O Me of Little Faith

O Me of Little Faith

Memories and Gratitude

The dedication page for my new book, O Me of Little Faith, reads:

To my grandparents,
John and Mary Boyett and John and Cleta Brown,
who despite incredible hardships have maintained a strong,
inspiring faith and passed it along to the rest of us.

Today is Memorial Day. I don’t personally know anyone who died in a war, but my grandparents certainly do. Briefly, in the book, I discuss John Boyett’s capture and captivity over Austria during World War II, and the year he spent as a prisoner of war. When my granddad’s plane was shot down, most of my his buddies died.


What doesn’t get mentioned in the book is that my maternal grandfather, John Brown, was in the Marines in World War II, serving as a military policeman in South Asia. And my wife’s grandparents served in the Navy during those years.

They have known many who gave their lives in defense of our country. So on Memorial Day, I think of my grandparents, and the significant number of friends and family they have lost.

It’s not a bad time, either, to reflect on the blessing on my own life. If you know my granddad’s captivity story, you know that there were multiple times when he should have died — whether while falling out of an exploding bomber, being shot at by the machine gun of a Nazi fighter plane, while suffering in a Nazi prison camp or while being forced into a months-long death march prior to his escape.


My granddad shouldn’t have made it home from the War. That he didn’t die in 1943 and 1944 is miraculous (at least, that’s how my family views it). My father wasn’t born until after the War, so the fact that we Boyetts exist at all — from my parents to my own children — doesn’t escape me this time of year. Based on the odds, we shouldn’t be here. I shouldn’t be here.

But I am, and I’m thankful for that. I’m thankful for my grandparents’ faith and sacrifice and service. I’m thankful that, on Memorial Day, I don’t have to remember them…but can actually enjoy a hamburger in their backyard. Which I plan to do this afternoon.

That’s a blessing.


Comments read comments(6)
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Emily C

posted May 31, 2010 at 7:59 am

I am amazed at people’s dedication and service to our country to protect our freedoms.
Thank you for focusing on what this “holiday” is really about, instead of focusing on what you are going to be grilling up and how many people you are having over to drink beer, like so many others are doing.

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posted May 31, 2010 at 8:07 am

Nice post Jason. Here is a photo I took at a National Cemetery this past winter.

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Jason Boyett

posted May 31, 2010 at 8:11 am

That’s a fantastic photo, MrMark. Thanks for sharing it.

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Matt @ The Church of No People

posted May 31, 2010 at 8:24 am

Yeah, I don’t have any military in my family – both my grandpas were honorably discharged for disabilities, and everyone my Dad’s age that I know didn’t get drafted. But it’s still an important day for me. I’m going to the national WWI memorial today in Kansas City.

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posted May 31, 2010 at 3:36 pm

Hi Jason,
I have a lot of family current and past in the military. I don’t know of any who died in battle, however, I nearly lost a sister in Iraq this past year. I am greatful she made it home alive, as she was getting shelled and mortered as she was trying to come home for a visit. Robin is alive and well today, only by the grace of G_D!! Today, I found out that Great Grandpa Joyer, and Great Grandpa Hauan both, immigrants (Great Grandpa Joyer, from Norway, Great Grandpa Hauan, from France) faught for this country. I also think of them today.
Thank You for this.

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posted June 6, 2010 at 7:01 pm

As a Quaker I’ve got my qualms with Memorial Day. It seems to be too celebratory of war, verging on nationalism and jingoism sometimes. Most of my family is Catholic, and my grandfather served stateside during WWII, but even then I prefer to celebrate his kindness to me as a child over his ability to train people to use RADAR to kill other people (even if those other people were Nazis).
Just the same though I’m not going to go protesting veterans funerals or stupid stuff like that. I can respectfully disagree with the status of “hero” conferred upon some veterans, but I’m not going to dispute that God loves them just as much as God loves me.

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