In many towns, flags may line some roadways, and retailers will have a so-named sale, but let’s dive heart-deep for a moment. Veterans--men and women--answered a call, accepted a detour from domestic life pursuits, swallowed fear and advanced toward danger or difficulty. Military service hones and sometimes hurts, in pursuit of peace and security. Saying “thank you for your service,” is not political or philosophical; it is simply recognition.
When I worked in funeral service, I handled hundreds of Honorable Discharge papers. It was a privilege to arrange memorial benefits--a flag, an honor guard, a National Cemetery burial. Often yellowed with creases splitting, I marveled that this one important piece of paper followed a veteran through so many years. We cannot know the personal memories associated with text typed on a form. Whether tough or triumphant, the men and women who bear them, are honored and thanked by our observance of Veterans Day.
This post was first published in the Valley Assistance Services newsletter.
Understand more about veterans and veterans' issues:
Veterans at the end of life: Veterans at the End of Life: An Essential Salute
Struggles veterans may face: Please Don't Ask Me How My Son Died
POW/MIA soldiers and their families: Missing In Action! A Soldier's Sister Keeps Vigil, and From MIA to RIP: A One Year Anniversary Reflection
Thank you for serving, Thank you for caring!