On Veterans Day…

Posted: November 11, 2014 in Deep Thoughts (deeper than normal anyway), Random Ravings

So today I will deviate from my normal technical comments to take an opportunity to honor our US Military Veterans.

A few years back I met a good friend of mine after work and we did some fishing. He was usually ecstatic to get out on the boat and get his line wet. This day he was a short of weary and run down. After about 20 minutes of this I asked him what was up. He told me nobody had wished him a “Happy Veterans Day”, as he is a veteran of the USAF. He spent numerous years serving, took fire in Central America, left his wife in the middle of the night many times for deployments when he could not tell her where he was going or when he’d be back.

I worked with an officer in the US Army. He was a miserable guy. Very ornery, borderline rage monster some days. Many folks sort of dismissed him. As part of his career, he was deployed 9 times, 4 of them to war zones. He had been shot at, had lost a number of comrades and a number of troopers under his command. As a parting gift, his wife (also in the US Army was station) on the other side of the world. He rarely saw her for three years.

I worked with another outspoken gentleman. He was former US Army. He tended to annoy folks as he was very loud. He also had a rather unique temperament. I took some time to talk with him. He served 2 tours in Iraq. Both his trips ended with a mission ending injury from IEDs. His last one, he was hit in Iraq, and did not wake up till he was in Germany. His hearing was partially damaged from the explosion.

I also heard of an inactive member of the USMC who was a family member of a coworker. He was looked at as lazy. One of those guys who always had a hurt back, folks figured he was faking it. He was a bit quick on angering when he left the USMC he took some grief on his “mental issues”. Come to find out, his last tour in Iraq, he was in a convoy that was hit with an IED. His armored Humvee was lifted off the ground and rolled off the road with him and his comrades inside. His friend who was the gunner on the top of the vehicle was not so lucky. In shock, this guy went out on the road and began picking pieces of his friend up off the road.

I bring these stories to light because most of us have no idea whatsoever what our vets do and what they have sacrificed for us. We mumble “Happy Veterans Day” on Facebook, and a couple emails. We give grief to the vets on the other 364 days of the year if they don’t adjust back to civilian life quite right and we have no true respect for their sacrifice to this country. Many of them still bear scars internally, that will never heal. They did this for US. So on Veterans Day, my ask is this, LOUDLY thank our veterans for their service, shake their hands, let them know you mean it. On the other 364 days, try to consider some of these stories, try to imagine how many other stories like these and worse there are in this country and take some understanding and compassion and help these folks out. They have more than earned it.



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