Thank you Veterans and Active Duty Military for the day off tomorrow.
Did that sound trite, irreverent and even condescending? I meant it to. And I didn't. Let me explain.
A few weeks ago a former co-worker, whom I worked with in between his stints of active duty in the US Army Reserves, posted a link to an article with a simple "Read It." The title of that article was Stop Thanking Veterans for Their Service.
It is a great article and you should read it, but in case you are too lazy to click over I will summarize. The author, Ky Hunter, feels that the "Thank you for your service" comment has become meaningless to many people. Basically, just something you are supposed to say to any active military personnel or veteran, especially around Veterans Day.
This is far better than the way military personnel were treated in the Vietnam Era. But, most people haven't stopped to think about what that service is and what it really means. We have an all volunteer military. Men and Women volunteered to put their lives at risk for little pay or recognition. Because those people have volunteered, my husband and I were not drafted. That is not something I take lightly.
To me, personally, that means:
- My husband and son both get the day off tomorrow, a rare occurrence in our lives these days as their school schedules rarely coincide.
- I do not have to do this parenting thing alone. M is home every night to back me up if I need it. He is not on a submarine or ship or military base like the husbands of some of my other Mommy friends.
- I do not have to worry for his safety because he is not living in a war zone (and honestly any military establishment can be a war zone these days).
- I do not have to give up my precious weekends with my family to go off to National Guard Duty as one of my former female classmates does once a month. If there is a disaster in my area I can focus on my family and not have to put those thoughts on hold while I go out and help others like she might be called upon to do.
- I can go shop for Christmas lights on sale tomorrow knowing that is the only kind of twinkling lights I will see in December, not explosions or rockets or anything of that nature.
Besides shopping, we will probably stop by the Murrieta Field of Honor, a display of over 2000 flags honoring our Veterans and First Responders. Special Events are held throughout the week. If you are in the Southern California area, you want to try to stop by and see this amazing sight.In all sincerity I want to thank the Veterans, Active Duty Military and their families for letting me have a simple happy life.
I get it, Jeremy.