Tag Archives: service

Service with a Smile World War II Style

Service with a Smile throughout life

This Memorial Day finds me a bit more pensive than usual. My dad, a World War II veteran, passed away last month. He rarely talked about his experiences in the war unless he was around his other Navy buddies. Dad always looked forward to what was coming up next. Even during the war, Dad smiled and kept a positive attitude. He gave his service with a smile. Here is a short tribute to an amazing life.

Service with a smile – The Greatest Generation

Dad finally did acquiesce to telling his story. I owe this to my dear friend Jon. He worked with the Library of Congress’s Veterans History project and sparked Dad’s interest in making sure his memories were not forgotten. Dad and a couple of his friends recorded his thoughts. There was about 15 hours of video. I trimmed it down a bit and ended up with an hour and half of Dad’s recollections of World War II.

I know this is due to my grandmother’s influence. She was a strong women. Not in the physical sense, but emotionally and spiritually. Arthritis racked her body from a young age causing her difficulty in many of the tasks others found simple; buttoning a shirt, sewing, knitting, quilting, cooking. Grandma rarely complained. One of her favorite sayings was, “Things fall into two categories, Things you can do something about and things you can’t. The first you just do it and move on. The second, you pray about it, give it to God and move on.” Grandma always gave the family service with a smile.

Things fall into two categories, Things you can do something about and things you can't. The… Click To Tweet
Service with a Smile in spite of the price.

World War II

Growing up, I got a dose of positive attitude and discipline from them both. No matter what happens, whatever life throws at you, try to give your service with a smile. And remember those that gave you the freedoms you enjoy today.

Loyalty, Courage, Sacrifice

Loyalty, Courage, Sacrifice

Loyalty, Courage, Sacrifice

Loyalty, Courage, Sacrifice are just the beginnings of the character traits making up a person willing to serve his or her country. In the United States, Memorial Day is a holiday set aside to honor those who paid with their lives to preserve the freedom that we enjoy everyday. We also recognize those whose sacrifice is not as great, but is just as important. Service people who serve today stand as a deterrent against those who take away our freedoms.

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. It must be fought for, protected. Ronald Reagan… Click To Tweet

Whether they be friends and family or complete strangers, take a minute of your freedom and simply say, “Thanks.”

Claude Griffith US Navy WW II

Cosmo 1942

Cosmo 1942

Dad, also known as Claude “Cosmo” Griffith served his country in the US Navy. While serving aboard the USS Pennsylvania BB-38, he earned the Navy Unit Commendation, The Asiatic Pacific Campaign Ribbon with 7 stars. Dad never talked much about the war or his service. We just knew that he had served in the Navy. It wasn’t until much later that he started recording some of his thoughts on the war. If you have an interest, you  can learn more about the Pennsy’s history here.

Dad saw and was in the thick of every major battle in the Pacific war except Pearl Harbor. If you are not a fan of history, find the Clif Notes version and read it. If we do not learn from our past, then we are doomed to repeat it.

Post War

After the war, Dad traveled to Germany to be part of the prize crew that brought the German cruiser the Prinz Eugen from Germany to Philadelphia then through the Panama Canal out to the Bikini Atoll. This is where some of the A-Bomb tests were conducted. Dad was aboard the USS Fall River when this photo was taken:

Bikini A-Bomb

Remember

Don’t forget to the thank those serving for their loyalty, courage, sacrifice and time given to preserve your freedom. If you don’t live in the US, I would love to hear about how you honor those that sacrifice for your country and the freedoms you enjoy.

Please share with your social media friends and as always, leave a thought or two below.

A-to-Z 2015 S is for Service

Service to someone or something that does not directly benefit you, is important. My Grandma would never turn anyone away if they needed help. From fixing a simple missing button, to making an entire quilt for the church charity or baking mounds of food people working to rebuild a neighbor’s house after a fire, there was no task that she turned away. This helped me to be a better man. One with strong character, willing to help others with no thought of return. She always said that it made her feel good to be useful since there were many things that physically she could not do. Grandma taught me many lessons about the importance of service.

Quote Longfellow on Service

Quote Longfellow on Service