Don’t get me wrong. Writing is not a “chore” for me. It is a cathartic moment which allows me to reflect, think, relax and forget about issues which weigh down the everyday moments. And there are plenty of those last… So, then, why is it so difficult to find the moment or time to actually get this done?
The “working answer” is “I don’t know”. Those of you who have endured this blog over time (thank-you!!) know it began as a run, down memory lane (try “run down” without the comma and it changes the meaning- perhaps a reality check) and as such, it went for the first 200 entries or so. After that, other issues began to pop up once in a while. Wally’s Pond, well received conspirator Cheito - my “friend-cousin” from Hialeah, and others. Occasionally, a lost political comment. Although I really want to stay away from this last, being one of those issues that add weigh rather than remove it.
As the days kept creeping forward, we came to Veterans Day’s doorstep. There is much to be said about those who put their all on the line on behalf of their flag and country. On behalf of all of us. Yes, I did my part, small as it were. From my post at Naha Wheel in Okinawa I did what I could to support those who were in “Nam” at that time.
In our company, we regularly received youngsters who were coming back older than they should ever be at that age, somehow shared their nightmares and managed to nurse some of them on their way back to the US. And some who were passing through, on their way to the front (as it were), we tried to prepare as well as we could (informally) for what was to come. Those memories I don’t think have found their way unto these pages, and I do not believe they will. Some things are best left in the past.
But every Veterans Day some of those faces I still remember. The tiredness, the fear of anticipation in the face of those who were going, the jaded, horrified view of life lived reflected in the eyes of those who were coming from VN. These soldiers did what they had to do, in a never declared war; a “conflict” which meant they fought, literally, with one hand tied behind their back. But they went and fought, anyway.
I respect those soldiers (and I use this noun as a generic term, to include all those men and women who served and serve in all branches of service) and all who came before and who have come after them, who have served and too often not survived, for doing their sworn duty to our country, under the cover of our flag. They all served. Some because they had to, most because they felt the obligation to defend our belief system, our culture, our achievements. Our country. Regardless of why, these soldiers served, each in their capacity. And for this service, we say Thank You. With honor and respect.
Respect the meaning of Veterans Day. Remember these men and women served so you and I could have the right to disagree, complain, and call on those in power. Feel free to do so. Do it strongly but with respect and you will be honoring the service and sacrifice of these men and women.
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