Many who read this blog know me personally. They know my past, my passions and my current job. Those that don't might not understand that the reason that I was able to post the Jaqua/Waibel/Houston GM post is because I never work Veteran's Day.
I do this because I served.
BUT I served in peace. While hard emotionally and physically it does not compare to life of those who are active right now in Iraq, Afghanistan and nearly a dozen other forgotten places. My time in Kuwait does not compare to 91. It should not be confused with Bosnia, Somalia, Haiti, Lebanon, Kosovo, the Philippines, Panama, Korea, Vietnam or either of the World Wars, but still my time defined who I am. It changed me in ways that I had guessed, but it also changed me in ways that I never would know.
I don't work on Veteran's Day not for myself, but so I can lift a glass to Mike Adams who I only knew as a Scout as a teen. Mike died while riding in a tank on a highway headed home. I don't work today for him.
I don't work on Veteran's Day for Dan Cooke, who is the last who I know who serves from my class of 80+ at the Defense Language Institute at the Presidio of Monterey. Dan and I were both from Washington and had a connection. None of us are surprised that he made this a career. I don't work today for Dan who still serves.
I don't work on Veteran's Day for Gian, for Jeff, for Matt, and many others with whom I went through training. For these people who saw me at my very worst, I don't work on Veteran's Day.
I don't work on Veteran's Day for Pifer, for Bennett, and for the rest of those who saw me at my worst in uniform, who wanted me to reenlist and yet who I have never reconnected with since 20 Sept 01. For my fellow 5th Group members, I don't work.
For the men and women who liberated Kuwait while I watched on TV while in high school. For those that inspired Eric, Justin and Abel to serve honorably one year earlier than I, I don't work on Veteran's Day.
I don't work today, because today is a day that I spend remembering exactly who has served and what they did to help my nation. I ponder that my father was in the WA National Guard, my stepfather was in the Navy between Korea and Vietnam. My grandfather Tansey served in the Pacific theater and his happiest moment that I ever witnessed was when I visited him in my Class A uniform while he lay on a bed in his hospital.
I don't work today, because there are 23 Million or so living Veterans in this fair nation and we get one day where we are fully recognized.
On November 11th of every year I ask that everyone take just a few moments to greet those that served. Don't say "Happy Veteran's Day" just say thank you. Understand that not all of us suffered, but all of us were ready to suffer.
And lastly to all of my fellow vets - Thank you and never work on Veteran's Day. It is a day for us. Take it.
I just saw this on MSNBC
A joint effort of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) and the Ad Council, this site is designed as a resource to our nation’s newest Veterans. Comprising less than 1 percent of the population, Veterans face a myriad of challenges while feeling isolated and cut off from those to whom they can best relate – other Veterans. While addressing a range of topics, this site is ultimately a point of connection where Veterans are helping Veterans.
1% doesn't give us an excuse, it gives us a reason