I wrote up this quick post based on an actual experience I had this past week. I know it's short, but. . .it said what I wanted to say. :)
I walked into the museum and walked straight to the gift shop, already knowing exactly what I wanted to buy. It wasn’t my first time there and I had been planning the trip for a while.
The man behind the counter smiled at me and asked if he can help with anything. I point to the item I need and since I’m getting it personalized, he hands me the form I need to fill out.
As I’m filling in the information we get to talking, and because of an earlier reference, he asks if "my David" is in the air force.
I smile and shake my head and he nods and says he was just curious. Then, in an almost faraway tone of voice, he mentions that he still has his dog tags from when he served.
That captured my attention and I glanced up from my writing. “Were you in the service?”
He nods. “Yes, I served in Vietnam.”
Paper and pen completely forgotten, I ask what division of the armed forces he served in.
“I was in the air force, served there for four years.” His tone is very matter of fact.
“Were you in Vietnam?” I ask.
He shakes head and smiles almost sadly. “No, but I was in Korea while we were fighting in Vietnam.”
“My grandpa was in that war,” I smile and shrug. “He won’t talk about it at all.”
The man nods and I can tell he understand why. “It definitely wasn’t one of the best wars we were involved in.”
“Yeah, I’ve read a little about it for research. A lot of what I’ve read says the same thing; nearly every man who came out of Vietnam alive knew at least one person who hadn’t.”
He nods, “yeah, that'd be about right.”
I go back to filling out the information and then hand him the forms. He takes them and assures me they’ll call me just as soon as the items I ordered were ready.
I leave the museum and think about the conversation. Just how many veterans have had to come back from a war and had to fit back into life at home?
After seeing the horror of war, how many men have come back to the states feeling as though they are a completely different person then they were when they left? They fought for us. They sacrificed for us, but do we show them that we are grateful? Do we appreciate their sacrifice? We should, because they have been willing to sacrifice their lives for us.
Veterans day is a day set aside for us to honor those who have served in any branch of the service, at any time, in any way. Today, let’s make an effort to thank those who have served our country and protected our freedoms. Because honestly, if it wasn’t for the soldier, our constitution, our way of life, and the freedoms we enjoy would be nothing. It’s the soldier who protects them all. It is the soldier who puts his line on the life for us.
To all those who have served in any branch of the armed forces in any way, thank you for your sacrifice and service!