Veterans-- We Remember


He was sweaty, weary and hungry. Billboards showing the few, the brave and the proud hadn’t mentioned exhaustion, tropical diseases and tasteless MREs. They omitted diarrhea, guard duty and having one’s legs blown off by stepping on a landmine. So many of his battle buddies went home minus arms and legs; would he be next?


Why was he here, anyway? Was it the last glimpse of his tow-headed little brother, waving at the picture window when he drove away? Or Sis’s twins, playing toy soldiers on the living room floor? More than anything, he wanted to give them a chance to grow up and enjoy the privileges he had known. And it wouldn’t happen by marching in protests or running to Canada.


So, here he was, flat on his back on a helicopter, waiting to be transported somewhere. Thoughts of those last moments before the attack flitted through his mind like mosquitos around Mom’s porch light.


Mom. How would she take news of his injury? Dad would be okay, but Mom might not.

***

WW II. Korea. Vietnam. Iraq. Afghanistan. Cemeteries full of quiet, selfless men and women who risked their lives to give back to their country. Today we honor their sacrifice.


Andrew Budek Schmeisser’s riveting poem below, expresses thanks with a unique perspective. Pay attention to the last two lines. This is not a political post, but instead, grateful thanks to our veterans.


They did not have deferments,

Or parents in high places,

Yet death has still same permanence;

Do you recall their faces?

They went at the draft board call,

Didn’t flee across the border,

And now their names are on the Wall

In fate’s calendar-order.

How will you honor memory

Of men who were betrayed

By a country turned from victory

As the Great Game was yet played?

The Wall offers this introspection;

Behind their names is your reflection.

***

How about you? Any veterans in your life you choose to honor? I am honoring today a brother, brother-in-law, son-in-law, and sons, all who have served or are serving our country. Thanks, guys!