By Ms. Michelle Miller (USASAC)November 8, 2016
Nancy Waldron and her husband, Randy, have especially strong ties to the military.
She joined the Army Reserves after serving on active duty for eight years in the Judge Advocate General's Corps.
Her husband's military service spans 30 years, including tours in Germany, Korea, Turkey and Iraq.
Her father served during World War II for the German Navy.
His father and stepfather both served during the Korean War.
His two uncles are Vietnam veterans and another one earned the Silver Star for gallantry in action during World War II.
Their daughter and son are active in their college and high school Reserve Officers Training Corps programs, respectively.
Not only do they claim more than a half century of combined service years, but they have noticed curious connections between their lives and military service.
Little did they know that one day their son would be born 50 years later, to the month, in Daegu, Korea where Randy's stepfather served. Or that in 1992 she would serve for the 3rd Infantry Division, the very one that occupied her mother's hometown of Langenleiten, Germany in 1945.
Having three generations of military service in one family has instilled a greater appreciation "for passing the torch from one generation to the next," according to Randy.
"My husband often recalls from his childhood in the '60s and '70s where his father never talked about 'the Forgotten War,' Korea, or his two uncles about the 'wrong war,' Vietnam," Nancy said. "Unlike the 'good war' where his uncle spoke heroically of the epic struggle against fascism in WWII as part of the Greatest Generation."
She said these childhood memories left a lasting impression on her husband prompting him to honor veterans for their service regardless of public support toward any conflict or stationing in a foreign country. He grew up reading and learning about military history as a way to understand Soldiers' service and sacrifices.
Nancy now serves as a legal adviser for the U.S. Army Security Assistance Command as a civilian employee. Her husband, a chief warrant officer 4, is a legal administrator for the JAG Corps, and currently at the Warrior Transition Battalion in Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
"His love of Army has been inspiring at times in my continued Reserve service," she said. "I felt strongly about continuing service in a Reserve capacity after being blessed enough to be a stay-at-home mother while supporting my husband's active duty career.
"I have seen military life from the perspective of an active duty officer, Reserve officer, a family member dependent and DA civilian. What really means a lot to me about serving is the sense of being part of something more important and more lasting than personal wants or needs, especially having that connection to people who feel the same way."
As for their children, Nancy and her husband are convinced that their service, including living overseas, must have had some influence on their decision to continue the family military tradition and participate in ROTC.
"I think they realize it is a special calling that not everyone is prepared to make," Nancy said.
Like so many families across the country, Veterans Day is a significant day to recognize those who have served. And Randy encourages all Americans to take advantage of the opportunity.
"The best way to honor a veteran any day of the year is to simply thank them for their service," Randy said. "You can also study military history to have a greater appreciation of the time and places when and where they served."
Being part of a family whose bloodlines run deep through the military fabric of our country is important to the Waldrons.
"That you are carrying on not just a time-honored family tradition, but one where you can pay back your country for the family, friends and faith that you have been blessed with as an American," Nancy said. "That makes me proud."