Friday, November 07, 2008

Road tripping San Jose and some thoughts about Veteran’s Day

I’ll be out of town hanging out with the bride this weekend but I wanted to put a post up with a few thoughts on Veteran’s Day before I left.

I served all throughout the 90’s without really thinking about what it means to be a veteran. It was peace time and being in the military was just another job with a lot of travel perks and interesting people to meet. The only weapons I saw were at the range and could identify countries by the names and flavors of the bars outside of the front gate.

We’ve been at war for 5 years and I can honestly say, I haven’t visited a single bar out side of any gate. Being a veteran during a peace time is a different experience then during war. Now, there is always someone out there who is more then willing to punch your card and people look at you differently. You can see the thought cross their eyes, “what kind of action did he see?” You tell someone that you’ve been to so and so warzone an X amount of times and get the evitable “I’m sorry”.

Don’t be sorry because there is nothing to be sorry for, as a member of an all volunteer force. It was a conscious choice on our part to sign up during a war. There is not a single person that enlisted that doesn’t know what they were getting into, in the early part of the war, that wasn’t always true but all of those enlistments have since expired. War isn’t for everyone nor should it be, in this transparent world, much of the mystery of being at war is gone. Log on to your favorite Milblog, check out some military videos on YouTube, watch the History Channel, CNN or Fox and you can get snapshots of just about every aspect of what we do. It’s not easy nor is it the fun vacation club that I remember from the 90’s.

So every Vet you shake the hand of this weekend who is currently in the military, don’t say “I’m sorry” say “thank you” for the conscious choice we made of knowing exactly what we're getting into and still be willing and able to make that sacrifice.

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