This Memorial Day, The Story About My Dad’s Death In Vietnam Gained A New Chapter

portrait of PFC Michael John Kelly
PFC Michael John Kelly (1948-1968)

Memorial Day is for remembering those who served who didn’t make it back home alive. We honor their sacrifice.

Millions of people have just as many stories about their lost loved ones. For years I believed one story about what happened when my father was killed. Only recently I found out what I knew wasn’t the whole story.

My father, Michael John Kelly, was killed in action on February 15th 1968 in Vietnam. His platoon was on patrol when it was ambushed. My Dad was on point and was killed instantly. I was only a month and a day old at time and never met him or knew him.

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Honoring Jonathan Lydick For Memorial Day

Undated photo of My 3rd great grandfather Jonathan Lydick (1846- 1914) and his wife Anna Marie (1852 – 1944)
My 3rd great grandfather Jonathan Lydick (1846- 1914) and his wife Anna Marie (1852 – 1944)

Usually during holidays honoring veterans, I like to honor my Dad who served in Vietnam. However, for this year’s Memorial Day, I want to honor my 3rd great grandfather Jonathan Lydick (1846 – 1914). He was born in Pennsylvania and moved with his family to Northwest Ohio. He enlisted in the Union Army in 1863 at the age of 17 at Lima. He served in the 12th Ohio Cavalry as a part of Company G.

During his time in the service the 12th Ohio had operations against Morgan’s invasion of Kentucky May 31-June 20, 1864. Action at Mt. Sterling, Ky., June 9. Cynthiana June 12. Skirmish at Lebanon, Ky., July 30 (1 company). Burbridge’s Expedition into southwestern Virginia September 20-October 17. McCormack’s Farm September 23. Laurel Mountain September 29. Action at Saltville, Va., October 2. Stoneman’s Raid from Bean’s Station, Tenn., into southwestern Virginia, December 10–29. Bristol December 14. Marion December 17–18. Saltville December 20–21. Stoneman’s Raid into southwestern Virginia and western North Carolina March 21-April 25, 1865. Wilkesborough March 29. Wilkinsville N.C., April 8. Danbury April 9. Statesville and Salem April 11. Salisbury April 12. Dallas and Catawba River April 17. Swannanoah Gap April 20. Howard’s Gap, Blue Ridge Mountains, April 22. Asheville April 25. Duty in middle Tennessee, eastern Tennessee, and North Carolina, until November 1865.

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Memorial Day: Their Sacrifice Must Not Be In Vain

image of US Flag at Half-staff

As we celebrate Memorial Day in the US and it is an election year, we need to be reminded that the people who died in service of this country must not have died in vain. No matter your political party, we must work harder not to have more of our young people buried in military cemeteries. This post is my plea for us to work together to stop all war – both current and future.

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