Having recently celebrated Veteran’s Day, we’d like to take some time and space to highlight one of our beloved veterans whom we are blessed to have with us in our Santa Teresita family: Frank Meza.
The year was 1950, and Christmas and the New Year were coming on fast. The Korean War had begun that summer. Young Frank Meza was at home with his family in south Texas, preparing to celebrate the Savior’s birth with all the joy that the season brings. Just three days before Christmas, however, some sad news arrived for the Meza family. What they had feared might be coming happened – Frank had been drafted so near to Christmas.
Prayers were said and soon answered. Rather than being sent to Korea and active combat, Frank was providentially sent to the island of Okinawa, just off the coast of Japan, to wait in reserve. There, Corporal Frank Meza had a job he hadn’t quite expected: he was asked to be a piano player. One of only three soldiers on the base who could play well, Frank’s playing was in high demand. The piano player’s assignment was to keep the soldiers entertained and in good spirits. Not only did Frank perform live and daily, he also was chosen to accompany a vocalist and play popular songs that were broadcast across the army base radio station for the soldiers to tune into. Frank played so much, and such a variety of songs of the day, that after his three years in Okinawa, he never needed music. The music was ingrained into the muscles in his fingers, and sheets of music would only be a distraction. He still plays today for the enjoyment of his neighbors at Santa Teresita!
Thank you Frank, and thank you to all our veterans who have served us in whatever way they were asked to, even when it was a surprise. May each of us pray for the grace to respond as willingly to our own God-given calls, no matter how unexpected or unplanned.