Command Sergeant Major James D. Blankenbecler August 15, 2007Posted by daveintexas in Uncategorized.
Read down in the comments, the one posted by Joseph, and follow the link. You’ll know what to do from there.
Joseph is the son of CSM James Blankenbecler.
Thank you Joseph. It’s a very beautiful song, and I appreciate you sharing it with me.
Memorial Day is kind of a big deal to me. Although I’ve been a Texan since the age of 10, as a youngster from Alabama, I recall the Memorial Day ritual we practiced there. We didn’t bring it with us because we left our extended family behind.
It started with church. A long (boring, did I say that out loud) church service in FBC Hamilton Alabama.
Then there was a picnic on the church yard. They had big oak trees and lots of shade… and although it was getting warm and humid, I was 7 and I did not care.
I had a light blue seersucker suit with short pants, a white shirt with an owl on the pocket, and a clip on red bow tie. Short blonde hair. Effin adorable. I was the shiznit. Email me if you want to see the pic.
We had the picnic, and the best fried chicken on the planet, and then we went to the cemetary, and put little flags in the ground next to some of the markers. We picked weeds, put plastic flowers down.
I had no idea what was going on. But I knew it was important. I could tell from the expressions on the faces of the grown-ups around us, and how my mom was whispering to me all the things she wanted me to do.
Instructions actually. I obeyed without question. A habit I dropped in 1975.
I did not understand, we were honoring those who had gone before. I didn’t even know what “gone before” meant, I just knew it was a big deal.
Cut to 2003. Married, teen daughters. I thought I knew what it meant to lose a loved one, having recently lost my mom.
She lost him when she was 13.
The comments from those who knew him, worked with him, served with him, tell us a lot about this man.
But that letter from his little girl, well, that tells us so much more. And it’s a pretty hard thing to contemplate.
CSM Blankenbecler is survived by his wife Linnie, their three children, and his parents and brother.
If I did my arithmetic right, Jessica will graduate from high school in a few days.
May God bless them and keep them.