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Posts Tagged ‘Veterans’

If it weren’t for our beloved vets, I would not be able to share today with you, as it unfolded…unbridled, unfettered and unedited.

A mish-mash of things from home and work that I found coming out of my mouth today:

“Please, don’t saw up our back deck.”

“Thank you for finding the diamond solitaire…and for being so honest! I am so relieved…”

“Do you mind taking this pair of underwear?” (said to a stranger)

“So, now we’re up to a 53-minute hour from the age-old 50-minute hour? What would Bob Newhart do?”

“Where can I get a jumpsuit like that, and how much do they cost?”

“Now, then…how do you plan to do serious harm to yourself if you can’t order in pizza?”

“Whose idea was it to pile everything from the computer hutch in my bedroom until we’re ready to sell?”

“No Netflix on your DS. Period.”

“Tell me again…why did you wine me and dine me all weekend?”

“Why is your driver’s permit at home while I am in the passenger’s seat???!!!”

“What was it like to have your mother blame you for her selling you for drugs when you were 4?”

“The bug is not waving at us, sweetie…he’s trying to get right-side up. I have to step on him, first.”

“No, you are NOT going fishing today with a C in history. I don’t care what the fish promised you last weekend.”

“Honey, Sleestaks are not real. I promise they won’t get you in your dreams.”

“Did any of my staff get injured during that incident?”

And, my favorite, after the requisite ‘how was your day, dear?”

“After four months to the week today, I actually RAN up the hill, did my 2.5 and ran back down!!! Yeah!!!!!”

But above all, a big salute to all the veterans today who serve (and have served) our country with selfless courage, pride and patriotism – all in the name of our freedom and ALL those things our country stands for.

Special thanks to God for the generations of veterans of the CV-63, the souls responsible for the American flag from the Kitty Hawk on my mantle, for the nearby sunken Oriskany, for my son of a son of a sailor, and heroes like Buddy and brainrants.

Refractions from the high-speed commute home today:

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Flying home east on the Bayway today…
2 suns?
Thanks, vets, for affording me yet another sunset.

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Salute

…to all the people who served our country, that I could have the freedom to blog here and now, with a clear conscience and with no fear…

…to the talented man on the Kitty Hawk whose service is reflected on my mantle in the form of a properly folded flag…

…to those who’d hoped to serve but didn’t, or couldn’t…but are just as patriotic….

…to all the men like Buddy (10/22/11 post), who returned from the Delta alive, who were greeted with ignorant piss instead of with grateful reverence and respect…

…to those who stood by those who served…

…to the very young men under my roof who have unwaveringly expressed a desire to serve…sons of sons of sailors…

…to those who protested those who served, who now, in their older wisdom, realize their foolishness, and are ashamed to admit it…

…to those who proudly put themselves in the very face of danger on foreign soils to protect not only our country, but the essence of freedom…

…to those who still live who served and fought for righteousness for my father through WWI and my mother through WWII…

…to the men and women who believe in our country despite its shortcomings, and still enlist…

…to A.K., who is from another continent, but has proudly become a citizen and leaves me on schedule for drill in preparation to serve….

…to the brave men and women in uniform who will show our children around the C-5 Galaxy, Apache, C-130, Iroquois, F-18 et al. this afternoon at Homecoming and will – in word and deed – help us instill in them the character trait of patriotism…

…to the veterans with whom we will share a rolling tear today, hand over heart during the Star Spangled Banner,  as we salute our flag and their valued service…

…to the dear friend who brought out his Navy uniform, even though it no longer fits, to reflect and reminisce, that we could all be reminded of the threads of courage, pride, willingness, duty and belief in freedom – all tightly woven to hold our country together…

God, please bless our veterans with love, appreciation and peace…may they know how much the rest of us do not take their service and our freedom for granted, how much we love them, and how proud we are of them. Every single day of the year.

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Buddy

I came whizzing up to the air pump to inflate my tires, hopped out and removed the first cap. Before I knelt down to check the pressure, the aging man using the hose opposite me, gestured the hose upward to offer it to me. I saw that he wasn’t finished, so I thanked him and told him I’d wait.

When he brought the hose over to me, he offered to help. I graciously consented, and the customary Southern chitchat began. The weather. The children in the car. Who’s your people. What you do. The patch on his uniform said “Henry;” he saw me looking, and volunteered, “They call me Buddy.”

He took a cap out of my palm after he finished each tire. “You’ve got such tiny hands,” he observed. As I laughed, he abruptly changed the subject, perhaps fearing he may have edged a little too close to being personal. “Do you have anything against Vietnam Vets?” he quietly asked.

“No,” I answered, looking him in the eye. “Only deep gratitude for your service and for my freedom.”

His eyes teared slightly as he told me about how painful his reception was when he came home. He described some of the horrors he endured where he served up in the Delta, then landing on American soil and having a protester urinate on him as he walked off the plane and across the tarmac, amid the abusive epithets. Then came the year in the hospital. And the years of disability. And the broken families and the broken lives and the broken hearts.

And his broken spirit.

“I’ve probably said too much,” he said, screwing the cap on the last tire.

“Not at all,” I assured him. I told him how important his story is, and how it needs to be heard. I thanked him for sharing, and again for his service, and how sad I was that American patriotism has, in many ways, gone up in smoke…how sad that a vet should even have to cautiously ask if a citizen has anything against him or his duty. How I question why we don’t do more to care for our vets.

How I hope Buddy knows how much he is loved and appreciated.

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