Friday, November 11, 2005

Thank you, Vets

Today is your day. Of all the holidays, this is the one you earned. It is ironic that many companies don't consider that when making out their work schedules.

I grew up in the 60's and 70's. The WWII veterans were many and they never really talked much. It seemed to me that everyone sacrificed so much during the war that there was no sense talking about it. I was fascinated by World War II when I was a kid. I watched every movie I could and read all the books in the school library on the subject but I was never able to get anyone that was actually there to talk much about it. I also noted an unspoken bond between the veterans. I lived in a rural town and just about everyone had lost a relative or a neighbor. My step mother lost her big brother on Iwo Jima. She never spoke about him either. Only once did she bring it up and that was when I was working in Washington DC and she had come to visit to see a doctor there. We drove past the Marine Corps Memorial in Arlington and she broke down crying. He love for her brother was as strong as it had ever been and she missed him bitterly.

I never seved in a war. When I turned 18, I enlisted. I was a "cold warrior". I seved two long tours overseas and got out after seven years. The military had some good schools back then and the training and experiance I got were enough to launch a career that has lasted over twenty years since I got out. I can't begin to understand the mind of a combat veteran, but I can understand a little more about the special bond between them. If I am filling a position in my group today, given a choice I will take a veteran over a non-veteran every time.

I wanted to take a moment before the day is done to thank all those who suffered the cold of Valley Forge, Trenton, Bastogne, Chosin and Afghanistan and the heat of Cuba, Guadalcanal, Vietnam, and Iraq. Those who lost their friends, those who defeated tyrants, those who freed nations, those who spent long months far away from home, and those who are today, right now, doing their duty for their country. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. It isn't much, but it's the most I can offer. May God bless you, wherever you are.

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