Happy Veterans Day

Happy Veterans Day

That kind of sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? But to all who have served, past and present, thank you so much for your sacrifice and service. And to the families of those who have served, may God bless and keep you, always.

I was born while my father was stationed at Ft. Benning, GA. My dad was career military, and served multiple wartime tours. My father spent over thirty-four years in. Members of my family have done various stints in the Army, Marines, and Navy, during both peace and wartime.

I was originally supposed to get married Nov 18, 1990. We had everything paid and prepped when the ex was activated for duty Aug 1990 (Desert Storm), but while his unit deployed, he was sent home. Ironically that near miss with war scared him so badly that even though he owed the country two weeks of service after that to pay them back for the college money the Army had given him, he never wore that uniform again. In fact, I never even saw it again afterward. Don’t ask me how he got away with that. I’ve never figured it out, other than his dad, unlike mine, was a Lt. Colonel. Back then, I was working as a Civ Contractor at Ft. MacPherson. My father was Infantry and the ex FIL an Army pilot. My ex and I ended up eloping in a goat pasture because we didn’t know if he’d be home in time for the planned wedding. I should have known he’d find a way to weasel out of his service and the fact that he did should have told me a lot about his character, but I was young and stupid. Hindsight as they say is 20-20.

That being said, I’m proud that there are no cowards in my family who run from war or service. There has never been a war for this country that those who were eligible in my family didn’t fight and bleed in (or in some cases, die), including the current one. I’m even a proud member of the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution), and that membership through both my Native American and European roots.

I remember growing up, my mother had all these photos of me as a baby with notes written on the back. Sherri’s first steps. Sherri’s first real food, etc. It wasn’t until I was older that she told me it was because my father was at war and didn’t get a chance to see me until I was a toddler. Those were the photos she sent to him, hoping he’d get them. Some were sent while he was MIA and a POW and it was how she coped. She pretended he was all right and continued to write every week, even though she had no idea where he was or if he was still alive.

She said it was so embarrassing for her because I would latch on to anyone wearing a uniform and ask them if they were my daddy. Since we lived at Ft. Benning, I grabbed on to a lot men, LOL. But all I knew was that my father was a soldier and since I had yet to meet him…

Once my father returned, he used to take me to work with him. Believe it or not, I thought he owned the Army. Since he was a Drill SGT, everyone seemed to do what he told them. And I’d sit in his office cutting out soldier pictures in magazines, making a collage for his wall while his CPL would watch over me. As a kid, I could hear artillery fire at school and at our house all day long. And it was nothing to see helicopters flying low over the school and house. At night, I thought they were UFOs. What can I say? I was a strange kid :)

It’s a hard job they do, and it’s so hard to be a member of the family knowing they’re forever in harm’s way- and not just during war. I’ve lost many family and friends over the years during maneuvers at home. Those who have loved ones as firemen, EMT and police, know what I’m talking about, too. These are the men and women who put their lives second to everyone else’s. They are willing to give their lives to keep us safe and to save us when we’re hurt. My hat is off to every one of you and to all of you who, like I once did, provide support to them, and especially to those who love them. Thank you all. Each and every one of you is a true gem and I hope that not just this day, but all days are filled with happiness and love.

BIG hugs!