Saturday, May 16, 2015

Armed Forces Day

Today is Armed Forces Day in the good ol' US of A and I am glad to see numerous posts across all forms of social media praising and thanking the members of our armed forces for their service. I may be a little biased because of my prior service in the Marine Corps, but I like to think I would still have the same patriotic support for the men and women in the armed forces even if I hadn't enlisted back in 1991.

My enlistment started right as Desert Storm was ending and went through 1997 during a lull in overseas campaigns. Just to clarify for everyone, I was never deployed for combat during my enlistment....a fact on which my opinion has changed over the years. Back in my younger days, I always had a nagging feeling of regret that I was never deployed and therefore lacked the experience of combat....and all the war stories that came with it. Then I grew up...

In more recent years, I have grown to understand and appreciate the blessing it was to not have to experience what so many of my friends have. Although most of them made it through one or more tours of duty in combat without any major affect, that is not true of all of them. At the ultimate extreme, I have friends that never returned from their overseas deployment. I have a number of other friends that are still dealing with the physical and mental affects their time in combat created for them. I wouldn't wish that on anyone and it's all the more reason I appreciate what they do.

I don't want to change a holiday remembrance into something it's not, but I must admit that I am also thankful to the families of those serving in our armed forces. Having a family member away from home is bad enough in itself. Knowing that they are spending every day in harm's way (in the case of combat deployment) makes it that much more straining.

I am also thankful for all those who continue to support the members of our armed forces. I feel that I see a lot more patriotism these days. I would like to think it's because of a general improved sense of patriotism across the board, but in reality, I think it's more because I don't give the unpatriotic the time of day. Unfortunately, I think it may take an actual invasion on our own soil for those morons to truly understand what freedom and patriotism looks like and appreciate those ready to fight to defend it. On a side note, I hope the resulting "home grown armed forces" in that scenario will also be given the due respect they deserve. (The picture at the top of this post could easily be half my buddies out in their backyard having fun.)

Ok. Ok. I got off on a little tangent there.... So I'll wrap this post up: Thank you to all who are serving, or have served, in our armed forces. Thank you to the families and friends that support them. Utmost thanks to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in service of our great nation. (I realize this isn't Memorial Day, but one day a year isn't enough for that.) Keep on keeping on. Stay as safe as is humanly possible. God Bless! Until next time....