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WQW #43: Honoring Those Who Protected Lives

November 9: Holiday: Veteran’s Day

2019 Veteran’s Day Luncheon in Woodlake, CA

“Regard your soldiers as your children, and they will follow you into the deepest valleys. Look on them as your own beloved sons, and they will stand by you even unto death!”

–Sun Tzu
Writer’s Quotes Wednesdays (a Photo or Writing Challenge)

Featured Bloggers for WQW #42: Quotes that Touched

For those of you who contributed to WQW #42, thank you for your ideas.


Currently, this weekly writing challenge runs from Wednesday through Tuesday at noon. All you need is at least one quote to go with your post. Share photos, and/or write a poem, story, or memoir. Just have fun with it and let the quote or quotes lead the way.

Topics for the year (subject to change) are listed on the WQW Page. Feel free to post weekly, or drop in from time to time – All are welcome. 

2006 Veteran’s Interview Program at Woodlake High School

For More on Veteran’s Day


Thank You, For Giving Up Your Freedom to Protect Ours

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”

John F. Kennedy

Last week my eyes were opened just a tad to the needs of Veteran’s in Prescott. In groups of about eight, a woman drives veterans to pick up warm coats and blankets to help them through winter. I don’t know what the situation is with these former soldiers, but none of them enjoy prosperity. I hope they are not homeless.

We had one man in his twenties who had just become homeless. He wanted a size 3X coat to fit over the 4-5 other coats he was wearing. He picked out extra-large gloves to fit over his other gloves and the same with socks. He sleeps in empty dumpsters and hopes that the garbage man doesn’t come during the night.

No where is ideal to be homeless, but we had snow last Thursday just before all these men came in. I thanked the veterans for their service, and they thanked me. Many of them shook my hand and introduced themselves. It was a moving experience.

“In war, there are no unwounded soldiers.”

— José Narosky

How true this is. The idea that such young men go out to face enormous pressures and life-changing circumstances should boggle our minds. My husband joined the Navy at age 17, 95 pounds. In person, he must have looked like a ten-year old wearing adult clothing. The Navy added 50 pounds during basic training, and taught him a foreign language. He spent his time in the service during the Viet Nam war translating Spanish in Puerto Rico.

Vince Ingrao, aged 17

You’d think that would be a gravy job, wouldn’t you? He wore headphones eight hours a day and voices assailed him at all hours of the day and night. Electrical storms hit the towers, and sent a blast of sound that would almost knock him out. He stayed in the service for two years and then went into civilian life, seemingly unscathed. Today he can hardly hear. He says that hearing aids don’t help. He enjoys the quiet.

We think that if the service men come back with all their arms, legs, and eyes that they are fine. But not one of these young people has escaped injury. Many of them don’t survive emotionally and end up homeless and mentally damaged. They lose their families and friends. Some of them during the Viet Nam war went in unwillingly, but they went. Others were forced to flee their country to escape fighting for a war that they didn’t want to fight.

Two Living WWII Vets

Ernie Garcia lived in Woodlake and worked at the elementary school where I taught. We have known each other for over 30 years. Hal Whitlock is my mother’s cousin whom I met for the first time in 2011. We have since visited several times. Both still live full productive lives still serving their communities.

I’m glad that military service is no longer compulsory. It is a big step to say yes to serving your country and going anywhere in the world, trusting that you will get back in one piece. Those of us who have never gone to war, can’t imagine the sacrifices that they made and continue to make every day if not fighting for our freedom, then helping other countries fight for theirs.

In Honor to Veterans

In Woodlake the city and community organizations collaborate to put on a Veteran’s dinner.

“Prescott has one of the highest percentages of veterans, per capita, of any City in the United States.” – Prescott Honoring Veterans Day

“The City of Prescott is excited to announce that the 2022 Veterans Day Parade will be held in Downtown Prescott on Friday, November 11, 2022. Opening ceremonies will take place at 10:30 a.m. on the stage at the intersection of Cortez St. and Union St., with parade beginning at 11:00 a.m.” – City of Prescott

This week’s WQW Is Inspired By Veterans

Woodlake’s first luncheon honoring veterans, and Woodlake High School Veteran Interview program.

