BRIGADIER GENERAL, ALBERT L. GRAMM
I want to honor my father, Brigadier General, Albert L. Gramm, and every man and woman who had fought or enlisted during peacetime to keep our country safe. My husband, Albin A. Sequeira served in the Navy from 1952-1955 during the Korean War as a CT3 (Communications Technician 3). Although, it seems we have always been in war, and for those with no family members in the service, we don't look at the seriousness of losing a loved one. Society feels for these family but until the reality hits us personally, we overlook it. Maybe we just assume our world is being protected and don't fear these wars and attacks can be at our own doorstep. The reality became real with 9/11.
To the military servicemen and women who have died, we see and know the reality of its results. I have always believed that wars are with the governments who give the orders and sit back while the civilians go to war. Our men and women face a stranger, not wanting to be there any more than themselves, and shoot to kill so they can live. I think of how many military people were loving, happy people with families that they loved and had to pick a gun up for the first time in their life to kill. They watched buddies die in front of them or in their arms.
In 1990, my father died at home at 80 years old from cancer living in South Dennis, Massachusetts, a location in beautiful Cape Cod. He never got to enjoy the area because my parents and brother, Joe Gramm and his wife Marge, (owners of The Cape Cod Upholstery) bought a house together to care for him. Dad feared dying because he killed, an act God tells us is a very serious sin on our souls. The family took him to LaSalette in Attleboro to see a priest to give him peace.
We as family, friends, relatives and the citizens of the United States and other countries, will never truly understand what these service people saw and had to do to live and come home to us. Dad promised The Blessed Mother during WWII fighting in Metz, Lorraine and The Battle of the Bulge, that if she brought him home safely to his family, he would say the rosary every day of the rest of his life. He kept that promise as he died in bed. At the end, his family members helped say this holy prayer when he was not able to stay awake.
It was my first time in my forties years that I learned the rosary. We are given them at our First Holy Communion, but how many of us learn them? A sat in Dad's rocker facing his bed for two weeks straight and realized that I never took the time to know this great man, and especially his military status. What was he really like, did he miss out on a dream, did he fill his accomplishments, and mostly, why didn't I sit with him when I became an adult and ask about his years in the service. The only emotion I ever saw from him was sitting in his den in E. Falmouth, talking about losing my brother, Walter, at seven from polio. I watched a strong man crying from the pain saying, "It's been over 40 years, and I still can't forgive myself." (The story of what happened is in my book A Spiritual Renewal). I loved and felt for him seeing him lose control; something Dad always contained. I learned that pain when I lost my own daughter, Lori Cahill, on November 22, 2006 from her alcohol addiction. (Story in Please, God, Not Two).
I wrote about this great man in A Spiritual Renewal: A Journey to Medjugorje. Men pick the book up and think, "Oh, a girly book!" It is a great book to give a man, especially a veteran, for any occasion and with Christmas around the corner. The memoir has his life story and our relationship, the missing opportunities to know him as a man besides a father. How many of us miss this chance with our loved ones? There is a section with writings from the men who served under him when he had been one of the commanding officers for the 26th Yankee Division. His bio showed what he accomplished in his lifetime...during my years of growing not looking at any of his military status.
His faith brought me to Medjugorje, a tiny remote town in Bosnia, where since 1981 Our Lady has been and still is appearing daily to six visionaries, who are receiving 10 secrets each to be revealed to the world when they get them all. They already picked the priest to announce the messages. Only two visionaries have one more secret to receive.
He wanted to travel over to Medjugorje, but had gotten to the point of being too sick to make the flight. In 1998, I went thinking it was for my dad, when I realized it was for both of us. I had lost my faith fighting through 14 years of a marriage with an alcoholic and felt God had abandoned me (Story in Someone Stop This Merry-Go-Round). Now I realize that we have choices in life and mine was to stay in an unhealthy environment that took the innocence, security and happy years away from our two daughters.
A Spiritual Renewal is a book of love, family and miracles, and the reality that we need to enjoy our loved ones while they are with us. We never know when God is going to call them home. This is a family book for any religion, man or woman, and especially for anyone who has lost their way with God in their life.
Today, let us remember a loved one or dear friend who gave their life and years to keeping us safe in our country. When they come home....welcome them....thank them for what they have done of each of us. Don't let them be forgotten. I hope companies can open their hearts and give them a job so they can support their families and not feel like they came home unnoticed with what they lost. There are many who come home with physical and mental problems, depression, missing body parts, needing others to care for them losing their independence, and many lose their marriages due to stress.
I personally want to thank every veteran in this country.
A Spiritual Renewal and all books can be purchased at http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=alberta+sequeira