I still remember the refrain of one of the most popular barrack ballads of that day which proclaimed most proudly that ‘old soldiers never die; they just fade away.’ And like the old soldier of that ballad, I now close my military career and just fade away, an old soldier who tried to do his duty as God gave him the light to see that duty. – General Douglas MacArthur
******It’s almost 2am over here in Afghanistan. The following rant is being bought to you by a lack of sleep, misanthropy, cynicism and a dose of boredom. Please forgive any grammatical errors in this prose. Reader discretion is advised******
While many people in the U.S.A are enjoying a day off from work, kids enjoying a day home from school, banks enjoying a day off from ripping people off (well I guess they’d really be mad huh?), there is a young man or woman out there that is still working. They probably didn’t get a nice shower or a comfortable place to lay down. They are probably spending time away from their loved ones. They are patrolling in areas of the world in hopes that it would deter those that mean to bring harm to their loved ones back home.
While some of you complain about deficits, homosexuality, the definition of rape and other “wedge” issues, just remember that there is somebody that is willing to sacrifice their very well-being to allow you the opportunity to have such discussions amongst yourselves. That many have answered the call to protect your rights as citizen to freely speak and continue to pursue your own path to happiness and prosperity.
These men and women don’t complain, openly at least, about their own conditions. They don’t like the fact that they have to spend time away from their family, that they don’t get paid worth a damn, that they have to eat mediocre meals (if they get a chance to eat at all). No, their payment is knowing that they proudly served their nation. That they made a difference in the world and hopefully that difference will lead to a much safer and sound world.
So let’s not just wait until the few times a year where these holidays come around to remember our Veterans. Let us not take for granted what these individuals, both past and present, dead or living, previously served or still on active duty have done and continue to do for WE, THE PEOPLE. No number of bumper stickers, flag waving and parading could ever amount to the debt that we owe to our service members.
Let’s pay our service members back by not acting like a bunch of jackasses. Let’s pay them back by being civil towards one another and being more responsible for our own actions. Let’s pay our service members back by ensuring that after they served their nation and protected it from the enemy, whether that enemy be foreign or domestic, that they can afford to live and take care of themselves and their families in the very nation that they put their life on the line to defend.
Too many times I’ve seen people turn their back on Veterans once they are out of uniform. Oh it’s all thank you for your service and discounts out the wazoo when I’m wearing my BDU’s/ACU’s but once I’m in jeans and sneakers they act like you’re nobody. You’re just an ordinary citizen just like the rest. Guess I’m part of that 47% that buddy was caught on tape talking about….
I’m just passionate about service to our nation. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to serve with people of different creeds, colors and religions. We may not have agreed on a whole lot of topics but we all served together. We all stood shoulder to shoulder in the trenches. And while I may not have seen a day of combat in my eight years of service, I stood ready to deploy and engage the enemy wherever that might have been. I was ready to lie my life down in hopes that my children and my family would remain “free”.
As I mentioned in previous posts, I still continue to serve and support these war fighters because I believe in the mission. I still want my wife, children, family and friends alike to be able to live freely and pursue their own paths to happiness and prosperity.
So the next time you’re having a bad day, just remember that there is someone out in the world that is fighting the good fight in your honor and that your day could be much worse if they didn’t make that sacrifice.
I’ll still luv ya tomorrow….
- Thoughts on Veteran’s Day 2012 (warmsouthernbreeze.wordpress.com)
- Obama honors veterans, promises benefits (cbsnews.com)
- Veteran’s Day 2012 (thornynotprickly.wordpress.com)
- Obama pays tribute to US veterans (bigpondnews.com)