My military family history

Norristown, PA

My family's military association has three parts. First, my mother had two brothers, both of whom saw military service during World War II. The oldest served in the U.S. Navy and survived to return home at some later time. The youngest served in the U.S. Army; he was wounded but lived to also return home after recovery from his injury. While I had heard about their military service when I was growing up, I was not motivated to join the U.S. military because of their service. Second, growing up, I had a sister and two stepbrothers. All four of us served time in the U.S. military. Besides me, my two stepbrothers each served 20 years in the U.S. Air Force; I served 25.5 years. My sister married a Navy man who also served 20 years. Third, at the time I was making my decision about military service, I had no knowledge that any of my ancestors had served in the U.S. military services. So it was a surprise to me, after I began researching my family history early in the 1980s, to discover that two of my paternal ancestors had served our country in war. My first paternal ancestor, Lawrence Shinpock, served during the Revolutionary War on both sides, first the English and afterward the colonists of South Carolina under the command of Gen. Sumter. He lived, married and fathered six children, five sons and a daughter. Lawrence's second son, Henry Shinpock who was my third great-grandfather, was with Gen. Jackson in Alabama in the year 1814; he reportedly succumbed to illness and died at Fort Montgomery. Fortunately, he had married and fathered two children (a son and a daughter) before losing his life.

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