In honor and memory

November 11 was Veterans Day.

I forgot to post anything about this, because… well… I just plain forgot.

But this year marks a special remembrance for me and my family.

My father served in the US Army Reserve during the Berlin Crisis of the 1960s. He was drafted in 1961 and served until 1962. He was a member of the 32nd Infantry Division stationed at Ft. Lewis in Tacoma, Washington for the entire time of his enlistment. He trained in combat and was promoted up to Sergeant before he was sent home after the crisis was averted. He was never called back to duty.

While his time in the Army was brief, my dad valued his time in the army greatly, and looked back on those years with a great deal of pride and fondness. His company contained men from his hometown– all Kenosha boys– some that he grew up with, and some he never had met before. To him, it was like being at home away from home. In my dad’s scrapbook from his time there, you could see pictures of him making ravioli with the other Italian guys, playing softball with the guys, or just bumming around the barracks, reading magazines and writing letters.

Had my dad been called to serve overseas, I am sure that he would have done so without hesitation. But he didn’t, and fortunately, he was returned back home, where he met my mom… and the rest is history.

Other veterans were not so lucky, and heeded the call to see combat firsthand. Some paid the price with their lives, and some paid the price with their painful memories. But all did so because to them, serving their country was the duty at hand, and they did what they had to do for their country.

Today, we live in a time where a war is being fought with no known enemy, and no known resolution. We hear of lives being lost, and do not know or understand the cost of those lives. We are bitter and angry, and want to bring our troops home, and end the senseless violence as soon as we can.

However, we must not EVER give up our hope, and our pride in the troops stationed in these battles. Whether or not we believe in the reasons for their being there, they are there, and they are doing everything in their power to bring peace to whatever battle they are fighting.

For their sacrifice is no different from that of our fathers, grandfathers, great-grandfathers, and so on. When they hear the call, they go– no questions asked. Had this been a different situation, would we expect them to react any differently? I hope not.

I am proud of what my dad did for this country’s honor. I am glad he was returned to us safely and never had to serve again.

But I am equally proud of each and every man and woman currently serving our country. No matter what I think about the war– and I do think it needs to be reconsidered– their honor and duty is worth our admiration and thanks.

Finally, I wish to leave you with a page from today’s comics, which inspired me to write this post. For Better or For Worse is easily one of my favorite comics of all time, because of Lynn Johnston’s ability to tell a wonderful story. Many times she has touched me, and sometimes even moved me to tears. Today’s comic sums up my above article in eight simple panels. Click the thumbnail below to view at full size. I think you’ll see what I mean.
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