This is one of those odd Holiday's, like Memorial Day to put the word "Happy" in front of it doesn't make sense. It should be perhaps - Thank You Veteran's Day! or even, somewhat lighter, "Hug a Vet Today" or "Kiss a Vet Today" or on the serious side "Salute a Vet Today"
I did something unusual the other day, some of the vets were handing out those poppy flowers at the local grocery store (it was a fund raiser as well). I didn't take one though, because in that brief moment the poppy reminded me of heroin and heroin reminded me of Afghanistan and that led me to think about those men and women still serving over there. I felt awkward. I mean, one, how could my brain process something that fast and secondly, I felt I was being dishonorable not taking the flower. I'm a vet for Pete's sake!
As I walked through the store, I started thinking about my action, even justifying my strangeness and not making an outward sign of honoring veteran's. I wanted those service members safe. I know they are serving us, I know too well, but I wanted them home. I walked through the grocery store ashamed of my action and frustrated with my lack of ability to effect change; to find solutions for these difficult situations we face as a country.
Each person has their own reason for joining the military. It could have been the dream of travel, tropical places, adventure and seeing the wonders of the world. Even so, the basic ingredient, I believe, is service and the willingness to protect a way of life. I, even though I should know better, take our way of life in the US for granted.
I know the US is messy right now (really when hasn't it been) and you may have your own personal struggles, but I hope you think about our service men and women today and our veteran's who have served us. Say a prayer, send a care package, perhaps you know someone who served, give a word of thanks. I'm proud to say I served my country, even more so, proud to serve you.
My, how time flies....
10 years ago