Sunday, May 21, 2023

Honoring our Veterans by Janice Lynn

Anyone who has read my Wrapped Up in Christmas series released by Hallmark Publishing knows I have a love of our veterans/our military and find these men and women so heroic and that I'm a member of the Quilts of Valor Foundation and am a firm believer in their mission. Recently, I was contacted about volunteering to provide medical care for a Legacy Flight to Normandy, France for a group of WWII veterans. (In addition to writing, I work as a nurse practitioner). Of course, I said yes to go with the veterans, an RN, the veterans' family members, and some from the Honoring Veteran Legacies organization, because what a great honor to accompany them to commemorate the 79th anniversary of D-Day.

Even though I'm ashamed to admit this, I'm going to be honest and say I knew bare basics about WWII. Because I wanted to understand and honor the veterans that I was accompanying on this trip, I have been 'studying up' on WWII and think I have totally fallen in love with the men and women from that era. That so many volunteered, even lying about their age, so they could defend their country, that so many gave their lives to free Europe from Germany and the West from Japan, just wow. I am completely humbled by the sacrifices that were made during that time. 

I'm also ashamed to admit, that I never knew much about my grandfather's service during WWII. He died just over 25 years ago so I couldn't ask, but really wanted to know (and wish I had asked when I'd had the opportunity years ago!). I knew he was a mechanic and I guess in my uneducated mind, I pictured him working in a garage somewhere rather than being out actually fighting in the war. He was a rifleman who was also a mechanic. While researching for my upcoming trip, I was able to get a copy of my grandfather's Army discharge papers. He served in Company B 11th Infantry Battalion 1st Armored Division. I had the dates he'd served. He arrived in Germany after D-Day (June 6, 1944). There's lots of information available online and I was able to find the history of where his group served, battles he fought in, and concentration camps where he helped. Just wow and oh how I long to talk to him, to ask him the stories I never knew to ask while he was alive. Honestly, I'm not sure that he would have talked to me about his time in the service. My parents said he talked to my dad some, but even that was limited. All the photos in this post are of my grandfather, Edgar Lee Alford. He's standing to the far right in the group one.

So, as we approach Memorial Day weekend and after that the 79th anniversary of D-Day, which was the turning point in stopping Hitler's tyranny, I urge you to take a moment and truly thank the men and women who have given so much for our freedom. There aren't many WWII veterans remaining alive, so if you know one, give them a big hug. But also, thank our Korean War. Vietnam War, and Desert Storm, and all the other battles our military are willing to risk and give their lives for so that we and others can live freely.

Volunteering for this trip has already changed me forever. I know that while I am actually there, seeing Utah Beach while knowing what happened there 79 years ago, spending time with the veterans, hearing their stories, is going to have an even greater impact on my appreciation for so very much that I've taken for granted. 

As you make your Memorial Day plans, please do take a moment to thank those who have made that freedom possible. Maybe even take some time and watch Band of Brothers, Saving Private Ryan, or any of the other many movies and documentaries that are based on or around actual WWII events. 

If in the near future, I write a book set in the early 1940s...well, you'll know why. I'm truly in awe of the heroics lived by so very many of that era.

Janice's Wrapped Up in Christmas books from Hallmark Publishing are available, also!

Buy Your Copy HERE

USA Today, Wall Street Journal, & Publishers Weekly Bestselling author JANICE LYNN lives in Tennessee with her Prince Charming and their princes and princesses, her vivid imagination, an adorable Maltese named Halo who's the true royalty of the house, and bunches of unnamed dust bunnies that moved in after Janice started her writing career. In addition to writing romance, Janice is a nurse practitioner, a quilter, an exercise queen, a military mama, and an avid supporter of the Quilts of Valor Foundation. Just kidding on the exercise queen.  The WRAPPED UP IN CHRISTMAS books are available at AMAZON Barnes & Noble WALMART & many other place where you buy books. WRAPPED UP IN CHRISTMAS LOVE  coming soon.


  1. God bless the men and women who serve our country!

  2. Thank you for sharing. So many found it too difficult to share their experiences so their families knew little of what they went through. The important part is they served and we should respect and appreciate that.