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  • Writer's pictureTerri Tomoff

Listen What the Sign Says

Two signs in the last 18 hours; a metaphorical one and a “real” one.

Right now as I write and post, all the young men of the house have left for a round of 18 holes on one of Northeast Ohio’s premier courses (I’m going with it, not sure where they went). The four adults left in their wake include my sister, Kimberly, her husband Jerry, and hubby, Bill. We are all on our electronic devices catching up with the world if you will, and Bill writing his WIC (Writing in Community) daily (or so I think he is).

I don’t mind one bit because I’m pecking away on this Memorial Day daily as part of the device catching-up group. An hour ago my sister went with me to their new-to-the-neighborhood Aldi’s (I looove Aldi’s), so I could stock up with groceries for our Kelleys Island trip starting tomorrow.

But a funny sign happened last night after we arrived in Cleveland and had a pair of birthday celebrations for my nephew and brother-in-law. Sister Kimberly happened to have a yearbook entitled 33rd Medium Take Battalion 1949 that she got out to share the treasure with me and my other sister, Annette. She doesn’t remember when the book exactly became part of her possessions, but probably years ago when we cleaned out the city house where we grew up.

I have never seen this book before. Nor did my father ever discuss his military experience except what he shared with me, or anyone for that matter, that he worked as a butcher and cook in the US Army’s Food Services. Based on some preliminary research, he was a cook during peacetime until the Korean War began in June 1950.

I soaked up each page, looking for my father in the candid shots from his Battalion to no avail. The only thing with my father’s picture was his “yearbook” photo with his name (with the others in his row) to the right.

Reflecting back, I wish I asked him more questions when he was alive, though not sure if he would have shared any more than I already knew. He was a man of few words anyway.

Of all the trips back and forth to Cleveland from Maryland in 26 years, it was the first time I got a glimpse of my father in a part of his life he rarely discussed - all on Memorial Day Weekend. Is it a sign? I think it is!

Today, as we approached my sister’s street the sign below caught our attention as I drove past it. While my sister tried to read it out loud to me, I decided to make a U-Turn and go back and take a photo of it for posterity. Once I read it I decided that it’s a perfect sentiment to post today!

For all who served in the US Armed Forces (including my Daddy), both past and present, I salute you. Thank you for your service!




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