Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veteran's Day

Today hundreds of thousands of families will be remembering loved ones, those who have fallen, those who are here, yet away overseas serving with pride and dignity. I remember the start of this period of agression when anti-war sentiment was considered anti-troop and anti-American. That pissed me off.

A friend of ours, Jeff, owns a bar a couple of blocks up the street and sometimes we pop in for a drink (or 2 :). He served in the first Gulf War, found out he had cancer in the femur of his right leg and was honorably discharged. He had a fund raiser not that long ago to collect money, socks, TP, and baby wipes for our folks overseas. He explained that our soldiers don't often get showers or have the proper cleaning paraphernalia for their guns. The baby wipes do double duty to provide a modicum of cleanliness and to try to keep their means of defense operational.

My dad served during the Korean War (yup, that gives you a clue to my age :).

I have a niece who was in the Air Force. She was an MP for a number of years and retired with disability. Her brother, my nephew, still serves as a Sgt. in the US Navy. David went overseas at the start of the Iraq War. He had some leave during his three year deployment, and they had their first baby just after he returned home. His wife lived alone on Whidby Island the entire time she was pregnant, thousands of miles from family and friends. They are two of my favorite people. Their girls are gorgeous, too.

A dear friend served 15 years in the navy and still does National Guard duty. I got postcards and letters from all over the world. She was convinced that one ship she worked on was haunted. She's kind of like that. I am so grateful to them all for serving our country and that they are safe.
How can I ever thank them or our people in Iraq and Afghanistan?

One way is this: http://www.anysoldier.com/WhatToSend.cfm

I know times are tight for us all; but think today about the hundreds of thousands of Americans who aren't/can't be here with us to celebrate post-Bush 43. May they all be home soon.

Feel free to share a story or two in the comments below.


Aliceson November 11, 2008 at 12:44 PM  

My Grandfather (91 next week) served in WWII, and is still haunted by the sights he saw in France. This summer he shared a story with me. He was the driver for the chaplan in a rural area when an explosion hit a barn. The woman inside was trying to rescue her animals when the burning barn collapsed on top of her and her cow. Nothing he could do. Helpless. That's the real tragedy, the many many people who are just trying to live their lives peacefully who are thrown in to war involuntarily. Not one day passes that my Grandfather doesn't think about the tragedies that occured then, and the violence even now in 2008 that has engulfed our world. I hope one day he will find peace.

Also, the other night on PBS I saw a documentary (I think it was a few years old) about mothers of service men and women, some returned safe, some injured and some who did not return alive. Very difficult to watch, but even worse to ignore.

Definitely a day of reflection and thanks to those who serve.

Don Smith November 11, 2008 at 1:11 PM  


There I said it and I feel better.

For some strange reason this turkey keeps telling me to sign in at wordpress and I have been "in" all day long.

This is my last shot at it.

Nice post today, it was great, hope you are flying the flag?


A vet.

Don Smith November 11, 2008 at 1:13 PM  

Okay as usual, it was me, it wasn't the computer.

Now I am going to slink off somewhere and hide for the rest of the day ... I am so ashamed.


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