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Christmas is coming

News file photo This photo from the Dec. 22, 1949 issue of The News, dug up by Suzanne Dowling Wiser, shows children of the members of the Disabled American Veterans at a Christmas party thrown by their parents. The baby in white on Santa’s lap is Dowling Wiser.

The eyes of children at Christmas dance with enchantment of good things to come.

The kids of the Disabled American Veterans families were no different. As they grew up, though, they realized their dads or moms gave up a lot to be able to have the freedom to celebrate Christmas.

I was always so proud of my dad. He never wanted to tell me about the war.

He had to wear a built-up shoe that squeaked when he walked.

I always knew he was coming.

My friends always asked about it and I was proud to say he was wounded and he was my hero.

My two special uncles were also soldiers in that war. Edwin “Chip” Macks and Bernard Dowling. I was blessed to have them in my life.

I was loved.

One year, my dad played Santa for the party and I wasn’t happy, as I knew he was not really Santa. His shoe gave it away, but he was my hero.

Looking back into this picture and being the youngest, I think about all these little people that grew up. Some maybe became vets of Korea or Vietnam. A lot are passed, I’m sure.

I humbly speak for them and hope they had lives as blessed as mine and many wonderful Christmases.

Thank you to all veterans, young and old, which includes Phil, the soldier I married.

Merry Christmas.

— Suzanne Dowling Wiser, Alpena

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