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 will be working on arrangements for the Supporters Summit, and contacting people in the TOA, the USL and MLS concerning the drama of pro-soccer in North America is because I don't work on 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 Lt. 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 is serving in theater now while I blog about the Sounders.
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 struggle to fit in, who wanted me to reenlist and yet who I rarely reconnect with since 20 Sept 01. For my fellow 5th Group members, I don't work. For Cpt. Travis Patriquin, who was inprocessing while I was outprocessing, I don't work today.
I don't work today for Julian. Once a rising star in the sport we love and a great friend, who went active duty army for his wife and daughter; he served in Iraq. Brothers in sport and in music, but more importantly brothers in Green. I don't work today.
I don't work today to recognize Adrian, Doug, Dub, Mike, Ben and the hundreds if not thousands of others at Starbucks who have served and are serving. I don't work today.
I don't work today for Michael, my coworkers brother. An Air Force navigator who proudly flies where ever asked, whenever requested. I don't work today.
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 the 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 you. Take it and remember. Raise a pint, or shot, or cheer. But take today and remember those years fondly, remember those friends well and honor those who serve.
Oh, and big shouts to the Emerald City Supporters and their subgroup of Vets/Active Duty personnel the Armed Services Group; their motto - Battle Tested.