Thursday, November 11, 2021

Thank You To Those Who Serve(d)

On 11/11/1911 at 11am, the shooting stopped forever.

That's what they hoped, anyway.  60,000 died at the Battle of the Somme.  Britain lost a generation of men.  Shell shock and mustard gas poisoning and the terror of barbed wire and trenches and No Man's Land between opposing armies - in 1911 they thought they'd put it away for good.

I've been thinking about the 100 Years War, which it seems we are fighting all over again.  Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan.... my children's adulthood has been filled with war.  None of us served.

Amster used the Army to get out of town. She traveled, she learned, and because her boots were too small and gave her bunions, she had a disability that added to the educational benefits she'd receive.  College and Law School, paid for with her blood, sweat, and tears. She got married so they could be transferred together - an unintended consequence of falling in love while the government owned your body.

G'ma's brother served with Patton.  He never spoke of it.  Auntie M and Uncle T got married just before he left for Viet Nam.  He never speaks of it, either.  Our college friends, Moose and Stroker, were in Viet Nam, too - they never said a word.

But everyone was changed by the experience.  Some for the good (cf Amster) and some altered in ways that haunted them for all their lives.  Dr. Don never wore a necktie after coming home from Viet Nam; black tie events had him in an elegant sweater.  He never explained it beyond saying THIS is what I wear.

Necessity or patriotism, the draft or the potential benefits down the road - whatever their reasons men and women have put themselves in harms way so that I can sit here and type to you.

Remember to say Thank You today.

1 comment:

Talk back to me! Word Verification is gone!