Saturday, November 11, 2006

Thank You, Veterans

I'm hoping this Veteran's Day is one that sees our citizens show the kind of respect and gratitude towards our Veterans that they deserve.

My Daddy was a veteran of World War II. A picture of him, in his Army uniform is on my living room wall. The Dearly Beloved's Daddy was also a veteran of that war. His picture, in his Army Air Force uniform hangs next to Daddy's picture. We are proud of their service. Their are other men in our family who served in that war and in wars and conflicts, big and small, since then.

We have friends serving now. It angers me when most of the media only broadcasts or publishes stories that portray our efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan in a negative light. The stories I hear from Soldiers and Marines in both places, currently there, and those who have rotated back home is much more positive than what gets aired on television or printed in the papers or newsmagazines.

The "Iraqi" insurgents? They aren't Iraqis, for the most part. They are radical Musliims from other countries, pouring across the borders, and trying to disrupt the stability the elected Iraqi government and civilians and allied forces are building. Go back and look at the comments Cait left. She says it much better than I can.

It breaks my heart that every man, woman and child here at home is not writing letters and sending care packages to our Service men and women serving on foreign soil. It's not that hard. Dear Abby, or any USO or VFW post will be glad to help you out with mailing instructions or accept a donation. Or I bet you have a neighbor or friend or church member or work with someone who has a friend or family member who is currently serving. Ask them what you can do to help.

I have family that live near an Army base. Now you may think this is hokey, but I am gonna tell you what I do, and I urge you to do the same thing. When I'm there, I usually take my Mom out to lunch. There's always Soldiers in the restaurant wherever we go eat. I pick one at random, usually one with a wife and kids, though not always, sometimes I pick a young enlisted kid, alone, and I tell the waitperson to send them dessert on me. No big deal, and I tell the waitperson just to tell the Soldier it's from a grateful citizen, not to point us out. I do try to look, and they always get a big grin on their faces. For a very small price, I just made three {them, my Mom, and me} folks very happy. Try it sometime and spread a little good will.

Be sure to thank a Veteran today, they are the reason you are free!


Cait said...

Thanks for this blog, Hollyb - I know Floozie, Kimberly and I appreciate it. Floozie has some good commentary, too, on her Vet's Day blog.

Shortly before we relocated from my beloved Texas, and just shortly after my Warrior returned from Baghdad, he was at the gas station filling up the car, in uniform, when two high school girls walked up and thanked him for his service. You know it takes a lot to make my Dearly Beloved blush but he did. You know he's not usually at any loss for words but all he could come up was an embarrassed "thank you."

Our Soldiers don't look for thanks because they feel that what they do is their j-o-b. Family members, at least the ones for whom "Iraqi Freedom" wasn't their first rodeo, suck it up and drive on because they knew what they were getting into when they, too, basically "enlisted" when they married their Warriors.

No Soldier WANTS to go to war - with the possible exception of George Patton the Elder. But when they go they do their job professionally and with honor. I know someone will bring up Abu Graib and I will counter that every community has their share of sadists and ne'er- do-wells. Our Soldiers accomplish much with what they have to work with. They're compassionate and value human life. They weep over the tragedy's they face each day and do what they can to alleviate suffering when they can. That's one of the things that seperates them from Soldiers from other countries (our allies excepted - know some damn fine Limey and Aussie Soldiers!)

As far as care packages go I propose a different course - if you have a VA hospital in your area pack up goodies and take them there. The Soldiers receiving treatment at the VA are sometimes forgotten or don't have Family close by to comfort them.

Thanks again for the Veteran's Day blog, you.


Flo said...

After Holly and Cait, what more can I say? Thank you both.