Today we honor the men and women who have served in the armed forces. For many years, I only knew of one veteran in my family. My dad served in the Marine Corp and was stationed at Guantanamo Bay during the early 1950's.
But through his research, my twin brother, Jeff, has discovered other family members who served in the military. Of course, they include grandfathers, uncles and cousins.
My great-great-grandfather, Edward Waters, served in the Civil War with his brother John and his uncle, Patrick. With the "Fighting Irish" 10th New Hampshire Regiment, Edward fought in many campaigns, including the brutal Siege of Petersburg, which is pictured above.
The Siege of Petersburg foreshadowed the trench warfare of World War I.
My grandfather did other things besides soldiering. He was a baker and worked in the field kitchens. Jeff tells me that skills like his were too valuable to waste on the front lines!
My grandfather also got into his share of trouble. He was court-martialed for knocking down and kicking a superior officer. (That's how Jeff and I knew he was a Waters!)
But the Union army needed men so badly Edward was never shot. They sent him back to the front to let the enemy do it!
Remarkably, my grandfather survived the war, which is a good thing since I wouldn't be writing to you if he hadn't!
After the war, Edward had a son, Henry Joseph Waters. Henry had a son, Joseph Henry Waters, who had a son Joseph Henry Waters, who had me, Joseph Henry Waters! For the record, I named my son Ryan James. I had no idea I was breaking the daisy chain.
Edward's brother, John, also survived. But his Uncle Patrick died of disease, which is how most soldiers died during the Civil War - and not in battle.
My grandfather suffered from many service-related illnesses for the rest of his life. He died on Christmas Day 1898 in a veterans hospital in Maine. He's buried in Togus National Cemetery in Chelsea, Maine.
Thank you very much to all who served and all those who are serving right now.
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I hope you enjoyed the history lesson. Now back to cause marketing. Here are some resources on how brands are honoring (and have honored) veterans.
Have you seen any cause-related promotions for Veterans Day? Please share them with me!