A Gift of Inspiration

Each year, I remember my Uncle Mike for his gift to me

As you read this, we are in the midst of the holiday season. Traditionally, one of the things we do during this season is exchange gifts. Each year, I remember my Uncle Mike for his gift to me. 

Uncle Mike was the oldest of my mother’s four brothers. I never knew him. He died five years before I was born.

I have two items on my office wall near my desk to always remind me of him. The first item is a framed picture of him in his military uniform when he was home on leave. 

2020-21 VFW National Chaplain Joseph GallickThe second item is a framed certificate when he was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart “For Military Merit and for Wounds Received in Action Resulting in his death." On the shelf next to his Purple Heart in its case is the U.S. flag I received when my mobilization ended.

He was the first of the four brothers to enlist in the Army Infantry and the only brother not to return home. He was killed in action at El Guettar, Tunisia. His remains were interred at the United States Military Cemetery, Tunis (Carthage) Tunisia. I hope to be able to visit his grave someday.

Uncle Mike inspired me to join the United States Army Chaplain Corps and serve my country, and I like to think I inspired my son to do the same when he graduated from high school and joined the United States Marine Corps.

Uncle Mike sacrificed his life on the field of battle to preserve the freedom many often do not think about, but enjoy each and every day of their life in this country we call home.

Thank you, Uncle Mike.