Categorized | Community

American Revolution groups expand on history lessons

EDITOR DANIEL CLIFTON

Lori and Mike Greco

Lori and Mike Greco share the history of the United States in many ways, including as members of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Sons of the American Revolution. Staff photo by Daniel Clifton

When students study the American Revolution in school, they likely get a quick dose considering everything they have to cover in American history classes. So a major part of the nation’s history gets a little lost in the mad dash to squeeze in as much as possible.

That’s when people like Lori and Mike and Lori Greco step in, often wearing attire right out of the Revolutionary period. Mike is a member of the Sons of the American Revolution, while Lori is part of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

“A lot of what we do is education,” Lori said. “We’re a patriotic organization, but a big part of it is educating people — and especially kids — on the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and heroes of the Revolutionary war.”

Two of those heroes are Deborah (Debra) Sampson and James Armistead Lafayette.

Sampson disguised herself as a man and enlisted in the military, though it took several attempts. She eventually became a member of the Light Infantry Company of the 4th Massachusetts Infantry. She was wounded in combat on July 3, 1782, but didn’t let the surgeons tend to her, fearing they would discover she was a woman. Instead, she dug out two musket balls from her leg using a knife.

Along with serving in the military, Lori said, Sampson helped open the way for women to get disability and pension funds for their service.

“She’s one of those people kids probably never heard of, but when I talk about her, they get real interested,” Lori added.

Lafayette was born a slave in colonial America but enlisted in the military under General Lafayette. He became a spy for the Continental Army and won the trust of British General Cornwallis and Benedict Arnold. The information he learned and provided to the American military helped it win during the Battle of Yorktown.

Mike pointed out that it’s often through SAR and DAR programs that kids are introduced to these “unknown heroes” of the American Revolutionary War.

“And these are some of the things kids need to know,” he added.

Mike is the current president of the Bluebonnet chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution. Over the past several years, the membership has shrunk, but he’s trying to get the word out about the chapter. One thing that might seem daunting to people interested in joining either SAR or DAR is determining if they have ties to the Revolutionary War, a requirement for membership.

Not everyone knows their family history to that extent. The two organizations can help begin the genealogy search, but Mike and Lori pointed to the Herman Brown Free Library, where, just about every Friday from 10 a.m.-1 p.m., volunteers with the Burnet County Genealogical Society meet. Society members enjoy helping people research their family history.

“And they don’t charge you,” Mike said.

Becoming a member of the Sons of the American Revolution or the Daughters of the American Revolution isn’t reserved for people descended from just the soldiers who fought in it. During the Revolutionary War there were a lot of colonists and others who supported the effort in other ways, which would qualify their descendants, Lori explained.

She pointed out a farmer raising horses who provided them to the Continental Army was part of the effort, and his or her descendants could qualify for DAR and SAR membership.

During programs, Lori and Mike teach kids how differently the Revolutionary War was fought compared to other wars. The men often would have to be released from service during certain parts of the year to return home to plant crops or harvest them. Also, families of the soldiers — mothers and children — traveled with the army, providing support in many ways.

Even if you don’t find a qualifying tie to the American Revolution, the Grecos added that it’s always fun to learn your family history.

As members of the two organizations, the Grecos love sharing the story of the Revolution and the United States and emphasizing how many different countries and groups helped the young nation.

“There’s a lot of things — a lot of people — that you don’t usually hear about when it comes to the Revolution and the young nation,” Lori said. “And that’s one of the things we try to do is share those stories.”

Contact Mike or Lori Greco at lgreco13@gmail.com to learn more about the Sons of the American Revolution and the Daughters of the American Revolution.

daniel@thepicayune.com

Leave a Reply

 

Current Edition

The Picayune Magazine Current Edition
Sign Up for The Daily news email

Receive Breaking news and the bestof DailyTrib.com Direct to your inbox