Monday was Veteran’s Day here in the United States. My Grandpa is definitely my favorite veteran.
Ronald Skeen Peterson served in the Marine Corps during World War II. He graduated from high school in 1944. He knew he would be drafted so he enlisted right after graduation. Before he could be sent overseas, he became part of the Officer Candidates School. The war ended before his training did so he never left the US. He did, however, get a few years of college completed at Colorado College where he played football. It certainly wasn’t the war experience of most WWII Veterans, but I am so proud that he “took the bull by the horns,” as his cattle-ranching family would say, and enlisted.
This photo was taken when he was home in Utah on leave. I don’t know how many times he was able to come home but I know that one time he had a 48-hour leave and spent all but a few of those hours hitchhiking both directions. He saw my Grandma, saw his family, and then had to head right back to Colorado.
When I cleaned this photo up in Photoshop, I noticed a detail that had previously slipped by me. Grandpa is wearing the gold ID bracelet that my Grandma gave him. You can see it on his right wrist. I have that bracelet now and treasure it.
Grandpa wore this bracelet throughout his time in the Marine Corps. After his death in 1997, my Grandma found the bracelet in a drawer. The clasp was broken. She had it repaired and wore it for the rest of her life. It was one of the few treasures I asked for when she passed. I am grateful to be the current steward of this family treasure. I wear it occasionally, but not often — I’m trying not to wear it out. Whenever I do wear it, I can’t help but stroke their names. I love the tangible connection this bracelet gives me to their story, their love.
Happy Thursday, I hope you have a wonderful weekend!! Scan a photo or two and share them with your loved ones. xoxo
7 thoughts on “Photograph Showcase: My Favorite Veteran”
I love that you have a photo of your grandpa wearing the bracelet!
Thank you, Ellen, me too!! I love it when I spot significant details in photos. It adds so much richness to the lives of my ancestors. ❤️
My dad also never went overseas—he served in the Navy doing intelligence work in Virginia. But nevertheless, as with your grandfather, he served and should be honored for it. My father never spoke about being a veteran—but he did take advantage of the GI Bill after the war.
I love the bracelet!
Thank you, Amy! I love the bracelet too. ❤️
I agree, all of the Veterans from that time period played their part. My Grandfather chose to enlist because his friends who were older were being drafted into the Army and the Army casualty numbers were high. He hoped he would be safer in the Navy, but somehow ended up in the Marine Corps. I can’t even imagine being 18 and thinking through those kinds of things. I’m proud that he didn’t sit and worry, waiting to see when his number would be called. He just dove in.
Participating in Officer Candidates School was a weird fluke that had to do with a rude comment from an adversary who wanted to become an officer. My Grandpa took his, “you’d never qualify…” comment and decided to take the test. Grandpa passed. He didn’t do it to avoid the war, it was about the comment. 😉 In the end, it kept him stateside. Selfishly, I am grateful that he was safe during the war. But I know that he would have served valiantly overseas had that happened.
The more I learn about my Fried family, the more grateful I am for the young men, like my Grandpa and your Dad, who stepped up and fought for the freedom and safety of others half a world away.
Yes, certainly. That was a war that had to be fought and won.
How lovely to have both the bracelet, and a photo of your grandfather wearing it.
Thank you, Su! ❤️