I've been thinking about those serving in the military all day. Partly because we were out in the wilds when the Ft. Hood tragedy occurred, and partly because of my boys who serve. I read the account of what happened and the tributes, and feel heartfelt sorrow for all those involved, as well as pride in how these Soldiers responded. When I became a military mom I discovered that I feel a sense of kinship with those who serve, as well as their families. When one is lost, I feel their pain and pride. Obama is right: we have heroes among us.
When I was growing up Veterans' Day was a day out of school, and the big football game between two rival high schools (my brothers played football, and it was a big deal).
Now I stop to think of those who have served in order for the rest of us to have the freedom to pursue our hopes and dreams. I just finished "Three Cups of Tea," an amazing book that made me stop and realize how truly blessed we are to live in the United States, even with all of its faults. It also gave me a small insight into that troubled area of the world where my son will undoubtedly end up at some point.
I think of ancestors who fought in the Revolutionary War;
the Civil War (I found the story of my great-great-grandfather's regiment, and it brought to life someone who was just a name on my pedigree chart);
WW1 (both grandfathers, one of whom saw action in France);
WWII (my dad, who served as a tail gunner in China), and my father-in-law (a Navy mechanic);
my former father-in-law (one of my favorite people, and a Vietnam Vet);
my brother, an 82nd airborne paratrooper and chaplain;
Jon, the Marine (he reminded me today that there is no such thing as an "ex-Marine");
Brian (who served 2 deployments to Iraq, and is now an officer at Ft. Lewis);
son-in-law Wes (who served a year in Iraq, and is now active Reserves);
Sailor Jeff currently in the Gulf onboard the Nimitz (and struggling a bit with missing his wife);
and family friend Bodie (Air National Guard).
I owe them all a debt of gratitude. As long as we have men like these, as well as so many other dedicated men and women who sacrifice and serve, our nation will remain strong and free.