His Name Was Clint

His name was Clinton Lee Day. He was my oldest nephew, Mom and Dad’s first grandchild and we thought he was pretty special. He had big, brown eyes with amazingly long lashes. He was slim and quick and had a laugh that made everyone around him want to laugh too. He visited  us often when my brother Richard and I were children. We lived in the country on a farm and I’ve written in an earlier blog of how he and Richard liked to take their BB guns and go hunting. The animals were safe but they scared up some really interesting stories about the wolf tracks they had seen and the mysterious noises in the bushes they heard. As long as Clint  had a pocket full of Mom’s homemade biscuits, he was prepared for the great out of doors and all the wild critters they might run into.

When he grew up,  he joined the Marines. He looked very handsome in his uniform and we were all proud of him. And he was sent to a place called Viet Nam. I still have a letter he wrote me from there. He was killed one June day in 1969. He would have been 20 years old the following month.

Today Clint is very much on my mind. The world is still in a turmoil and brave young men and women still go to far off places and put their lives in jeopardy to defend us from our enemies.  Many of them, like Clint, never come back home.

As we honor fallen loved ones this weekend, I am reminded of those in other wars who stood for truth and right because they loved freedom and the God-given rights of mankind. I remember my grandmother’s grandfather who served in the Confederacy during the Civil War. I think of my brothers who joined the Navy, ready to go where they were needed and thankfully, returned safely. When I see the Stars and Stripes flying proudly, it brings a lump to my throat and I breathe a prayer of gratitude for this great nation and for all the brave  defenders who stood and yet stand between us and tyranny. We enjoy our freedom but it was bought at a mighty high price. We need to be ever watchful and guard it because our freedom certainly isn’t free.

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