close menu

Happy Veterans Day

This is a picture of my grandfather with my great, great grandfather from around 1942. My grandfather, Jim Facente, was a 1st generation Italian-American who served as a Naval medic during WWII. He would later go onto a) produce my mother, b) open a bowling center and c) provide an environment in which my professional bowling father could meet said mother. He was always one of my absolute favorite people. I idolized this man whose side-obsession with technology and gadgets inspired my nerdery from a VERY young age. He was warm and kind but also strong and decisive. He taught me to push through stuff even when you’re afraid, a trait he no-doubt honed as a soldier. Sadly, we lost him in 1995 but hardly a day goes by that he doesn’t drift into my thoughts in some way or I don’t find myself striving to make myself worthy of the legacy he left behind.

Between my time at G4 and as a podcaster, I’ve received many wonderful notes from folks serving overseas in the various armed forces about how our programming connects them to their home. Those notes always mean a lot to me especially when I try to empathize with the idea of being separated from my family in a hostile environment. So for my grandfather and the men and women who have dedicated their lives to cause bigger than themselves on behalf of our country, I throw out an immense amount of gratitude and a very sincere Happy Veterans Day.

Fun fact! Veterans Day was originally Armistice Day and was declared as such by President Woodrow Wilson on November 11, 1919, or the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month marking the armistice of WWI. In 1954, the name was changed to Veterans Day to celebrate all those who had served during military conflict.


  1. Jim Facente says:

    We are cousins.

  2. Andy Asensio says:

    Chris, I remembered you as a 8 to 10 year old child when you visited your grandfather Jim at his bowling alley in Hialeah. Yes, your grandfather was a great man. My first job was delivering newspaper at the age of 10 but working at the bowling alley was my real job; earning an actual paycheck. If you remembered me or the other guys from Palm Springs Lanes, please reach out. Take care.

  3. Chuck W. says:


    You grandpa sounds like an awesome dude, and I am sure he would be very proud of you.

    I was in the Navy for the first Gulf War. I am proud to have had the privilege to serve. Not to mention all the fun I had, and the world traveling I got to do. So I thank you and all the American people for allowing me to be an ambassador for our country. To work on the flight decks of the USS Midway, and Abraham Loncoln. To see things I never would have had I not served.

    Again thank you.

  4. John Chism says:

    Chris, Big Jim was a wonderful man and he pulled your uncle (he sent me your link) and me out of several hot fires as we were growing up. He always said the right things to us and we listened because of our great respect for him. Nice tribute…BTW, my father (also a friend of BJs for many years) was a D-Day invader and I miss him each day.

  5. Mike says:

    Today they are called Hospital Corpsman. I got out as an HM2

  6. Mike says:

    I was a medic in the Navy also. Really cool.

  7. Wyatt says:

    My Grandfather also served in the Navy… I have the same patch that is on the uniform hanging on my wall.

  8. Purpleslog: Dang it! I don’t! I’ll see if the family knows. Good eye on the stripe!

  9. Purpleslog says:

    Big C…the NCO stripe shows your grandfather as a Pharmacist’s Mate 3rd Class. Do you know where or what units he served in?

  10. Andrew says:

    My grandfather was in the Navy as well, but in the Korean War. Thanks veterans.

  11. Diane says:

    What a great tribute! He looks like a great guy and you totally resmble him.

  12. Jamaica says:

    I second Sierra. This is lovely.

  13. Sari says:

    Great man. I just read read about him on the Nerdist Way. Great book Chris.


  14. Darryl M says:

    Awesome post Chris. Truly.

  15. Galadriel says:

    Chris, you rock! Not only are you honoring your grandfather and other veterans… you’re also honoring Italian-Americans (like myself) by showing and telling who we really were/are. As you no doubt know, too often we’re portrayed narrowly, negatively, and violently in popular culture and media, so it’s very important to expose people to the truth whenever we can. Thank you. My Italian grandfather was a wonderful guy as well!

  16. Dude says:

    No lie, this post made me cry.

  17. Tiffany says:

    that was a great way to honor his memory.

  18. Emily G says:

    That was a really great tribute. My grandfather on my dad’s side worked as a naval medic as well during WWII. He was originally a part of the group that the pacific was based on. I’ve read some of his journal entries from my dad and it really does synch up with the stuff I’ve seen on the Tom hanks mini series. My grandfather on my mom’s side was a part of the army and was stationed in china where he met my grandmother. He got married and brought her back on a boat after the war ended. It’s a great thing to know how much people have done to get us where we are now.
    Thanks for sharing this! It really makes me wanna go through more of the stories of my grandfather!

  19. John McCarthy says:

    Great shot, Chris!
    Thanks so much for sharing!

  20. Mom says:

    Thank you, my wonderful son, for this beautiful tribute. Not only do you honor my father, but all men and women who sacrifice so much by serving our country. BJ is smiling down every day on you, of that I’m certain. God bless all of our military, and God Bless America!

  21. Steph says:

    What a lovely post – my husband (who is an Active Duty veteran of Iraq and, more recently, Afghanistan) thanks you!

  22. Damocles74 says:

    We all owe a great amount of gratitude to men like your grandfather, Chris. I joined the military to “pay for college and learn computers.” and while these things happened I also learned about sacrifice, respect, and hard work. From your work on building this site and the great pains you go through to not let your fans down I can tell you have learned the same values without having to serve and no, that does not diminish them in the slightest. Thanks for the recognition and I’m sure it goes without saying that your granddad would be proud of you not just for how far you have come but for staying true to your nerdy self while doing it. Hooah.

  23. Alisa says:

    A beautiful and warm sentiment. Thank you for sharing.

  24. Brian E. says:

    That’s really nicely done Chris! Also like the nerdy fact at the end. :)

  25. Kate says:

    This is really nice, and I love the fun fact at the bottom.

  26. Jackie says:

    That was very touching. Your grandfather would be very proud of you!

  27. Sierra Houk says:

    This is lovely, Chris!

  28. Jessica says:

    This is a wonderful and touching tribute :)