Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Thank you, Veterans

I don't wax sentimental around here too often, but this is important to me and I want to share.

I'm an Air Force brat several times over. My grandfather was a retired Major. My Uncle was a Green Beret in Vietnam and served in the reserves for MANY years after he left active duty. My mother, father, step-mother and two step-fathers were military. My husband served and more friends from high school than I could possibly count (though I'll try later).

I am especially grateful to women veterans. My mother and step-mother joined the Air Force in the early 70s. A lot of folks didn't think they had any business being there and it would have been easy not to be. And they stayed. I chose not to join the armed forces. I am grateful that I had both that luxury and that I had women before me that paved the way for those in my generation and after. When we buried my step-mother, it was in a national cemetery with military honors. It made me proud to be her step-daughter.

Those of you unconnected with the service may not realize, but being military family is its own form of service. I had it easier because it wasn't wartime, but my mom was stationed in Korea for a year and my dad spent 2 years in Turkey when I was young. My parents lived through the threat of Vietnam. My friends were in the first Gulf War. I never got calls saying my son had been seriously injured on a mission in Veitnam. I never had the men visit from the DOD to tell me that my husband was dead. I never had someone return to me different than when they left, or never return at all. I don't have to live with that fear. Many do, and they deserve as much thanks as any veteran.

I may be a bleeding heart liberal. I may think that we're in ill-advised conflicts of our own making. I may think a lot of things. But I am grateful beyond words that I was fortunate enough to grow up surrounded by men and women ready to lay down their lives for their country and those who live in it. I'm grateful that I've had the luxury, and yes, it IS a luxury, not to serve. No one I grew up with was ignorant of the military and military life. So many people I surround myself now don't have any connection, and I think that's a very bad thing.

So, thanks Mom, Dad, Kathie, Uncle Frank, Mike, Ty, TJ, Jon, Ken, Jim, KC, Donald, Adam, Cindy and the two idiots my mom married (who weren't worthy of marriage, but they deserve some degree of gratitude for serving). Thanks to those who love them, support them, and pray daily for their safe return. Thanks to anyone I forgot to name. And thanks to the millions I don't know.

5 comments:

deedee51 said...

You're welcome. Sometimes we forget that serving our country IS a BIG deal and that our sacrifice affects everyone in our lives.

Mom

Trish said...

...the two idiots that married your mom, excluding your Dad, I presume. He's the greatest guy, and deserves his own class of combat medals for taking care of Kathie.

Thanks for sharing this Deb. Liberalism is not anti-patriotic or anti-military. True liberals know that, regardless of our views on policies behind a war, without the personal sacrifices made by our veterans and active military, we wouldn't have a left leg to stand on.

Bring 'em home safe.

Debineezer said...

Yep, my dad's an awesome one.

Laz said...

Have to admit my dear friend, this one tugged at the heart. I don't believe I have ever been thanked for serving. Ever. So I give you my heartfelt return thanks, Ms. Debs. From SP4 Laura Lee MacMahon - US Army 7th Training Command 1982 - 1985 Kiaserslautern, Germany

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/facility/kaiserslautern.htm

Itty Bitty Crazy said...

I completely agree with you.

I was just sad to see that, on Veterans day, only Keith Olbermann was exposing the hypocrisy of our supposed support for veterans when one arsehole is blocking a bill that will help them with healthcare, when lack of health insurance is currently killing vets 5 times more quickly than Iraq and Afghanistan wars combined, when EVERY DAY we block the new bill increasing benefits to disabled vets & don't reform healthcare, 6 vets die for lack of health insurance.

22,066 vets died last year in the US because they didn't have health insurance. Do we care enough about them to CARE FOR THEM?

Talk to your local political representative and be the change you want to see in the world!