Family loyalty 

Loyalty means we demonstrate pride and allegiance to our country, community, school, family, and peers. In short, it means to show you are there for someone else at all times good and bad, up and down. The following is a short personal story about my family’s history that speaks to the very essence of loyalty.

The date was February 4, 1945. The crew of the USS Barbel - ss316, a submarine, was struck by bombs from Japanese aircraft several miles off coast of the Philippines and all were lost, killed in action. This event hits home for me because my great uncle Ellis Henry Stevens was a Motor Machinist’s Mate 2nd class aboard that submarine. Now, I never met my great uncle, but his youngest sister, my great aunt Mae Stevens made sure I knew who he was when I was growing up as a kid. She often told me stories about him from her childhood and read many of the letters he wrote home while he was in service.

My great uncle was a loyal serviceman to our country, but he was also fiercely loyal to the family back home. He was the oldest of four children and joined the Navy in 1939 at the beginning of World War II. During his time in the service, he would write home to his family on a regular basis and would wire money home monthly so that my great aunt Mae, the baby of the family, could stay in school until she graduated. My grandfather and his other brother worked the farms to make ends meet and never finished school while my great aunt was able to stay in school.

Shortly after his death, his family received the Purple Heart for his sacrifice and service to our country. My great aunt Mae would go on to graduate high school thanks to my great uncle’s loyalty to family.

Regardless of how you define family, the following quote from film director Mario Puzo sums it up best.

“The strength of a family, like the strength of an army, lies in its loyalty to each other.”

Posted by [email protected] On 01 June, 2019 at 8:54 PM  

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