Happy Veteran’s Day to two of the men in my life I respect the most, Retired Major Aubrey Mitchell Brim, United States Air Force, and Corporal Stephen Martin, United States Marine Corps. When I combine their military careers with my father’s law enforcement career, I realize the selfless dedication the men in my family have given to their country.
This past year, my father took my grandfather to see the very planes he flew as Private Aubrey Brim in the United States Army Air Corps, until his retirement as Major Aubrey Brim in the United States Air Force. This is what he had to say about his reaction:
“Saw a Jimmy Stewart recruiting film in the theater in Pittsburg, Kansas in 43. Said I should be a pilot in the Army’s Air Corp. Signed up right then and left the US and a new bride in early ’44 for the Pacific. I was a 21 year old kid in Command of an airplane going to war. Had more than 2000 hours flying this bird to every island in the Pacific you ever heard of and the ones you haven’t. Towed gliders, dropped paratroopers, delivered troops, evacuated wounded, dropped cargo by parachute, hauled bullets, bandages, and beans not to mention a jeep or two and dodged Japanese Zeros along the way. Was there along the runway on la Shima and saw the Japanese peace envoy land to begin surrendering. My bird had a girl like this on it’s nose with her legs in the air so I could reach out my window and tickle her feet. Left her in Japan in ’46 and came home…until Uncle Sam needed me again during Korea but that was a different airplane.”
Looking back through his old war pictures and journals makes me so proud to be his granddaughter. I only hope one day our grandchildren can look back on Steve’s service and have this same feeling.
He married my grandmother in a hurry during bootcamp leave in Pittsburgh, Kansas when he was nineteen years old, so he could take her to his first duty station. Countless moves, many deployments, two wonderful children, and thousands of flying hours later, she was still there by his side waiting for him to come home to her. And earlier this year, he buried her after sixty-nine years of beautiful marriage.
Here is his beautiful bride, my grandmother, one of the classiest and most beautiful women I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.
On Veteran’s Day, we remember my husband, his brothers of 2nd Battalion 8th Marines, especially Sgt. Joseph Garrison, SSgt. James Malachowski, Cpl. Ian Muller, and those other Marines who did not make it home. I pray that after years of dedicated service to his country, Steve and I may have a fulfilling life and prosperous marriage, just like my grandparents.
“People Sleep Peacefully in Their Beds at Night Only Because Rough Men Stand Ready to Do Violence on Their Behalf.”
– George Orwell