Although Veterans Day programs are pretty much cancelled around the country and in Socorro County, it’s always important to remember our veterans’ sacrifices made on behalf of our beloved country.

For our second year, El Defensor Chieftain will publish its Salute to Veterans Section. This year it will be published the day after Veterans Day on November 12. So please be sure to pick up a copy. All proceeds from section will help buy the turkeys for the DAV Community Thanksgiving Dinner.

Last year I was honoring our country’s veterans are so important to me.

Wanda Moeller

It all started with my greatuncle John Aude, who served in France during World War I. He was my father’s uncle on his mother’s side.

Great-uncle John never married.

My father said after his return from the great war, his uncle pretty much kept to himself and farmed with his father until his untimely death in 1920. My father never spoke too much about his Uncle John, other than to say he “never, ever” wanted to talk about the war.

Born in Germany, he came to the United States when he was 7 years old. He became a U.S. citizen and went to fight for a country that adopted him as its own.

My father was drafted near the end of World War II. He served in the United States Army Air Corps near the end of World War II where he obtained the rank of corporal working as a classified mail clerk.

Typing skills learned in eighth grade earned him an instant promotion, when the commanding officer was looking for someone to type up reports and review confidential mail.

Dad was stationed at Buckley Field in Aurora, Colo. and Lackland Field in San Antonio, Texas. His last assignment was at Mather Field in Sacramento, Calif.

After his tour of duty, he joined the local Spencer-Cook American Legion Post in Miles, where he served as Commander for several years. After my father’s death in 2009, my mom served as the Legion Auxiliary president.

My younger brother, William, gave up several academic and athletic scholarships to colleges and universities to accept an appointment in the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in the fall of 1986. He was a member of the 200th graduating class of the USCGA. Upon graduation from the academy in 1990, William began his career and his sea tour as a deck watch officer aboard the USCGC Tamaroa.

In this capacity he led the rescue of four members of the New York Air National Guard in October 1991. The rescue among monstrous waves was captured the nation’s imagination in the book and later the film adaptation of “The Perfect Storm.’’

His son, Andrew, graduated from the academy in May 2016 with a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering and was commissioned an Ensign in the U.S. Coast Guard.

Today, Lt. Moeller is a graduate student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) studying engineering.

As you may have gathered, I am extremely proud of my family’s military service contributions to protecting our nation’s freedoms.

When the opportunity presents itself, I always thank a veteran for their service to our great country.

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