Friday, November 10, 2006

THE VETERAN

Each year the nation celebrates Veteran's Day with parades, picnics and department store sales.  I would drop spare change into the collection bucket set up by the local DAV chapter as I left the grocery store with my bags full of holiday bargains.  The volunteers often sport the insignia of the units they served in during the various wars, their dog tags dulled by the years, their remaining hair silver, their once tanned skin now weathered with age.

This year the 'veteran' takes on a whole new face for me.  This year the 'veteran' is a young dark haired man just out of his teens.  He wears blue jeans and tee shirts.   He's only been in the military 2 short years and yet he's already done and seen more than most men twice his age.  He laughs freely, but there is a shadow that remains in the depth of his eyes, eyes that have seen what no man should ever have had to see.  His hands that have been trained to kill hold his son with endless tenderness.  I am the daughter of a veteran and the wife of a veteran.  I am now the mother of a veteran.  In the past I always showed my respect for the soldiers, the sailors, the airmen and marines... but I never really gave it much thought.  I never wondered what they saw, what they did, how they felt.  I was comfortably detached.  I sent a husband to war and rejoiced in his safe return.  Never did I dream that I would one day send our son to face the same enemy.

Veterans, be they young or old, tall and straight or bent with time, regardless of age, color or size, have answered the call to serve their country beyond that of the average citizen.  They have taken up arms and faced the enemy, knowing full well that each passing moment might be their last.  Many have lost friends, some right before their eyes.  Some have suffered serious injury.  Some have lost families during their absence yet still they served.    When they say 'I pledge allegiance to the flag,' they know what it means and they mean it.  They would have, and some still might, die for their country. 

 From a very grateful American, I thank you Steve, Gabriel, Daddy... and all of the Veterans.  Your patriotism is greatly appreciated, always.

12 comments:

jckfrstross said...

Bravo!!!! very well said and thank you all from me too

Deb

ambassadorsinte said...

Thank You Jody.  The Battleship Missouri has invited me and many other veterans to come aboard the ship tomorrow for a "Sunset Ceremony" honoring us.
Ditto on your best wishes and "Job Well Done" to all veterans living or dead.  We veterans too will never forget.

Dad

rbrown6172 said...

well said!  amen!!
gina

gifdude said...

From a Gulf War vet, I thank you for your support of all the Vets past and present.

Freedom is not free...just ask those who where left behind.

God bless ya, Dorn

astaryth said...

::standing ovation:: Bravo!
http://journals.aol.com/astaryth/AdventuresofanEclecticMind
http://adventuresofaneclecticmind.blogspot.com/

princesssaurora said...

Jody,

I thank you, Gabe, Dickidoo and your dad.  And, all those they serve(d) with as well.  I did an entry regarding Veterans Day today too!

be well,
Dawn

mutualaide said...

Lovingly and beautifully written Jody.  Thank you from this humbled citizen to the men in your life and those I'll never meet.

justplainbill said...

Dorn, what a wonderul tribute you posted. Very fitting. Thank you, Bill

deshelestraci said...

Yes, thank you to your family.  My husband and grandfather both served in the Navy.  My grandfather served in Guadalcanal during WWII
Traci

swmpgrly said...

Thankyou to all of them!

missheathyrmaree said...

What an awesome entry!
Happy Veteran's Day & thank you to all the men in your life!
xox,
H

beckieramos said...

Beautiful. Very well said. Praying for Gabe still, Beckie