Thursday, November 11, 2010
Being that it's Veteran's Day, a couple of thoughts:
Being in the military is truly a privilege now. This wasn't always the case; through much of our nation's history, it was viewed as a last refuge for those who couldn't make it in polite society. While this may have had some substance to varying degrees, there have always been those individuals to whom military service was a calling, rather than a compromise. We are fortunate to have had them.
In regards to being thanked for military service. I'm old enough to remember being called a weekend warrior by those that never had to work a weekend at all since high school, let alone using that weekend to prepare for chemical warfare casualty treatment. I'm grateful for the thanks, but best of all is simple respect. To have so many outside the military freely support those inside is a wonderful situation I'm thankful for, and that I hope I have earned.
Of all our prior service people still with us, I hold a special regard for the Korea and Viet Nam veterans. Military service of any type demands sacrifice from the individual, families, and co-workers. Deployment into a hostile theater increases this demand. But hardest of all is the duty borne by those who serve when a cause is unpopular, and the service member rendered invisible or worse through weariness of war. If anyone has earned an extra measure of respect, it must be them.
Finally, on personal service. It has been a privilege, in the truest sense of the word, to have worked along side so many outstanding men and women over the years. I've had the pleasure of knowing far more people who are exceptional in their loyalty, friendship, and duty to one another when it's most needed. Through bitter cold, sand storms, floods, and hostile fire I've experienced bonds of friendship that are rarely found in kinder circumstances. Their worth is beyond measure, and I count myself fortunate to have them.
It has been pleasure serving with many of you; I hope this day has brought back as many wonderful memories as it has for me.