* Jacob Zeuch (later to Zike), my great-great-great-great-great grandfather, came to New York in 1776 in Company Four of the Erbprinz Regiment along with several thousand other Hessian soldiers to quell English King George III rebellious colonies. Jacob deserted the king’s service and fought for the colonies before settling after the war in Jessamine County, Kentucky.
* John William Hodge, Jr., my great-great-grandfather, served with Company L, of the Fifth Regiment of Illinois Cavalry during the American Civil War.
* John H. Hodge, my grandfather, (pictured on the left, as a newly-inducted recruit) served in the United States Army from 1919 to 1945, mostly at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
* Ralph E. Andrea, my father (pictured in the center in World War Two garb) served from 1942-1968 in the Pacific during World War Two and continued to serve during the Cold and Vietnam Wars.
* Pictured on the right (during the Gulf War), I served from 1968 to 1998 during the Vietnam, Cold and Gulf Wars as well as NATO action in Bosnia in the 1990s.
So far as we know, only Jacob was wounded in action.
To the millions of men and women who have served this country during the last 240 years: THANK YOU.