Friday, November 11, 2016

Veteran's Day

It is late evening on Veteran's Day and I have sent some thank yous via text message and posted a family military pic on social networks.
But it is worth mentioning that I am very thankful to all that are serving and have served in our nation's military service.

We enjoy a great freedom in the US that is kept secure by the efforts of our military forces. Freedom isn't free. It often comes at great cost. Our service men and women are the front line of defense in protecting and defending those freedoms.

Thank you.

I'll share this because I think it's worth sharing on this day. My brother posted it on his Facebook feed. He said it was written by a friend, colleague and Marine.
Thank a Vet.

Will Kanteres
6 hrs
I vividly remember the first time I was thanked for my service. It was not on Veteran's Day, nor at any time during my first or second enlistment. It happened on 3 Jun, 2003, my mom's birthday. I was a SSgt with 10years in service. I was wearing desert utilities in the Baltimore airport, clearing customs on my way home to CA from Iraq. Every person that passed us said thank you that day, many with tears in their eyes. As scores of us lined up for our first over priced Starbucks coffee in months, the $5 & $10 bills collected on the counter as civilians who saw us were not about to let us spend our own money. The verbal gestures and unnecessary free coffee surely seemed small and insignificant to them. To me it was overwhelming and disorienting. I didn't see us as they did. I had never considered our service uniquely selfless or worthy of thanks from those I did not know.
Since 2003 it has become culturally common for civilians and veterans to go out of their way to verbally and sincerely thank those serving. Every time it happens I recall 3 Jun 2003, and relive those emotions in that moment. When you meet a veteran or service member, feel free to thank them. Don't feel obligated. If the moment isn't right for you, that's okay. We don't serve with expectations of thanks. But if you are so inclined, don't be afraid of the awkward moment that follows your thanks. For me it's hard to respond. Usually I'll give you a smile and bow my head, or just say thank you and try to maintain eye contact. The awkwardness is simply me being humbled by your gesture, because it is not insignificant. It is as appreciated as you are appreciative.

John <><

1 comment:

eViL pOp TaRt said...

November 11th is a day we should all thank our veterans.