November 11, 2009

A different kind of holiday

I have never been in the military.

For most of my life, I'd have told you that I wasn't cut out for it, mostly owing to a general tendency to question authority, and a distaste for because-I-said so.  Because really, I'm a smart-ass, and from what I can tell that doesn't get you terribly far in those circles.  And while I believe now that I would be a good officer, maybe even a natural leader, the simple truth is that I can't say for certain how I would respond in the white-hot crucible that is live combat, making those split-second decisions that quite literally are a matter of life and death.  But then, I don't suppose any of us really can, until we find ourselves there.  For better or worse, I have never had to find out.  I have the luxury of speculation because there are people out there who made the conscious decision to put themselves in harm's way in my stead.

I am fortunate to be surrounded by current and former military, throughout both my social and professional circles.  Two people I have written about before; many others I could mention given enough space and time.  Cousins, friends, current and former co-workers, with one cousin and one close friend's significant other currently "overseas."  I am fortunate for two reasons: one, because virtually every one of these people are a credit to the armed forces and to our country, for what they have done but more for the people they are; and two, and perhaps more importantly, every one of them has come home.

The convention for greetings on holidays is more or less always, "Happy [holiday name here]."  That's fine in general, but I have some difficulty with it on Veterans' Day, mostly because while we are celebrating the men and women currently serving in uniform, we are also paying our respects to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the good of their country.  So in that regard, "happy" seems a bit misplaced, if you ask me.

Instead, I will simply offer a Grateful Veterans' Day to all, current, former, retired, whatever.  If you or someone you know and/or love is in active service, or supporting someone who is, I would just like to say thanks, and I hope that you or they remain safe and get home soon.  Whether or not we remember to say it often (or often enough), we appreciate all that you do for all of us.

No politics, just respect: I support the troops..


Melissa said...

Erik says, "you are quite welcome." He is happy to have served on your behalf. And I am proud to have been his rock (and uniform washer) every step of the way... and then some.

Ilana said...

"No politics, just respect" I couldn't have said it better myself. Thanks for keeping me company on a particularly challenging Vets day and for always being supportive.

Brian said...

Melissa - "and then some" is right. I think they call it the home front for a very good reason.

Ilana - It is my pleasure, anytime. :)

Site Meter