November 10, 2006
Veterans Day, 2006
On this Veteran's Day, I feel a new appreciation for those who are serving or who have served our country in the armed services. I don't know if it is that I've met and gotten to know several families with at least one parent in service, or if it is the state of affairs just really making me feel compassionately for those witnessing (and putting themselves in the midst of) the danger firsthand. At any rate, something earlier this week spurred me to contact my first cousin, who is currently deployed.
He and I have never really been close, as we lived in different states growing up and I was older by 7 years, so we never really enjoyed the same types of things when we did see each other at holidays. He was married right after boot camp to his high school sweetheart and they had a baby the next spring. His wife has been fantastic at keeping in touch (puts me to shame, really) and sending pictures of their children and letting everyone know when my cousin is coming home or shipping out. Few times over the years have I been in contact with my cousin himself, it's usually just chats or emails with his wife.
But for some reason, this week, I felt it was important to contact him directly. I wasn't really thinking that Veteran's Day was this weekend. It just occurred to me that I'd never really told him that I was proud of him for serving our country. And he really should hear that from me. So, I wrote to him. I was incredibly touched by what he wrote back and one of the things he said just bowled me over - now, I'm even more proud of him than I could have imagined. He has really grown into quite a man.
"It will long be the day that I will accept thanks for being in the armed services. I admire the fact that I am doing the job, but I really don’t feel thanks are deserved. I find it something of a responsibility not only to myself but to the people of America as a whole to be in the military, though I do appreciate the sentiment. Just know that I do it for everyone I love and care about, you and your family included, and that I will continue to do it for as long as it suits, and that even when I finally leave the service, I will never regret the days I spent in them [sic]."
God Bless our Troops on this Veteran's Day. And take a moment to thank someone you know who has served our country.
Posts written by humble servant
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