Monday, November 12, 2012

Thinking of Veterans

Yesterday I was shopping in our only local haunt (Walmart - oh yuck!) and in the store was this handsome young man dressed in his uniform.  He was with the Air Force.  I should have stopped him and shook his hand.  I didn't - and I feel embarrassed about that.  Maybe I was surprised to see him there since we do not live near any military base.  And why that would shock me I do not know since we have plenty of the children from this community who are serving their country.  But where I grew up military were common place - they were my friends fathers.  We lived near to what was then Selfridge Air Force base.  Eisenhower was president and their fathers were involved in a "military action" called Vietnam.

It got me to thinking about the military.  As I grew up and presidents changed; Vietnam expanded, and it was my friends who were either enlisting or were called to duty by the draft.  As the first man I knew was KIA we mourned and prayed for our friends, brothers, or fathers to return.  And return they did - after ONE tour of duty.   Many had PTSD (very unpopular and difficult to prove at the time).  Many (including my husband to be) were exposed to Agent Orange.  It was being sprayed around the bases to keep the foliage down.  Trust me, I am not waxing nostalgic about this war - or any war.  People are killed - ours/theirs - innocent and otherwise.

My concern is that today these service men and women are being deployed to these wars for several tours of duty.  After having seeing what one tour can do - what in heavens name to do we think two, three, and sometimes more are going to do.  So many have survived one tour to be KIA in the second. PTSD?  Who would not have a stress disorder after such continual deployment.

I am worried about this trend of deployment and crazy overseas warfare.  I want our servicemen home - let them take care of our home front.  Hell, deploy them to New Jersey for clean-up.  Cook in Soup Kitchens.  Rebuild and defend America here at home.  Maybe it's an isolationist type of thinking but I do not care.  I'm sorry other countries are having it rough - we are too. 

Our service men and women deserve better than they've gotten...and I guess, for me, it better start at not being startled to see a young man in uniform.  And NOT being to embarrassed to say "Thank You." 

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