A little reminder from my Great Grandfather

Oscar Sears' World War I draft card

I was researching my family tree and I found my great-grandfather’s World War I draft card. He was drafted when he was 33 years old, which is how old I am.

If it was 1918 instead of 2011, I would’ve been kissing my wife and kids goodbye, grabbing a rifle, and suiting up to go in the trenches towards almost certain death. Instead, I’m tapping on my MacBook Pro, sipping a latte and opining about the web.

Sobering.

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Comments

18 comments on “A little reminder from my Great Grandfather

  1. Really makes you put things in perspective; and also question what our loved ones who have passed make of the world that is now unfolding. Could the web exist in the next life?

  2. On a similar note - http://m.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jun/06/spotify-problem-getting-people-to-pay?cat=commentisfree&type=article

  3. Wow.  Talk about some perspective.  We definitely live in a different world, don’t we now then he did then?  I am so grateful and thankful for all they he did to serve before us so we can be doing what we do now.  Love you, Ry.

  4. sobering indeed… even more so considering (being a British subject) I’d have been called up 4 years ago and likely to have died along with every one of my mates on the Somme two years back. Its really chilling when you wander around some of the small towns and villages of Britain and see memorials to the dead from the Great War. Even the tiniest villages have a roll of honour sometimes dozens long. Back then the lads from a town, a village or a factory would have signed up and fought in the same unit together and when they were wiped out the whole community back home was dessimated.
    That’s a great find Ryan – please treasure it

  5. Though it looks like he joined up in the middle of September 1918, so he probably hadn’t even left the US before it all ended a few weeks later.

  6. Awesome reminder. My grandfather was the “baby” of his family, but still wanted to enlist. He did so and served his tour in Italy, and thankfully came back. People back then were of a different stripe, for sure. Thank God for ‘em.

  7. In what ways has this changed your perspective? Have your personal or professional goals changed? Which feeling is stronger: the pull to have beliefs and ambitions worth dying for, or the resolve to never again take time with your family for granted?

  8. I have both my great grandfather’s enlistment card and his discharge – he fought in Cuba during the Spanish American War. http://www.geni.com/people/Robert-Quiggle/6000000010798949623

    There are still plenty of soliders packing up and kissing their families good bye and going off to war in 2011. So much has changed and so much has stayed the same.

  9. yup, puts it into perspective for you… everybody whining and complaining about little insignificant crap… as the hashtag on twitter goes… #FirstWorldProblems.
    Respect to your great-grandfather and those like him. Tallyho

  10. Interesting! Your Grandfather’s Grandfather was doing something completely different - signing the treaty of 1818 between US and UK, most likely sipping moonshine in Oregon :) I wonder what was your grandfather wrote in his blog (i.e. analog diary) about him :)