Veteran’s Day (Observed)

My family, by and large, has been a generation off of the major conflicts of the last century or so. I have a great-great-great grandfather who was a captain or colonel or some-such in the Union Army during the civil war, some of my ancestors were here during the Revolution but I haven’t uncovered any record of their service, and the rest of my family emigrated here in the 1890s. My great-grandfathers were too old to serve in World War I and my grandfathers were being born at about that time. By the time of World War II, my grandfathers were working in protected industries, and raising new families of their own. My dad was Army Guard during Vietnam, but never at risk of being shipped overseas because of his new family. I was this close to joining the Air Force (right into OTS, and thence probably to Monterey to get my Russian back in order), but declined the enlistment at the last moment, having just gotten a good job–one month later, Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait.

So I suppose you could say we’ve been very lucky. But I worry about my cousin Jeff, who’s career Army and still in the service now. And I think about my late Uncle Bill and his wife, my Aunt Audrey, who was a classic war bride and sixty years later still has traces of her British accent. About my grandfathers, both already in jobs that would be protected from the draft by the Federal government. About my late Aunt Valeria, possibly the gentlest soul ever to walk this planet, who spent WWII assembling bomber sights at the glass factory in my home town.

I also think about an unknown (to me) ‘Nam vet at ChiCon V, breaking down in tears in the smoker’s filk room, being consoled by Leslie Fish. About the old men growing ever older, ever fewer in number, in my home town proudly marching in the Memorial Day parade. About the little stone pillar at the end of a boulevard near the high school with a handful of names on it, some family names that I recognize, my hometown’s sacrifice to World War I.

The country gets it. We as a nation did the right thing for our troops this year, taking unquestioned authority over them away from a government who doesn’t get it and never did. I don’t know that the Democrats will make things better. I know they can’t possibly make them worse.

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2 comments so far

  1. gmhelwig on

    Not wanting to bust your bubble, but I have yet to encounter a situation so bad that it can’t get worse. But like you, I feel much relief that someone no longer has unquestioned authority.

    Sometimes I wonder if all these military maneuvers and peace keeping efforts are just to keep the membership rolls of the VFW up. Few seem to actually serve this country’s best interests.

    May God bless those aging vets still with us, and watch over those in harm’s way. May they come home safe and victorious.

    • The Rev Dr Sherwood Forrester on

      Yes, but to make things worse would probably involve lobbing nukes, and the legislature can’t do that, so I stand by my statement. ;)


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