Tomorrow is Veterans' Day, a day in which we remember and give thanks to the men and women who served in our nation's armed forces. But their military career wasn't the extent of their lives, though it often impacted it dramatically.
My Pawpaw, Thomas Craft, left his family behind when he was drafted into World War II. His leaving was a hardship for his wife and two young daughters. They were a family of farmers, either working as sharecroppers or tenant farmers. The cotton crop, the family's main source of income, came in while Thomas was in Europe. Without Thomas there to lead the family harvest, the crop was stollen.
Thomas came back home and worked until he could buy the land the family farmed. However, he gave up farming only a few years later. He moved the family from Elbert County, Georgia to DeKalb County, Georgia. He soon began to work at Atlantic Steel, a mill in Atlanta. He would work there for more than 30 years before he retired
But one job wasn't enough to support himself, his wife and seven children. Thomas always had another job or two on top of his full time work. My dad recalls that his father worked at a convenience store, a gas station, driving a taxi, and finally started his own sanitation company in 1968.
My dad often worked along side his father and remembers how hard he worked. When I remember him on Veterans day, I don't just give thanks for his military service, but also for the sacrifices he made to give his family a better life.