photograph showcase

Photograph Showcase: A Marine

PETERSON, Ronald Skeen in marine uniform - smaller for FT

That handsome Marine is my Grandpa.  As a young girl I knew that my Grandpa had been a Marine but I didn’t understand what that meant.  I had no context for war, military service, and especially the draft.  Grandpa wasn’t drafted, but he knew he would be.  He chose to enlist.  He wanted to live.  He saw his friends being drafted into the army and so many never came home.  He intended to enlist in the Navy but ended up in the Marine Corps.

As a girl with no understanding of my Grandpa’s service or what the war years were like, I learned to play The Marines’ Hymn on the piano.  I remember playing it at an extended family Christmas party.  My Grandparents were so proud, and emotional.  That didn’t really make sense to me then.  I didn’t even play it all that well.  😉  But now, I think I’m beginning to understand.  I’m proud of my Grandparents’ sacrifice in an incredibly challenging time in history.  I love my Marine Grandpa.

13 thoughts on “Photograph Showcase: A Marine”

  1. Wonderful photo, Amberly. My paternal grandfather was too old and my father too young for WWII. Dad’s cousin Eugene served during WWII and gave me permission to share his story just four months before he died. He had no children and the story which he wrote down nearly 20 years earlier would have been lost forever.

    1. Thank you Cathy. I’m so glad he allowed you to share his story. My sister is working on a family in our tree right now and she is hitting quite a few roadblocks. She has been checking in with me for tips of things to try. Yesterday she expressed frustration that this family doesn’t even appear in a single public tree anywhere. When I pointed out that none of the four daughters had children she had a big aha. Our posterity are the ones who preserve our stories. Those family members who never had children are dependent upon others to share their stories. Your dad’s cousin is lucky to have you to preserve and share his story.

        1. I love working with beginners or just less experienced genealogists and enjoying some of these aha moments. It’s so sweet to watch them learn new things that are just part of my thought process now. It reminds me of a time when I was a brand new researcher looking at a Scottish funeral card that listed the name, age, date of funeral, address, and husband of my 3rd great grandmother – and thinking, “I sure wish I knew when she was born.” 😳 I’ve come a long way. 😉

      1. We have enlistment portraits for the Big T’s grandfather and his younger brother. Both served in WWI, but only one came home. The younger boy looks just sooooo young and vulnerable in his photo.

        1. I bet! Fortunately for my Grandpa, he never left the US. He was in Officer Candidates School for 2 years and was just finishing up when the war ended. I imagine that when the story goes differently, the photos after service show change in a big way. Maybe a bit of a haunted look in the eye?

  2. Great photos. I am slowly working my way through posts from the last two weeks, having returned from Germany last night! I hope to be blogging soon about my travels.

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