Today is Veterans Day. Not much news about ceremonies or parades. It reminds me of spring of 1999 when I was in the district for a semester. I was working as an investigator for the Department of Public Defender for the state of Maryland and living in Falls Church. I was able to spend a free day in Arlington. I was awe struck finding the markers of some of my favorite heroes - Omar Bradley, Audey Murphy, George Patton. I was also very touched by the Kennedy memorial thinking of his little boy saluting his casket and when you see the flame always burinng at his memorial you understand this country and what it stands for is much bigger than even our Presidents or any single group of religions or races or ideologies. The Tomb of the Unknowns is guarded all day everyday regardless of weather, such is the honor that our fighting men and women have earned. I have never felt so saddened, so alive, and so full of pride then that day when I personally got to visit Arlington and just be wih myself and my beliefs for a day of introspection about my personal beliefs and about my country and what sacrifices I would make for it if asked.
To my grandfather, whom I never met; To my father, whom I haven't spoke to in years because of personal reasons; and to my older brother Robert.
You all served our country. My grandfather in the Army during the great war. My father a graduate of Paris Island and Vietnam grunt. And my lifer Navy brother whom has been around the world and in too many war zones and conflicts. The extent of what you gave was often deep I know the horrors of war has haunted my father since 65. Eighteen year olds should never have to kill or see their friends killed.
I am very proud of your service. And while I am thankful I never went to the Air Force academy like I wanted to, I am glad I avoided the endless ribbing I would have taken for it. I am deeply saddened that I will never know the honor of having served in the military like most of my family. Such is the esteem at which I hold your service and the service of all in our armed forces. One of the few regrets that I will take with me to my end is not having served my country in the military.