Nov 11, 2013
30 days of thanks: veterans
Veteran's Day. Smack dab in the middle of everyone's 30 days of thanks. You can't get any more of a perfect opportunity to be thankful than this.
I am thankful for our Veterans. I think about war a lot. I silently think about the state of our country often. It's one of those "what ifs" constantly weighing in the back of my mind. I am so thankful for our Veterans because I am more of a pacifist. It would honestly be hard for me to enlist as a soldier and kick butt at it. I know some women that would do an amazing job. I am so thankful that we have all the men and woman who do volunteer so those of us who are insecure about our abilities do not have to enlist. I am thankful for those women and children who have given up their husbands and fathers so that mine doesn't have to enlist. It's such an emotional feeling and one can never give enough thanks to their dedication.
My mother in law was cleaning out some paper work and came across my husband's certificate for registering for the draft when he was 18. It kind of made my heart stop for a moment. I know it's not a big deal because all males had to do it when they were of age but it still makes you think. For a moment. That some day there just might be that possibility.. that I don't even want to think about.
There are times when I am whining to myself because my husband is busy with the farm and not around a lot but at the end of the day, he's always home. We always get to eat dinner together whether it's at 5:00 or 11:00. He's by my side every night. Well, other than dryer duty nights but that's what, a few nights out of the year? I will take it.
Then I think about the military families.
The wives, husbands and children of military men and women have given up more than I could ever imagine. They know the definition of a true sacrifice. They know the price of what it costs to keep our freedoms.
When I think of veteran I often think of my maternal grandfather. My Poppa. He was a tall, noble man who wore a military haircut his entire life. He never spoke of WWII where he served over seas in active duty. If it weren't for my mother telling me, I never would have guessed he was a war veteran. He didn't display a bumper sticker on his car. He didn't wear an "I'm a Veteran hat" nor did he participate in any lodge or clubs made up of veterans. He didn't tell stories of the war over dinner. He went, came back, began a normal career, never speaking of what went on. It's almost as if that part of his life was not how he wanted to be remembered as and he surely to this day wouldn't want to be labeled as a veteran. He wouldn't want the recognition. It's hard for me not to think of him on this day. So hard. But I do. And I can.
My husband's paternal grandfather, from what I hear, was the same way. Never spoke of what went on during his line of duty. I now think of him as well on this day. I often-times wonder what it would be like to across from him in his recliner to this day. I imagine the stories he would tell about my husband as a young boy helping him out around the farm. I want to hear him tell the version of how he met his wife. I've heard her version many times. Her eyes light up every time. I think about what it would be like to see his warm eyes light up.
On this day, I also think about the many classmates of mine and the several in the classes below me who went off to training shortly after graduation. Instead of going off to college or working in a factory or joining an apprenticeship, they chose to serve our country. They didn't have to. But they did. It was an extremely admirable choice. I remember being so proud of them. And I still am to this day.
And lastly, on this day, I think of all the veterans and soldiers I will never meet. All the young men and women who make such a difference in our lives without us every knowing their name. It's because of you that I can wake up every morning as a free person living the American dream. I can eat what I want. Watch what I want. Read what I want. Go wherever I want.
Thank you to all our veterans and active men and women in duty. Thank you to your families for making the ultimately sacrifice.
We all take far too much for granted.