I have been looking at my family line on my father's side and realized that all his family generations, until now, have been military. We even had a member become military in this generation, but he chose to leave and let his wife stay. I am amazed that so many of my family were willing to sacrifice and give of their selves to their country.
I have traced my lineage on my father's patriarchal side back to 0719 and have found that even back then we were in the military. Of course, we also were kings and queens of small parcels of land so being military was required. I found that we fought in the war that teh movie Braveheart was made for.
It is so strange, but it is also wonderful. I know my grandfather told a few stories of what happened to him while he was in Okinawa. There was one about how this young boy wanted to go home. My grandfather was a medic and the boy looked at him and said, "Doc, shoot me so I can go home." My grandfather told him he could not do it. The next day the boy was shot and died. He was sent home just not the way he expected.
My grandfather felt guilty for that young man's death for many years. He felt that he should have done more for that boy, but there was no way he could shoot him, even in the leg. I am glad that my grandfather did not shoot the boy, even though he died. I believe my granddaddy would have never forgiven himself if he would have shot that boy and the boy died from complications. War is rough and it is never over for those that live it.
The records that are from the different wars can help us find our family that may have been a prisoner in the wars. They also help us find the wives that drew a compensation from the military. As we search these records, we find information that we may not have known, like the color of their eyes and hair. It is so much fun to find a draft card or military card and see the information that crings the person to life again, at least for a moment in time.