Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day in the USA

Many have made the point that one day is not nearly enough to honor America’s veterans, and I agree. Whether veterans of foreign wars or stateside support personnel, our veterans deserve our respect and deep gratitude, regardless of our personal thoughts regarding the politics behind a particular conflict (war), be it Vietnam or Iraq. It is not, after all, the veterans who are responsible for starting or continuing a war, those decisions are made by our civilian leadership, including our congressional representatives and, of course, our Commander-in-Chief.

My and my wife’s families have a long history of military service, even though neither of us has served ourselves. My birth father served in the Army, my adoptive father served in the Air Force, my mother served in the Navy Reserves, my brother served in the Army (I think I’m recalling that correctly) and as an MP, my sister served in the Air Force, and my uncle served in the Navy. Gloria’s brother served in the Navy and her father served in the Army, storming the beaches at Normandy in WWII.

The sacrifices that veterans make for each and every one of us Americans are hard to adequately catalogue. Whether it is being away from family for long stretches of time or being put directly into harm’s way, all veterans sacrifice in order to secure our freedom and to protect our way of life. For many years in this country, we have had an all-volunteer military, for which I am grateful, and also deeply humbled. Those folks who have enlisted, who have fought the fights and prevented other fights from having to be fought are to be honored – beyond one day a year.

So thank you, veterans. Thank you what you do each and every day. Thank you for standing guard over our country’s constitution and way of life. To those currently serving, I am especially grateful. I hope we can find a way to get you all home safely soon!