November 11, 2004


Look at him. He's 88 years old and happy as a clam.
That's my grandfather, Dale Kelly, standing on the porch of his Baltimore home with his wife, Ethel.
I've been thinking about him today, Veterans Day.

Grandpa served in the Navy during World War II on a ship used in Patton's invasion of Sicily. Nearly got blown to bits by a shell that hit his ship. All that saved him was a split-second reaction and a thin sheet of turret steel between him and the bomb blast.
It's ironic, I guess, considering he worked most of his life at the Bethlehem Steel plant at Sparrow's Point.
He doesn't talk much about his war days when I visit. (Above is a photo of him with my grandmother, Josephine.) If there's a war story to be told, I mostly have to drag it out of him. He's a man who lives in the present. I've always respected that about him. Maybe there's something about going to war forces that perspective upon you.
He still has his uniform from his service days. He takes it out when I ask. I joke with him that he could still fit in it. He always launches a gravelly belly laugh when I do.
A year ago today, Brian said that we should call his great-grandfather.
"Because it's Veterans Day, Dad."
And so we did. And we will again today.
Because he served. And because we love him for doing so. Posted by Jeff at November 11, 2004 07:59 AM | TrackBack

hats off to your grandfather! Happy Veteran's Day.

Posted by: blunted at November 11, 2004 11:53 AM

Tell him "thanks" for me too.

Posted by: Jim - PRS at November 11, 2004 09:54 PM

Nice post! Best wishes to Grandpa Kelly and all vetrans.

Posted by: Meg at November 14, 2004 12:04 AM