Now it’s your turn.

This is our week to say and do something back. What are you doing? Inspire us. I want to DO something this Veteran’s Day to say thanks. If you are a veteran reading this, what do you wish that those of us who never served would do?

Have a great week, my friends.

Ongoing on Always Write

  • PPAC has moved! Check out Natalie the Explorer this Friday!
  • Upcoming topics for WQW
    • November 16: Travel: Memorable Trips
    • November 23: Holiday: Thanksgiving, Gratitude
    • November 30: Abandoned or Artistic Buildings/or Writer’s Choice/ or YOUR WOTY Review

For a list of past WQW posts visit my WQW Page

Happy quoting!

47 replies »

  1. Such great words Marsha. We were just talking tonight about the futility of this awful war in Ukraine. Those poor young men and women, all so pointless.
    I have to say I’ve never seen as many homeless men as I did in the US and Canada.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for sharing these personal stories of veterans, Marsha. Even if they come back in “one piece”, other damage has been done. I really agree. I wish there were no wars and losses, but with the current state of the world now, it’s really saddening.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Very good, Marsha. I don’t remember that Veteran’s luncheon in 2019. Perhaps I wasn’t there. It was fun seeing Vince and Jack.

    Inspiring quotes as always.

    Why do you think Prescott has so many Vets per capita? What is the logic?

    We sure miss you two. We’ll be thinking of you as you move into Cindy’s place. You have a lot on your plate now.


    P.S. worked in the Rose Garden this morning. Helping out at FJWhite with book day on Monday. Attending luncheon in Visalia on the 22nd to help celebrate Visalia Kiwanis’ 100th. Food Pantry Tuesday. I’m making up for lost time. Seems I wasn’t able to do much over last few months.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, you have been busy! I am spending my first night at Cindy’s with the three animals. I’m hoping Vince can sleep better tonight without a bed full of pets. I bet you are excited about book day. What are you reading to them?


  4. Such a great post Marsha… thank you! Here’s to all of the Vetrans that gave so much and continue to support families. My stepdad was very well taken care of by them. So much tragedy and sadness by the aftermath and homeless.
    Look at Vince just a young man heading off to the Navy so cute. Your pictures are wonderful. Have a wonderful time at the parade!! 💙

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow, Marsha, what an experience. I wish I didn’t work on this day so I could attend something or be a part in some way. I enjoyed your photos and quotes very much. We don’t realize what these men and women have gone through. One year I did 21 pushups a day for 21 days to bring awareness to the issue of suicide among veterans. I made sure that each day I did it, I read and learned something about these men and women and also groups that were set to help them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I did that, too! I think that was in 2016. My blogging friend Carol’s husband started both Vince and me doing them. It was a struggle, but how much more so for them and so many others that get overwhelmed with life.


  6. What an amazing post to honor those who served. My dad served in the Korean War, and believe it or not, Hans’ father served in WWII Germany(!) in a manufacturing plant. I need to get a good quote for mine on Friday! I love the fact you shared about Prescott having the highest percentage per capita of vets in the US–evidently a great place to retire!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is definitely a retirement town, although I think more young people are also moving here. There’s a lot of opportunities for service since the population is older and needs more service than it can provide for itself.

      Liked by 1 person

        • When one person can’t help themselves, it takes many people working a little bit of the time to help them live their lives. We have many disabled veterans – with varying degrees of disabilities. Each one takes several people helping them, and some more than others. I love the groups that build homes for those who have lost limbs or sight, so that they can function in their own homes. It’s hard to imagine having to go on when you life has been totally disrupted.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Yes. I was a part of watching one home go from the ground up. (I am always the token cryer at these events. In fact the photo of the Jeep surrounded with flags was when I was the support vehicle for a home dedication.

            The mental health is the hardest. Crisis 22 has paired with the local police (at least down here) to educate and to reach out when they can. There is just SO much. I am grateful your had a chance to reach out to a few vets. Every bit helps.

            Liked by 1 person

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Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

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