My Dad is a veteran. He served our country as an officer in the USAF, specifically what was known as the Strategic Air Command (SAC). He, like so many others, felt it was important to serve and add to the strength of an already strong nation, in order to maintain peace; to ensure that future generations would benefit from a prosperous and peaceful way of life.
His memories of being a “nation at war” started in his early years growing up during WWII. All the rationing. And eventually walking down his street waving a little American flag on V-J day. His teenage years included news of the Korean war, and being a nation on high-alert, waiting for someone to drop the first bomb during the tense times of the “cold war” with the USSR. Then, after ROTC and eventually in the Air Force, he’s on duty during the Cuban Missile Crisis… and he’s one of the well-trained, level-headed guys deep underground in a Titan Missile Silo, waiting and praying; Waiting for that phone to ring, but silently praying that it doesn’t. Thankfully, his prayers were answered. And just as thankfully, there were so many men and women serving and defending our country; facing-down the Soviets, but preferring a peaceful solution.
My memories of being a “nation at war” are more recent, of course. I was born, strangely enough, just about 9 months after the Cuban Missile Crisis. (Go figger!) I am old enough to remember Viet Nam… how scared we all were when my Uncle was sent there instead of Thailand, and so thankful when he came home safely. I remember the many different other conflicts… the continued stand-off with the USSR… the eventual turn to democracy and the breakup of the Soviet Union… the new threat of terrorists and Islamic extremists who organize for no other reason than to kill the western “infidels”.
And now we are again a nation at war, and we’re safe at home while our brave men and women aer serving a greater good by fighting against oppressive regimes and radical terrorists.
Today we are celebrating “Memorial Day” here in the United States of America. I’m very proud of my Dad and I’m thankful for the many many men and women like him who have served, and the many who have died on behalf of our country. So this is just my little way, today, to remember them, and to say a heart-felt and sincere THANK YOU.
We appreciate what you’ve done, and what you do.
We will NOT take the freedom and peace we live in for granted.
And we humbly salute you.