Red, White, Blue and Jade

Red, white, blue, and jade?   A simple story to share during our red, white, and blue holidays. 

Jade Jewelry

I’m so proud of the servicemen and women who so valiantly protect our great country.

I can not imagine the duties, fears, bravery, and sacrifice they endure.

They make this country strong.

In celebration of Memorial Day, I’m sharing a personal little story about a twelve-year-old little girl.

Learning to understand the special bond of those enduring war.

The story

My father served two one year tours during the Vietnam war.  As a staunch “daddy’s girl” these years were filled with loss, confusion, and longing.  I vividly remember his return and those exciting first days.  Waking up in those first mornings and realizing again, “Daddy’s home!”

When Daddy’s return from his last tour I was twelve.  I have a brother that was 6 at the time and twin sisters that were 2.  We had a two-hour drive to Oklahoma City to pick Daddy up.  The twins didn’t really remember Daddy.  Daddy to them was a picture on the end table.  On the two hour drive home they stood in the back seat…

Yep, before seat belts were used.  Ours was tucked in behind the seats!       

and slowly started touching Daddy’s shoulder.  Then one of them found a box of saltine crackers and fed him one.  Daddy ate it, and they both giggled.  Then for the next two hours, the twins took turns feeding Daddy saltine crackers.

We didn’t have a single drink in the car and in those days there wasn’t a fast food place along the interstate like today!

I knew he was getting extremely thirsty.  I also knew he would take every cracker offered.

The Jade

red white and blue holidays

We got home…Daddy got a big drink of water…then he opened his bag and handed us gifts from a beautiful war-torn country far away from a twelve-year-olds understanding.

Red, white, blue and jade


This gift of a jade heart necklace and earrings is to this day my most prized possession.

We had 30 days to spend in our hometown before returning to the Army base in Arizona.  During this time, Daddy took me shopping downtown to pick out three pairs of shoes that fit me and three matching purses.  One set was blue, one pink and one green.  I assumed they were for me, but it was odd to have me pick out three.  We returned home, boxed them up and sent them to three young girls in Vietnam about my age.

Then I understood…that’s my Daddy!

We lost Daddy on November 27, 2010.

A bit of jade to go with your red white and blue.

So while many celebrate today wearing red, white and blue, eating Bar-B-Que and thinking about fireworks.  I wear a jade necklace and earrings, eat saltine crackers and wonder about three young girls. 🙂

Happy Memorial Day to all our service members and their families.

Think about wearing red, white, blue and jade this year. 

Here are a few related and unrelated posts.  When you don’t have time to paint your whole wood American flag!

Making shabby book covers for your holiday stories.

And are you cleaning your dishes with cheese?

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  1. My fathers last tour was 1972 . We too had just arrived in Arizona I was 13. I still have every piece of jewelry and doll he brought home to me. Lost him in 1993 he was 56 way too young. He loved the Military and it took it’s toll on him and our entire family. I celebrate the people who serve and their families that serve with then in the shadows. God Bless Them All

    1. Thank you Donna and all your family for your service to our country. We could have been in Arizona at the same time!

  2. chris aka monkey says:

    me too blubbering like a baby here, what a wonderful memory, it made me laugh through my tears thank you for sharing such a personal piece of you xx

    1. Thank you Chris, I’m enjoy connecting and getting to know all my sweet, inspiring and creative readers. oxox Jeanette

  3. In tears as I read and think of the many families that have lost someone defending our country. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful story. I’m glad your daddy made it home.

    1. Tresa J, thank you for visiting and reading along. Our family was one of the lucky ones that had the opportunity to to spend many lovely years with Dad. So many families are still being torn apart. Memories are so important to all families. The good and bad memories. Hugs, Jeanette

  4. I’m in tears – what a beautiful memory to commemorate today.

    1. Andi, I when through half a box of tissues writing it. But something you need that. Thank you for reading along.

    1. Thank you Caroline. These red, white and blue holidays always remind me of my Daddy. Of course, life reminds me of him too!

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