Veterans Day. A celebration of those who serve. Well deserved. As a veteran, with combat service, I appreciate the applause. There was none when I came home. But, you know, in spite of the parades and the flag waving and the big thank you, I can’t help feeling sad for Veterans Day.
Sure, we are all heroes, doing more than we bargained for. But it’s much more than the flag waving. After the parade, it’s off to the trenches. The jungles. The desert. In spite of it all, there are no rules. The fire raining down, and the hell all around.
This is what we do. For you. Don’t fool yourself. We don’t do it do it for the parades. We all have our own motivations. Some are really patriotic. Some want to fight. And kill. In the end, we do it for each other. None want to die.
But they do. In the mud, the sand and the cold. Alone. Far from families.
But Veterans Day is all about the survivors. Give them a parade. They deserve that. And much more. Give them a chance to forget about the blood, fear and trauma for a while. That’s all in the shadows, and lurking in the recesses of their minds. It will all still be there when the parade is over.
So strike up the band and give us a parade. Watch the jets fly overhead. Let the politicians speak. Lets wave our flag proudly, just as we serve. And then send us off to fight. And die. For you.
Or strive to work it out. With killing, death and destruction as the last resort. Veteran’s Day makes me sad, because with it comes a need for Memorial Day. The remembrance of the dead.
That’s part of my story. What’s yours?