I heard at church this weekend that Veteran’s Day was coming up, and I’m embarassed to say I had no idea. I mean, I’m sure I would have heard about it before Tuesday, but still….
Tomorrow is Veteran’s day.
I’ve never served in the armed forces, and am veteran of no war. But there was always something about the armed forces that stirred something in me. I remember learning the pledge of allegiance back when I was in elementary school, and turning toward the flag. Sometimes it was hard to make it all the way through, even as a kid.
Now, it’s worse. Now, when I see the flag somewhere, and think about the men and women serving overseas on my behalf, it’s sometimes almost overwhelming. There is a war going on, and people are being killed. Thanks to our military, they are not being killed in America. This is because we are bringing the fight to the enemy.
Yes, it is an unpopular war, and we currently have an unpopular commander-in-chief. It was the same during Viet Nam. Yet now, as then, people are being freed. And also now, as then, our troops are often not afforded the respect and gratitude they deserve.
Think what you want about the war, and the decision to send troops overseas. People talk about the war going on not being a worthwhile one, and that soldiers, airmen, Marines, and sailors are dying in vain.
I’m sure they don’t think so. Neither do I.
The truth is that we have a volunteer armed forces. They are not drafted. They are not conscripts.
They volunteer to serve, knowing that they could be sent to fight.
They volunteer to serve, knowing that they could be killed, or maimed, or have to kill other people.
They volunteer to serve, so that I have the right to say they’re fighting an unjust war, and dying in vain
They volunteer to serve, so that I do not have to.
I think it’s fitting that Veteran’s day is so close to Thanksgiving.
Because I’m thankful.