Here I sit in the office, doing my job on a Veteranâ€™s Day again.
Have you ever noticed that on Veteranâ€™s Day, most of your vets are still working? Kids, teachers, government workers take the day â€œto reflectâ€ on the sacrifices of our veterans have made.
I have a personal custom that I would like to share with you, and hope that you will carry it with you.
When I come across another vet, after I find out when they served, I will thank them for serving, before, or after me. It may seem silly to those who did not serve, but to those of us who DID serve, it means a great deal.
I had an experience a few years ago that was very touching. A civilian, by the name of Brian Akins (I will never forget him) had quietly passed the hat amongst those who had not served. When he had gone through the office he did not have quite enough cash for his plans. At the point he realized that he was going to be short, he went to our CEOâ€™s office to make his pitch to him. The CEO very happily reached deeply into his pocket and a short while later, the veterans were called into a wonderful pizza party. I did find Brianâ€™s efforts to be quite moving and something unexpected from someone who had not served in the military.
I am still touched by that selfless act on our behalf.
I have had reports of Vietnam era like behavior toward our troops coming home for the gulf or Afghanistanâ€¦ I cannot say how deeply this cuts me. For those who know me, understand how I fight for our freedoms. Yet, THAT kind of speech, while it may be protectedâ€¦ I think they should be considered fighting words, and no longer protected. When you speak in that way to someone who was actively protecting your rights, placing their life on the line, you deserve the ass whoopinâ€™ that you may well get.
We did / do not serve for the money for the most part. Many do serve for the college funds. We serve because we were raised to believe that we need to give to our countryâ€™s protection. People do it for many reasons, but regardless of their reasons, THEY did not make the decision to go to war. They (with some exceptions I am sure) would rather spend an entire career in peace, never having to harm another soul. The real world does not let that wish come to pass. It is the politicians who decide where and when our military goes to do their jobs. If you want to be angry and rude to someone, take it out on those who SENT our troops to fight these wars that we so often disagree with.
Lives are lost, and lost so young.
Here I am twenty years away from the service.
When I look at our troops, they just look like big children to me in a way.
Children who, have taken in the training as best as they are able to, at that point in their lives.
They will be forced to learn lessons in life that none of us want them to have to learn.
So take a moment, and do something meaningful, itâ€™s even FREEâ€¦
Thank a veteran, for what they did or do.
Do not forget the USS Liberty and how she was attacked.