Clinton L. Chalkley joined the U.S. Army in 1942 and, following a miserable Atlantic crossing on a troop carrier, attained the rank of Master Sergeant during World War II. He served in the Army Antiaircraft Artillery in North Africa before moving with his regiment to Sicily, Corsica, and eventually, Paris. Likewise, my father-in-law, William West, was a radio operator in the Army, and also served in the European theater.
Fortunately for them, for us, and our families, our fathers came home. Many of The Greatest Generation (Great American Things, May 24, 2009) made the ultimate sacrifice, dying on foreign soil so that we could remain free. Since the Continental Army was created in 1775, an untold number of soldiers in the U.S. Army have died preserving our security and protecting the peace.
As of 2009, the combined strength of the regular Army, the Army National Guard, and the Army Reserve is just over 1.1 million men and women. They’re serving in Afghanistan, and Iraq, and in dozens of other locations at home and abroad. They stand with pride, and dignity, and resolve. They serve unselfishly and with genuine honor. We are humbled by, and often unworthy of, their dedication.