Sacrifice

During the Great Depression, my parents learned about sacrifice. My paternal grandparents had a farm in Minnesota, where my grandmother would often sacrifice some of the family dinner to a wayward traveler or two. She would stretch out a meal with fillers, oftentimes feeding a family using nothing but a ham bone, navy beans, and bread. When World War II started, she sent her sons off to war, putting up a flag with three white stars on it in the front window of the farmhouse. All of her boys came home unscathed. During the war, my grandmother and grandfather had to run an 80-acre farm alone while their sons were at war, and their only daughter was off to California to build airplanes for the war effort. 

They knew what sacrifice was, and is. After my dad passed away, I found GI Bill paperwork, filled out and ready to go, with notes on majoring in agriculture, and taking over the family farm—my dad never went to college. He met my mom, and his path in life was altered. My parents scrimped and saved, raised three children, put off vacations, and put dreams on hold. My dad worked hard his entire life, only to have the rug pulled out from under him when his boss broke the union. Yet I would not know until years later how precarious their financial situation was. The sacrifices they made to ensure I would never miss out on anything.  

My parents’ sacrifices were small compared to those of some of their contemporaries in the Greatest Generation. Many men never came home from WWII; left behind were families that suffered in silence, their sons having made the ultimate sacrifice to this nation. Those men who did come home then sent their own sons off to war in Vietnam, and some 58,000 of them did not come home. 

The man currently leading this country did not go to Vietnam, even though he could have

Trump received five deferments from the draft for military service during the Vietnam War. He received four education deferments while he was a college student and a fifth deferment in 1968 for a medical exemption after he graduated.

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