My name is Rebecca “Becky” Soumeru and I’m a member of the Dutch National Softball team. I am also a granddaughter, daughter and girlfriend of a HERO.
My grandfather, father and boyfriend are all veterans and to me they are true heroes.
My grandfather, who passed away three years ago, is my hero because he was in the Army for over 30 years and fought in South Sumatra from 1949 until 1951. He didn’t really talk much about his time during the war, but occasionally he would share some of his stories. I truly feel blessed he was able to be with us for so long and to see him so in love with my grandmother who he had met shortly before going into war. They were able to keep in touch through letters and remained in love with each other ever since.
My dad has been in the Air Force for 36 years. He was deployed in 1999 when the Dutch Air Force contributed to the United Nations mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina. After his retirement, he became part of our National Softball team as our sports masseur. He helps us stay as fit and ready to go as possible. I feel blessed and honored that I get to share this experience of being on the highest stage of softball, with him being part of the team.
My mom worked for the Navy as an administrator for two years. She hasn’t been deployed in those years, but she also worked for our Ministry of Defense.
My boyfriend is now a medic in the Air Force. After being in the Army with the Air Maneuver Brigade for nine years he has made the transfer to the Air Force. I’m so incredibly proud of the choices he has made in his life. Being deployed to Afghanistan and Mali, Africa to help protect and treat his wounded and ill fellow soldiers and civilians is something I truly admire in him.
I admire the choices they have made in their younger years as they have been sent to different countries willing to sacrifice themselves to defend and protect our people. I’m incredibly proud to say I’m a granddaughter, daughter and girlfriend of these veterans.
I feel honored my family has always supported me the same way they supported my grandfather, father, mother and boyfriend in the choices they have made. Without them I would never have had the chance to experience certain events in my life; for example, being able to play at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 for the Dutch National Softball Team. I feel incredibly blessed and honored every time I put on my jersey with the Netherlands on my chest and step on that field to do what I love to do most, play softball.
My family would call me a hero for all of my accomplishments with softball but to me they are the true heroes. Not only my grandfather, father, mother and boyfriend but also the rest of my family and friends for supporting me and standing by my side for all of these years.
I don’t tell them enough, but I feel blessed to have them by my side and for them I PLAY WITH HONOR!
By Rebecca “Becky” Soumeru