Today is probably the third or fourth most popular Day of the year for people to post on their blog. Especially people who are patriotic, proud americans, and staunch supporters of the military. I, myself have read quite a few touching stories of heroic service, tragic death, and memorial devotions to those who dies serving our country. Veterans Day is a great time to honor and memorialize all those who have given their lives for the defense of regular people like you and me.What about the regular people, though?
I read somewhere once that Americans prefer their heroes dead. We want to talk, cry, and honor those who fought the good fight and sacrificed all to defend and protect. What about the heroes who came home?
What about the men and women who slogged through the heat and sand to fix some platoons jeep, missed their kids, were homesick, and came back to find that without wounds or scars nobody knows their name.
What about the family where both the Mom and the Dad served: him in counter intelligence and her in a support division. Their two sons were taken care of for over two years by uncles, aunts and grandparents so their parents could make the little things happen for the Military Machine.
Veterans day is meant for the support of our troops, but not just to call attention to the fighter pilots, medal of honor recipients and soldiers who came home covered in American Flags.
My 17 year old niece has yet to serve over seas, but she spent four months of her life, her teenage girl life, sweating and crying through boot camp. Another niece of mine is married to a Marine. He misses family vacations, cruises, celebrations and special occasions so he can be ready when the Military calls. My brother-in-law, who served in Iraq and came home with a family and a life that missed him terribly, came home without any flashy scars.
There are a million soldiers who stand at our defense and never get noticed, because they're just doing their job. One of my favorite lines from The Star Spangled Banner is from the third verse where it says:
O thus be it ever when free men shall stand between their loved homes and the war's desolation.
That is what we honor, cheer and memorialize today and every other day we can. Not the fallen, though we shed our tears for them. The greatest power our military possess though, isn't in the weapons, the tanks, the planes, or the Hum-v's. Our great power is that line of men and women who stand. In their homes, In their jobs, in their service and in their hearts. They stand for us, for those who can't, and for our children as the last line between our loved homes and war's desolation.
Don't spend today, crying, remembering old battles and cemeteries full of those who sacrificed. Today is about the brave men and women who stand, even when no one is paying attention.
So give the nearest service man or woman your love, your admiration and your determination to make this country worth protecting.
You'll never know what the living breathing wall of service men and women mean to regular people like me. Know, however, that the living, breathing heroes hold a deep, tender place in my heart. Happy Veterans Day!