Monday, August 24, 2009

The Armed Forces

I thought I'd address a topic that usually only gets attention on July 4th, Memorial Day, and Veterans Day. With the exception of an uncle who served in WW2, nobody in my family has served in the military. I have several friends who have been in the military and I thought I'd give credit to those who serve their country in that capacity. Having never been in the armed forces, I feel a little bit guilty. I kind of feel like George Bailey who couldn't serve because of his bad ear so he stayed at home and helped the war with rationing efforts. Except I was never held back due to a physical condition and I've never done any rationing efforts either.

Years ago the Vietnam moving wall, which is a travelling miniature replica of the memorial, came to town and I took my younger boys to see it. I was surprised to see how many Veterans had come out and had written notes and left the medals they had earned during the war at the base of the memorial for those who had paid the ultimate price. It was a very moving experience. I think war sucks but at times it is necessary. Regardless of the cause or justification, I still think those who serve in the military and risk so much are deserving of our respect and support.

I've seen shows that feature the training of Green Berets, Navy Seals, and Army Rangers and I have been amazed at the difficult training and sacrifices these elite soldiers have gone through. I am reminded that if I would attempt to join their ranks, I would look like Gomer Pyle. As impressive as those elite soldiers are, my hat is still off to the lowest ranking soldier or reservist. I recently saw a documentary on PBS that featured injured soldiers returning from Iraq with amputated limbs from the many IEDs they had encountered. I was reminded how dangerous their work is.

If you or your family have ever served our country in the military, my hat is off to you. The same goes to the families of those who have sacrificed while parents or spouses were away serving their country. You have my respect and I thank you for your sacrifice.

9 comments:

Kristina P. said...

Both my grandfather's served, and my FIL did, but that's it. The younger generations have not.

Kelly said...

You're welcome. Thanks for your comments.

Jeanne said...

Old Dog lost an uncle in Vietnam, and both of our dads served in WWII.

bonnie jack said...

my dad, all 3 of my brothers, a brother-in-law, and a nephew...so far from my family.

Eric said...

I second your sentiments, one or two 'official' days per year isn't enough.

Bobby G said...

My dad was in Nam, I never served, the wars were in between my age range (over 25 when the war started, under 18 during the gulf war,

Hillbilly Duhn said...

My Dad served in Vietnam. His father in WWII. When I was young I heard stories of both their experiences and enjoyed listening to them retell their tails.

I don't think the armed forces gets enough attention. They serve so we can be free. Kudo's to them. And to you for taking the time to write about them!

Rosie said...

My Padre was drafted but by some strange miracle was never actually sent to 'Nam.

Cherie said...

This almost made me cry! Thanks so much! We have a pretty rich military history, and with my husband having served for so long and continuing to do so, it's great to hear a good word! I think what he does is very important and worth every ounce of support I or anyone else can muster. War does suck, and I would hate to lose my best friend, but I also know that if I did, that it would be his time. My grandfathers and father served in big wars, in precarious spots, that left many dead around them, and yet they came home. I don't believe in coincidence! Thanks for the kind words, may we all remember the sacrifices others make in the name of helping others... personal feelings over the methods aside.