From Florida we drove to Mobile, Alabama to visit the Battleship Memorial Park. This was a stop we had been planning from the start of our trip and I was pretty excited to get there. The park houses the battleship USS Alabama as well as the USS Drum, a World War II submarine. My maternal grandfather, Calvin Ruebush, served on the Drum from 1942-1945. He was a torpedoman on 8 war patrols in the Pacific theater. There’s a display on the Drum that includes many of his personal effects. He died when I was Bridger’s age so my boys only know him through stories and pictures. It was pretty cool to be able to show them the personal items on board the Drum that belonged to their great grandfather and show them their connection to history through his service. I loved my Poppy very much and of course I have always known about his time on the Drum. It was really great to actually be there, with the knowledge I have now of the military, and especially of men in the military. I could actually imagine him and 70 other young men in that small submarine, making their patrols, looking for trouble — young men at war. It gave me a whole new perspective.
It’s exciting when history and family history come together! -Ayrril