That’s the original Olivier Blanchard up there – my grandfather and namesake – in 1915 Paris, shortly after joining the French cavalry and just days before being sent off to fight the Germans. Cavalry units still rode actual horses during World War 1. They charged with lances and sabers. Sniper rifles and machine guns were still new. Tanks and combat aircraft were just beginning to emerge. Germany hadn’t yet deployed chlorine gas around the Ypres salient.
That kid fought in the trenches and endured horrors of war that we cannot imagine today. He went on to survive combat not only in World War 1 but in World War 2. He never talked about any of it, but his medals told us all we ever needed to know.
Millions weren’t as lucky as he was. Not everyone comes home whole, if at all.
Here’s to our veterans. All of them.
PS: Buy a vet a drink today. Or better yet, hire one.
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A little bit of family pride: 3 Generations of Blanchard military officers
Olivier, what great images, thank you so much for sharing and for remembering all the men and women who have bravely served our various countries.
I would like to mention, to also remember the dogs and horses who have served – so thanks for sharing your grandfather’s cavalry image.
That’s a very nice thought. And tons of mules as well. (We always forget the mules.)
Thanks for sharing this, Olivier!
Very cool post! My father was nothing so glorious, more of a medic in WWII. Do you think that being in the military at some point, changes the way we look at wars and conflicts?
Just thought – happy Veterans day.
WWII medics were pretty badass, Marshall. In a lot of ways, these guys were bigger heroes than a lot of other vets from that era. It takes nerves of steel to do that job and put yourself in harm’s way, often with no chance of defending yourself, in the service of others. Outstanding, man. 🙂
Great post! Love the photos and the “PS: Buy a vet a drink today. Or better yet, hire one.”
1. 12% unemployment rate for vets vs. 9% for non-vets. It’s shameful.
2. I don’t mean to discriminate, but someone with military training is always going to have an advantage over applicants as far as I’m concerned. They adapt quickly, they know how to problem-solve, they already have a mission mentality, they know how to take orders and take charge when needed, the have discipline, etc.
I have yet to interview a lazy vet for a position. These folks are gold.
Even during WWII there were quite a lot cavalry units. My grandfather served in one in the German army.
Yep. I remember hearing about Polish cavalrymen charging German armor on horseback.
Yes, we learned about it in school. It was this battle:
There seems to be some controversy concerning the role of the cavarly in the battle of Krojanty.
If I remember correctly horses were mainly used for progress in tough terrains.
No horsie for you Olivier xD
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