Today is Veteran's Day here in the US. It's Armistice Day in many other countries. World War I ended 90 years ago today. My grandfather was on a troop ship headed for Europe on that day.
My father was drafted not long after the end of the Korean War. He had no desire to be a warrior, but he served his two year tour of duty in Germany.
I am forever proud of and grateful for their service.
I can't match what they did. To my lasting shame, I failed Air Force Office Training School.
I would not want to see my children sacrificed to the machine, the grind of War. But, if any one of them told me she or he was answering Uncle Sam's call, I would look her or him in the eye and tell them how very proud I was. And I'd mean it. You give up a great deal to join the Armed Forces, and I'd never dishonor that decision.
I have twice in my life knowingly stood on sacred ground. Abraham Lincoln said this about the Gettysburg battlefield: The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. And the other place?
Blood, memory, and sacrifice. The willingness to give everything. Some do it for blood lust. Some do it for discipline. Some do it for love.
To our troops past and presence: Thank you. May we serve you as well as you have served us.