Thank a Veteran Today

Happy Veteran’s Day – from the road

Yesterday, I wrote a lengthy post on the Marine Corps Birthday, but today is Veteran’s Day (officially today, but observed tomorrow). While I am traveling today, I wanted to get this post out in honor of all the Vets that have served our great country.

As a veteran myself, I always feel a little awkward on day’s like this. I don’t really want to be thanked. It’s nice, don’t get me wrong – and don’t mistake it for ingratitude because it’s not that.

It’s more of a “just doing my job, ma’am” thing. Maybe that makes sense, maybe it doesn’t.

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Me, boot camp, 1996

I come from a line full of veteran’s who served their country. People like the famous Sullivan Ballou, who wrote a now famous moving letter to his wife during the Civil War (my mom is a Ballou). People like my grandfather (below) who fought in WWII as a U.S. Marine at Guadalcanal.

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My Gramps – WWII Jarhead!

And my other grandfather who served in the Air Force before Korea – then was medically discharged after getting injured stateside.

People like my Uncle, who was spent most of the Vietnam War in the brig on the USS Midway (he’s good dude and patriotic as hell).

Or my father in law, who served in Vietnam volunteering to go back multiple times so married guys wouldn’t have to. He was a Marine like me.

My brother in law, an air force fireman who’s served in multiple war zones – and for an airman is damn good man. (It’s hard for us to resist ribbing each other about our respective branches…I am sure he’s cracking a “Marines each Crayon’s joke right now!).

The list goes on – farther back into my family. Cousins in the Navy. Distant relatives who served in the Army and so on. Many have served and I am proud of that fact. Some of the greatest people I know are Vets.

I didn’t have the opportunity to serve in wartime like those in my family (or maybe it was a blessing), but I was willing and I don’t know if my sons or daughters will ever serve – and it’s their choice if they do, but it definitely would make me proud. Service to ones country is useful, important, and to be respected.

So, today, thank a vet and don’t be upset if we are a little embarrassed. Semper Fi.

 

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