Thursday, November 11, 2010

Lest We Forget

Today we remember the heroes that fought for our country and fought for others and the amazing people who were there to support them through those difficult times.  My mother told me that her father served in WWII.  I never got to meet him as he passed away when my mother was a young girl.  I don't know much about him other than that he was the single greatest person in my mothers young life.  His spirit alone kept her strong through most of the struggles and hardships my mother endured when she lived in China...but that's another story.

For the past 4 years, I had been so blessed to know a true blue hero that served for the Canadian Army and U.N. Force.

  My boyfriends grandfather was that hero and is one of the most amazing individuals I have ever met.  The family had nicknamed him Grumpy...because he was grumpy.

Somewhat like this...
A little bit of this...
And a whole lot of this.
It was a nickname that stuck.  He introduced himself, responded to and signed his name as Grumpy.  Grumpy no longer resides with us in the physical world, but I still like to think he's watching over us.  I love him dearly and think about him almost every day since his passing.  He had a full life and continues living on in the hearts of everyone he touched.  After he passed away, my boyfriends mother decided to Google him and found an online treasure that wasn't revealed to the family before.  Grumpy had been flown out in 1997 to be interviewed about his services in the U.N. Force and Canadian Army.  They posted a mini biography and 10 videos! I extracted the mini biography below.

"Mr. Nickerson's father was a farmer and Veteran of the First World War. Mr. Nickerson was the second youngest of 10 children. Three of his older brothers served in the Second World War. He left school at the age of 16 and enlisted in the army with the PPCLI. His parents were not happy with this. After enlisting, Mr. Nickerson went to Curry Barracks in Calgary for basic training. He did his advanced training in Curry and in Wainwright, Alberta. In November 1950, his battalion was told they were going to Korea to serve with the U.N. force. Mr. Nickerson saw action near Pusan, Seoul and at Kapyong. While in Korea, Mr. Nickerson was wounded by a land mine. He was hospitalized for nine weeks. After his recovery, he returned to the front . Mr. Nickerson's tour of duty ended late in 1951 and he returned to Canada. He remained in the Canadian Army until his retirement in 1968."

The videos posted on the Veteran's Affair Canada website reveal much more.  Grumpy shares the details of his personal experiences, thoughts and feelings which gives a slice as to what an amazing person he is. 

Although carrying the moniker of Grumpy, he really was a lot more than that to all of us.  He was a very kind, generous, and loving person with a fighting spirit and a kick-ass attitude.  Although not blood related I would consider him like my own grandpa. I didn't know what it was like to have one before, and I was so lucky to have him in my life.


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