Tuesday, November 11, 2014

"Thanks Just Isn't Enough"...by Gina Waite

“You never judge a book by its cover”… at least that’s what my Mom always taught me!  You have to crack that sucker open and read through the first 50 pages BEFORE you decide whether or not to finish the book!  Mostly because you don’t want to invest your time into something you don’t find of any value…whether it be educational or entertaining!    I think this same idea applies to people…you can’t fully value a person until you've invested time in their story.  …And if their story is ANYTHING like George Quinton…believe you me…you’ll be happy to invest your time!

My friend, George Quinton, born December 18, 1921 grew up to be an avid adventurer in the 20 acre farm off East River Road in Idaho Falls.  His growing up years passed quickly and realizing that he would most likely be drafted into the armed services, George made his way to Boise, Idaho to enlist for the Navy in June 1942!   He was accepted and inducted into The United States Navy then traveled to San Diego for military training.  After the completion of Boot Camp, George made his way to Pearl Harbor (just months after the infamous Pearl Harbor bombing) by way of former luxury-liner-turned-military-transport ship.   George recalls witnessing the aftermath of the horrific events of December 7, 1941…he told me, “as much as those good ol' boys had tried to clean up after the bombings…I could still see the destruction of Pearl Harbor…including the four inches of oil that had seeped out of destroyed vessels that sat atop the water’s edge.” 

George was a dedicated petty officer third class!  His scope through the entirety of his naval career found him as boatswain for 35 and 50 foot boats running to and from surface vessels with much needed supplies...to...2nd division detail making sure the exterior structure of the Makin Island (converted escort carrier) surface vessel was in working order.  George would refuel, transport supplies and shoot the gunnery on the ship which made his time in the military pass quickly!  Like many great American Soldiers George found great passion for boxing and while serving in the Navy (and unbeknownst to him) was elected to box someone against his will…his opponent breaking George’s nose in the process.  That was all it took for George to get up off the ground and knock out his opponent…winning in front of his fellow shipmates!  George was revered, respected and noted for his ability, just as in his boxing match, to pick himself up off the ground and succeed in the face of defeat!  I think I would call that extreme resiliency!  This same resiliency that would be necessary, much later in George’s life, in aiding him to lovingly care for his wife while she battled Alzheimer’s disease.  The same disease that accelerated her graduation into the spirit world…for which George patiently waits to be with her again! 

As my family and I have had the good fortune of visiting with George frequently and the possibility of his presence at Thanksgiving Dinner…we decided to write him a note of thanks!  These are some of the sentiments we've included in our letter that writer, Cathy Maxwell, offers ALL Veterans’ on this, our Veteran’s Day:

*Thank you for enlisting and stepping forward when so many step back.

*Thank you for playing mediator between us and danger.

*Thank you for delaying plans for college, marriage, and other opportunities and choosing to serve.

*Thank you for braving the horrific and unspeakable horrors of war.

*Thank you for sacrificing time with your families and missing those significant milestones the rest of us take for granted.

*Thank you to spouses who live nomadic lives, often far away from the comforts and traditions of extended family.

*Thank you to your children who live most of their lives without your presence recognizing they must share you with the rest of the nation.

*Thank you to your parents who can only prayer for your safety and hope for the willingness of the citizens of our country to offer the best we have for you.

*Thank you for giving our country a conscience.

*Thank you for showing us who we are and what we have the opportunity to become.

*Thank you!!!!  Knowing that thanks…just isn't enough!!!!

♦ Hope you'll Honor our Veterans AND share YOUR stories and photos with us at: nutshellstories@gmail.com.