So often when people here the words freedom or liberty or any word that's remotely patriotic, their brains go immediately to politics. And people get ugly over politics. I mean, ugly! Well, you can relax and keep reading...this isn't going to turn into a political debate.
I've been thinking about this post since the beginning of November. I knew when I started my series on A Month of Thanks, that once November 11th rolled around, I wanted to write something special in honor of Veteran's Day. Now that the day is here, I've got a serious case of blogger's block - it's like writer's block, but different. And yes, I made that up. Cheesy. Because of the brain blockage I'm experiencing, I've decided to start typing and hope that my fingers say what they're supposed too.
Military careers run deep in my family. I have a hand full of uncles who have served, along with cousins, my father-in-law, grandfather, my husband and my dad. Combined, they represent the United States Army, USAF, Marine Corps and the Navy. I'm partial to the USAF since that is the branch my husband served in, but at heart I'll always be a bigger fan of the U.S. Army. But, shhhh! Don't tell my husband. HOOAH!
|Daddy back in 1968, Vietnam.|
My dad was in the Army - that's the branch I grew up hearing about which would explain my love for it. My sister, brother, and I have heard countless stories throughout the years - of battle and war, of sacrifice, of the price of freedom. We weren't the usual military brats that most people assume. My dad was out of the service before he even met my mom, so we never got the chance to fit the military brat stereotype. Such a shame.
My dad served in Vietnam in the late 1960s. In his faith testimony he always pokes fun at the Army's slogan Be All That You Can Be...he jokes, "Or in my case, it's be half of what you used to be." When he enlisted, he was 6'7". When he was discharged, he was 4'4". Dad lost both of his legs from a claymore mine explosion. He tells us he was walking along, and then there was a flash of light, a ringing, and heat. The heat from the blast was actually a blessing in disguise - it cauterized the arteries in his legs, which in turn saved him from bleeding too death. He spent several months recovering in Walter Reed Hospital before going home.
I've given you just a glimpse of my dad's story. He, like so many other brave men and women, have served and fought - proudly - for our country. As civilians, many of us can't begin to grasp the level of sacrifice that our soldiers put forth every day. My dad's sacrifice was his time, his blood, and his ability to walk. For others it's the sweat of their brow, time away from their families, and putting themselves in harm's way. And then their are some who give the ultimate sacrifice - their lives.
I could write for days on my love for our country, for our men and women in uniform, and for the freedoms we practice in the United States. But I'll leave you with one of my favorite quotes,