He stands alone, his green jacket blowing in the wind. The crowd mills around him and he wonders if he will ever fit in again. He hasn’t slept since his return and his body aches with buried pain. Remembering his wife’s desperate expression the night before, he throws his shoulders back and moves toward the clinic entrance.
How many soldiers live through this same scenario upon their return from service? What about the ones that don’t make it this far?
World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Kuwait, Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan are just some areas of conflict that our men and women in uniform have served and sacrificed to preserve our liberty. Many others exist. When the call of duty is sounded, the response is immediate. They leave to serve, and return, so many times, broken.
Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines: the force of the nation arises when needed. National Guard, Reserves, Coast Guard, and PHS Commissioned Corps stand ready to assist. This is the militia who volunteers and flexes America’s muscle around the world. These are our veterans, our heroes.
It’s November 11. Veteran’s Day.
Today is a day to remember. We recall the soldiers who fell in battle. The ones with no casket to drape a flag. The prisoners who suffered and died serving their country, never seeing their homeland. It is a day to remember the fallen veteran.
It’s a day to honor. Today, we praise the soldiers for their service, past and present. Even the ones with a few issues, here and there. Like the prisoner who suffered atrocity and still fights those same battles every single day. Or the soldier who hasn’t slept since he came back to country. It’s a day to honor the heroic veteran.
How do we do it? How do we remember our fallen heroes? How do we honor our men and women in uniform, past or present?
Have you ever heard of the VFW? It stands for Veterans of Foreign Wars. It’s a way to remember veterans and honor those lives through a very special organization. Find a charity of your choice! There are many memorials to the veterans around the nation. Find one and contribute.
How do you honor the veterans that you may see today? Or tomorrow? Have you thought of buying him or her a meal? Anonymously, just leave a thank you note. Volunteer at a soup kitchen or a homeless shelter. Who knows, you may actually be serving one or two. Think outside the box. I know you’ll think of something.
Veteran’s Day is a special day. It is a day that should be written on our calendars and in our hearts to remember all year. After all, our freedom comes at a price and that price is paid by the veteran, our nation’s hero.
Psalm 56:13 “For You have delivered my soul from death. Have You not kept my feet from falling, That I may walk before God In the light of the living?”
Disclaimer: Characters and incidents depicted in this blog are products of the writer's imagination, or are used in a fictitious situation. Any resemblances to actual events, locations, organizations, incidents or persons, alive or dead, are coincidental.