After looking back on what I’ve written in this journal I realized that I’ve never properly written anything for Veteran’s Day. And that’s a mistake - one I will rectify right now.
I don’t know jack about being in the military - nobody who hasn’t been there really does. But I do know some things about the veterans I’ve met over the years.
They are the people that choose to stand and fight when called.
They are the people that have protected us from those that would harm us.
They are the people that fought and in some cases died for our freedoms.
Each in their own way is the best of us.
Just by choosing to stay in the military and stand and fight if necessary they earn my respect.
Let’s face it - there’s plenty of ways to get out of the military if you don’t want to be there. I don’t care if you were drafted, I don’t care if your father enlisted you, I don’t care if you thought you were signing a birthday card or a petition for the annual military ball! Anybody the least bit creative could find a way out if they really had a mind to do so.
But those that choose to stay, those that know they might end up in some godless war, those that know they might never come home...
Those that choose to stay because it’s the right thing to do. Those that know they are part of how we defend our country and our way of life.
Those people have balls.
And you have to respect that.
So just by staying these people earn my respect. But some of them didn’t just stay...
Some are dead now.
Some are hurt.
Some are broken.
Some will never be the same.
Some are taking fire as I write this.
Those above all earn my respect and my gratitude. They did more for us than you or I will ever know.
I’m lousy at saying thank you - ask my wife some time - so I will close with this...
Regardless of what you think of who runs the military or what the politicians say or if you never ever want to see anything but peace in your lifetime - thank those that are veterans for they are more than most of us could hope to be in our lifetimes.
So the next time you see a veteran give them your thanks. It doesn’t have to be in words. Hold the door for them politely, offer to buy them a cup of coffee, give them a hand with something, any heartfelt gesture will do.
Hell you don’t even have to tell them why you’re doing it - just do it.
Why? Because they earned it.