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My fallen hero

Yesterday, I heard “Taps” played for the first time since a snowy day in January when we buried our family’s fallen hero in Kentucky.
He was my grandfather, a 94-year-old Army veteran of World War II.
Taps has always been an emotional song to hear. But the emotions it now evokes remind me of the men who stood in the freezing rain and snow to honor my personal hero with full military honors including a 21-gun salute, Taps played on a bugle and a draped American flag.
He was a simple man, a hardworking farmer who not only survived war, but The Great Depression as well.
I could almost hear him saying, ‘‘I didn’t need all that fussing’’, but secretly I think he would have been proud.
My husband met my grandfather near the end of his life when dementia began to take hold.
However, one of the many events he remembered was his time serving this country. He was stationed in Alaska and told my husband about driving the trucks and learning how to fly an airplane.
He was proud of his time served and enjoyed showing my sister and I the pictures he took, along with the difficult task of teaching two city girls how to work on a farm.
They don’t make men like my grandfather anymore.
He knew the value of hard work, a dollar, faith in God and family and love of country.
For as long as I’m alive, I will remember the strong, silent man who taught me about stripping tobacco, picking vegetables and tending to the animals.
I’m proud of the man he was. He didn’t have a fancy car or live in the biggest house, but he had dignity, treated people with respect and cared and loved for his family.