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A Veteran's Day Tribute To All Who Serve In The Military
This is a tribute to all who have served in our United States Military Service in the past, in the present and for the years to come. I thank you for your commitment to serve and protect our country, our rights and our freedoms. I appreciate your sacrifices and that of your family and loved ones at home. I understand what it means. I am a Marine mom and, today, my son is overseas. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
What It Means To Be A Veteran
A veteran is someone who willingly put their life on hold, went through grueling training, placed their life in harm's way, and was separated from their home and family. Many spent years eating bad food, sleeping on the ground or in tiny bunks, and coping with extreme weather. They do not always have clean, air-conditioned rooms, or restaurant grade meals, or a place to get in out of the cold or wet or hot or freezing temperatures.
They are often isolated far away from their family without a way to call or text or e-mail someone. They wait in line for hours...yes, hours...to make a 3 minute phone call, on a pay phone, just to hope that someone back home will answer the phone. One call, one person, three minutes, once in a while, is all the connection they have to home. Mail call once a month is lucky for some on ships or in remote locations. A box from home is a hug. It is a brief respite in their day. A moment to feel connected. A letter is read, reread, and read again. It is reassurance that there will be someone there for them when they do come home.
They are often gone for months, a year, or more. Babies are born, people die, towns change, people change, and they missed it all. My grandson will be over a year old before he meets his uncle. Uncle Dustin will be a stranger to him....but not for long! Uncle Dustin knows how to make the gap disappear!
Veteran's Day Celebrations
For Veteran's Day, we have sales at the shopping centers, the banks and post offices are closed, and we give every government employee the day off!! Hooray!! REALLY??!!? What does this have to do with our veterans? My Marine hasn't gotten his birthday box yet out in the middle of the ocean! The postal holiday means that his gift, his hug from home, is going to wait! The bank holiday means that bank employees are off work, but my son and his brothers and sisters in arms are working! SERIOUSLY!!? What do bankers have to do with the military? I am missing the connection! The stores give us great bargains so we will go out and shop! Hooray! Shop for our veterans? No, ourselves. Many cities will have a Veteran's Day parade. Who goes to these things? Veterans? No, they are working! Come on!
I propose that we make Veteran's Day a real holiday. A holiday for Veterans would be appropriate. Veterans would have the day off and we would all cover for them for a change. They would be given a BIG discount at every store by showing their identification that PROVES they actually earned it! Post offices would continue to deliver the mail and actually get boxes to them in less than a month! Yes, it takes more than a month! The government employees that we would give the day off to would only be those who served. Those who earned it. Those who sacrificed for us would get the gifts of freedom. We might give Police and Firefighters those same benefits. They are serving to protect our rights and freedoms here at home. Are they given special recognition? No...the bankers and senators, congressmen and postal employees!! Wonder whose idea that was!!! It's time to change it and make it right! Make it real!
Help Our Service Members Through Bands For Arms
Bracelets handmade from military uniforms. Money from the sales of these bracelets goes to the USO. Read the story, meet the owner, and purchase a great bracelet all while helping support our troops!
Show You Care
Today and every Veteran's Day, I challenge you to do an act of random kindness for a service member somewhere. Your path will cross that of many. Pay for their meal in a restaurant, give them a $10 bill, shake their hand, tell them thank you, anything, just let them know you care and appreciate all that they sacrificed for you to have the rights and freedoms that you do! Help a military wife, a military mom or dad, or read to a military child. It all means so much to us. We KNOW to appreciate the little things in life. We KNOW that tomorrow may never come for us. We KNOW that there is no guarantees in this world. We KNOW how important it is to care. Show them, show us that you care. It makes it all worthwhile.
God, Bless My Son And His Brothers And Sisters In Arms Today, And Every Day, With Your Loving Protection! Amen, and Semper Fi!
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Text and Photo Copyright 2011 Deborah M. Carey Updated 2014