On November 28, 1951, Corporal John Eldon Grady Anderson was drafted by the United States military. As the youngest of six children, his mother was insistent that he stay behind. It was just decade before that his mother had become a widow and the extra hands were of necessity on the family farm. Out of desperation, Sally Anderson walked through the cornfields of White County, Georgia to the courthouse to plead for her son to stay home. The United States military needed him defending freedom in the Korean War. His mama needed him shucking corn.
The draft board had the final word and my grandfather, Grady Anderson, was shipped to Alaska. A long way from red Georgia clay.
I am not sure if it was sympathy for a desperate mother or the bribe of a Southern buttered biscuit, but on November 14, 1953, my grandfather was honorably discharged from the United States Army. He went home. His heart belonged to a widow mother and her small farm in Cleveland, Georgia.
And yet, some did not come home.
This weekend is the unofficial start to Summer. We will pull the grills out of the garage and the homemade ice cream makers will start churning. Let’s not forget to say, “Thank you.” Those of us who “stay on the farm” cannot forget the price paid by those who were sent to the front lines. As individuals who have been gifted freedom, we must do our small part to continue harvesting the gift. And it starts with seeds of gratitude. So, “Thank you!”