help anyone. The lines I am especially interested in include:
Anderson/Peterson, Ashlin, Blackketter, Brady, Broome, Causey, Clary, Combs, Cowart, Freeman, Gentry, Groseclose, Humphries, Joiner, Kegans, McVey, Pate, Ring, Sorbello, Spangler, Ward, & Wells.
If you would like to read my husband's memorial, and leave flowers at his site, his memorial is here: Dale Sorbello
If you would like to contact me off the public wall, I can be emailed at ksorbello at hotmail dot com.
Thank you for reading this far!!! eeek....
Search memorial contributions by Kim S.