God Bless All Those Who Have Served

My flag is flying proudly this holiday weekend as we honor those who have served and those who have died in service to our country. As an Air Force veteran who served during the Viet Nam era, I have the greatest respect for every person who ever wore the uniform.

My patriotism is almost curious to me now because at the time I entered into the military, I was more interested in flying airplanes, playing guitar in a rock band, playing baseball, and chasing girls. All this with longish hair and sideburns accompanied with the requisite love beads of the day. (Fact is, I actually wore those beads under my uniform for my four years of active duty)

My true patriotism actually snuck up on me. While I was proud of my father’s Navy service in WWII, I didn’t actually understand what it meant to be patriotic and proud of my service. Through basic training, most of us spent time complaining about everything from missing our home lives to our girlfriends. Then it happened. It was time for graduation day and we put on our dress blue uniforms. We marched to the parade grounds where there were crowds of people and other flights of airmen waiting to march into place. All of a sudden, the military band struck up Stars and Stripes Forever, and off we marched. As I marched, my chest pushed out, my head raised up, and I felt a kinship to all those who had served before. 

I still feel that kinship, and although my service cannot compare to the sacrifice so many true heroes made, I still feel a strong connection. I hope every citizen takes a moment in the next few days to honor our service men and women. They deserve our appreciation.

I want to thank all of those who read my blog. I enjoy writing it and hopefully you find something useful or amusing from time-to-time. This is actually my 100th blog. I had planned to write something very upbeat and celebratory, but in the last few days: my wife and I lost a very dear friend to cancer, our lovely neighbor fell and broke her foot, another dear friend damaged her eyes in an accident requiring several procedures, and my always healthy wife twisted her back causing a pinched nerve.

But you know what? It’s called life and we need to live it as fully as possible. In our last visit with our friend who just passed away, she would not let our conversation be sympathetic. Knowing what we were thinking and perceiving the sadness in our faces, she looked at me and said, “I don’t think I’ll be driving for a couple of months.” We both smiled. Such wonderful courage and consideration for her friends and family.

Our other friends, both a bit damaged for the moment, have accepted their fates and look forward to better days. Of course my wife Trisha, even with the pain of a pinched nerve, refuses to slow down. Believe me, I’ve tried to reign her in a bit, but she’s not having it.

Into each life a little rain must fall, and sometimes it’s a monsoon. It gives us more reason to celebrate those sunny, more carefree days.

If you do enjoy my blog, please pass the link to others in your contact list. I will be making some changes in the near future and I think you will like them. Thank you.

 www.TheBestofOurLives.com

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