Do not misconstrue anything I am about to say here as being about ME. I am simply using my own experience as anecdotal evidence to support a point I wish to make.
My service as a Marine can easily be pointed to as a defining aspect of my character. Simply put: I have been Corps-ized. The pride I have in being a Marine is so pervasive in me that it positively oozes from every pore of my skin. I number the date I graduated from Parris Island as being among the most memorable days of my life; easily ranking with the birthdates of my children or the date I was married to my wife of nearly thirty years. It is not uncommon for me, when dealing with strangers, for them to say something like “you were in the service, weren’t you?”. And while I may criticize the Corps to others who wore its uniform; I will not tolerate criticism from those who did not.
Yesterday was Veterans Day. If you are a Veteran of the US armed forces, it is my sincere hope that someone walked up to you and said Thank You for your service.
That did not happen to me yesterday. I reached the end of a very long workday (12 hours in fact), and I came into contact with many people who know me and are well aware that I am a Marine. Yet the only mention that was made to me about the specialness of the Day, or about my service to my country, came from a cousin on Facebook. Again…this isn’t about me in the least. It is an observation made of how many people who consider themselves patriotic, yet can’t remember to thank the veterans that are all around them.
As a side note let me point out that it’s NOT a job, or an adventure – it’s service. Service to the nation with very little expectation of much in return. A serviceman writes a blank check to his country, payable for an amount that is up to and including his life. Doesn’t that deserve a “Thank You” at the very least?
May God bless our servicemen and women, and God bless the Republic.
1978 - 1985