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    Posted November 9, 2012 by
    Manistee, Michigan
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Veterans in focus

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    Loyalty Makes You Family


    My grandpa, Charles "Perky" Perkins, served in Vietnam. He loved to tell us stories about his experiences over there and, sadly, what he faced upon his return to our country. He told us sad stories of fellow soldiers falling and he told us funny stories, like the time they set the latrines on fire. He talked about the many veteran groups he belonged to and all of their events. But what Grandpa Perky told us and left with us most of all is that family isn't always blood. He married my grandmother when I was already in college. He became our Grandpa quickly, accepting us and loving us all for who we were. We easily did the same in return as his grandchildren. He never missed a Birthday, sports game, concert recital, graduation, Grandparents' Day, Anniversary or wedding. We camped together every summer and ate together at every major and minor holiday. He taught us that it's not always blood, but rather loyalty that makes a family.


    It wasn't only us, his step-family turned whole-hearted family, that learned this lesson from him but also his best friends from Vietnam. They fought together and came home together and called themselves the "Brothers From Other Mothers." They truly were brothers, keeping in touch and getting together annually nationwide. Their wives were sisters, too. One big, happy family.


    Unfortunately, our hero, Grandpa Perky, passed away unexpectedly on Monday, October 29th, 2012. But this Veterans Day, we will remain loyal to him and the impact he has had on our lives by honoring his memory and service to our country.

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