Everyday like clockwork I wake up, check and answer emails, walk downstairs and eat a little something for breakfast. Everyday at some point during my routine I look out the window and see an American Flag swaying in the breeze. Its not far away, maybe 40 yards. Most days I see a piece of cloth, a little reminder of where I am, who I am, and where I come from; however, today I paused for a moment and a thought popped into my head. What does a veteran feel when they look at the flag? Will their mind stray to a distant land, a nameless battlefield, a certain day of triumph or perhaps a day of sorrow and loss. Do they feel the heat, remember the taste of the sand and air or maybe think about their comrades-nay, their brothers and sisters.-? I do not know. I will never know. I will never understand.
Thinking back about the few decades I have been around I noticed how little my life has been affected by the world. The truth is Marathon, WI is isolated, its not good or bad it is just a fact. Thinking back September 11,
2001 definitely sticks out in my mind; I remember every detail, but how did it impact my life? I did not go to war, and while our country has been and continues to be at war my life has not changed. When I am tired I sleep in my bed, if I am hungry I make something I enjoy (usually involves steak), if I want to go for a walk/run/swim/hike/ I go. If I miss my family, I go see them. If I decide on a more social venue I may go to the local pub or find a place to play some volleyball. See the trend? If I want to do something there is nothing holding me back except myself.
When I think back to 2001 I remember a song by Alan Jackson that came out a few months after September 11th. The lyrics went like this “Where were you when the world stopped turning on that September Day.” I was in math class, and then walked to reading class, where I first saw the images of what was happening in New York and Pennsylvania. I think it is a good song, but while we all remember where we were on September 11, 2001 do we remember where we were in the months and years that followed?. Thinking back to my life I spent the rest of the week and the months that followed in the same routine—math class, reading class, lunch, recess…etc… My routine, like millions of other American’s did not change. But for millions of service men and women and their families their lives did change, and probably have never been the same.
For their own reasons and by their own accord millions of men and women serve and have served in the United States military. How do you think their lives changed over the last few decades. Now, I reference the last few decades because I was alive to see them and can relate to the events, but one fact is clear throughout America’s history– The people serving in the U.S. Armed Forces have time and time again given up many of their freedoms so that the rest of America can ‘carry on as usual’. They leave home to “take care” of us, ensure our freedoms, and protect our land, but when they come home (and remember many do not) do we take care of them and ensure they are able to enjoy their freedoms? Think about it personally, and then think about America as a whole—do we take care of our veterans?
I’m writing this so I guess I am still here, and if you are reading it I am guess you are still alive as well—so here is what we can do–See a service man or woman–Say thank-you. If they are in line behind you maybe buy their groceries. At a bar, maybe catch them a drink. If they want to talk, listen. Become proactive about veteran welfare. I don’t know, I m just brainstorming here. This is the only thing I am sure of—-it is time we started taking care of our veterans like they have taken care of all of us.
Today, is November 11, 2015. Its Veteran’s Day, and I would like to personally THANK ALL OF OUR VETERANS on behalf of myself and AET Systems, Inc. Thank-You !