As usual, I’m not working on Veterans Day. I hope that no veteran is working today. It is a day to honor you, to respect you and to remember those deeds we did. Most were less fortunate than I was. So many of you served during open conflict. I was fortunate, only deployed to Kuwait in some of the most peaceful months in the modern Middle East.
Sounder at Heart will continue with awesome content today. I’m going to be barely around as Jeremiah, Susie and Josh manage things. The great staff here nearly always gives me this day, just as my full-time job has as well. I hope that the many vets I know also get to take this day to remember their time, and their life-long friends from fellow service.
Back in 2014 I did not write on Sounder at Heart. Instead I wrote the following. Today it bears repeating.
The best decision in my life was to join the Army. I wouldn't be married to my amazing wife, nor have the friends I have without doing that. I'm a better writer, a better worker and a better person because of my four years active duty. It didn't define me. It refined me. I went from raw goods to finished material.
Every Veterans Day I struggle with words about this. I have guilt for leaving the service. I have pride for doing it. Mostly I just know that without the US Army I wouldn't be the person you know. My Sergeants changed me - Stricklin, Harris, Bennett, Tim, and others live in me every day and I love them for it.
I like this person I am. I can't think about being anyone else. For all my flaws, I'm better for this than without it.
I'd do it again. I'd do it for you, for me, and for America.
There are tens of millions of us out there. We come from every part of this great nation. Today, I hope if you did not serve you can thank someone, or help them. Too many of my fellow veterans need help. I am partial to Mission 22, but there are other organizations (the VFW for example) that can use a hand.
As you watch USA v Mexico tonight, remember those that serve the nation in less glamorous ways than Howard, Bedoya, Altidore, Bradley, Jones, Morris, Dempsey. Remember people like Bowling, Meija, Goduti, Ollivierre, Seam, and a list of so many more.
This is their day, but it is also your day. Because every single thing we did, we did so that your life would be better, so that America would be better.