I consider myself extremely fortunate to have had two grandfathers that both served their country proudly. Both of them taught me so much about life and how to be a gentleman and a real man.
Our Memorial Day serves as a great reminder of the parts of their lives they sacrificed for our country. Even though they both served in active combat they survived to live long lives and carry the scars of battle through civilian life until their respective deaths.
My dad’s father, Clyde Adams, was a career soldier in the U.S. Army. Throughout her career he was stationed all over the world: Germany, Panama, and here in the U.S. at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. He fought in two tours of duty in the Vietnam conflict and served as a quartermaster. He also spent time as an Army paratrooper. He often wondered aloud later in life why someone decided to jump out of a perfectly good airplane. My grandfather retired at an early age at the rank of Master Sergeant. He was offered a promotion to Sergeant Major, but was eager to enter retirement and spend more time with his family (his wife and son). He was awarded a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. He passed away at the age of 65 on December 21, 1999.
My mom’s father, Leon Ferguson, served two tours of active combat during World War II. Instead of waiting for his name to be called during the draft he volunteered to join the U.S. Army. He fought in France, Germany, and Luxembourg specifically. I’m sure I’m leaving some out, but those of the particular ones that I can remember from conversations. He fought Nazis and he survived. He served one three year tour, was injured, and came home, only to go back for another three year tour. My grandfather volunteered at the age of 17, knowing he would enter into one of the violent wars in history, unbelievable. And yes, he was on the beach in Normandy. He obtained the rank of Private First Class and was awarded the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts. He passed away at the age of 83 on Feb 14, 2006.