Sunday, November 11, 2012

Veteran's Day 2012

Veterans Day is a day that rolls around once a year, every year on the same day - November 11. It is a day that people give thanks to our veterans and let them know how proud they are of them or honored to know them. It is a day that strangers will approach those that they have never met and show their gratitude. They will shake their hand and say "Thank you for your service"...

Yet, it is a day that so many veterans will dread, my husband for one. It is a day that he will normally not want to go out and deal with people. It is a day that he dreads the "Thank You's" and hand shakes and just acknowledgement in general. He will look at me and say, "If only they knew what I did or saw.." It is a day that gets the best of him.

This year, Veterans Day holds a different meaning to our family. It is the first one that Kevin is not Active Duty and it will also mark the one year mark of us leaving our last duty station.. Kevin is now retired from the army due to injuries he sustained during his deployments. Days like today bring back even more memories of what veterans have had to endure and leaves them feeling a bit more isolated. It can cause flare ups with their PTSD and other issues. Many just want to be left alone on this day...

I look at Kevin and I now see a different man than the one that enlisted almost ten years ago. I see a different man in the expressions he holds, the way he carries himself, and how he reacts to things. I look at him, as I do many veterans and my heart goes out.

So, if you walk up and Thank a Veteran and they do not act in a way you hoped they would, do not take offense to it. Instead, understand that their time in the military may not have been easy and that they may be fighting  a war of their own. The internal war is often much worse than the combat they faced while deployed.

Veteran's Day is a day that we as a society should observe and be grateful for as so many selfless individuals signed the blank check and were willing to put their lives on the line. It is a day to remember that many did put their lives on the line and did lay their lives down. Kevin for one take part in a couple hundred combat missions, constantly putting his life on the line and had many close calls. So, for today and everyday, be thankful for those that have stepped up willingly to defend out country. They have sacrificed so much and the war doesn't end just because they are home.

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