Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Veteran's Day

I have an old friend, he's a veteran of 3 great wars that took place well before my time. He's still carrying the scars from battles that I can barely comprehend, today an old memory festered up and he had a break down and his daughter brought him to the local VA for some help. His last last war was 4 decades in the past, half of his lifetime ago yet the wounds that were left in his mind are still fresh. Two strangers came up to him to wish him happy birthday, you see, he's a Marine, one of these people was a young man who had only been in the military for 5 years, extended for that fifth year got injured and was now getting treatment at the VA. He walked with a limp and his military time was cut short, showing the visible scars of a more recent war. With a handshake, they both knew that they were brothers.

Veteran's Day is made up of ranks and files of people like these, people who have been willing to lay their lives down to protect those at home. War leaves behind many scars and costs that at the time we don't add up till later (or sometimes sooner) in life.

My friend Darrel who runs writes in his latest post "In war, there are no unwounded soldiers". I might not have agreed before I started my whorl wind tours of Iraq but I've seen to much, lost too many friends and carry my own wounds. I agree, they're not much now but I wonder in 40 years, if my child will be taking me to the VA because I've had a breakdown over something that I've repressed from today?

So tomorrow, call that Veteran in your life, shake their hand, give them a hug and be thankful that they were will to stand up when the call was sounded.