Tuesday, November 11, 2008
This blog was inspired by Tao over at A Radical Perspective, who chose to acknowledge the significance of this day and pay homage to those who literally put their lives at risk, partially so we bloggers can have a free exchange of ideas that include critical analysis of our government and it's policies.
I have known and spoken to a few veterans, and am constantly amazed at those who choose to do what they do.
My grandfather served as Chief Damage Control in the Navy and was stationed at Pearl Harbor when it was attacked. As the story goes, he traded duty with a friend so he could get shore leave at a more ideal time, only to hear later that his friend died during the attack. Had he kept his assigned post, he may have never met my grandmother and I would not be here. He traveled the globe and had some amazing stories to tell.
My father enlisted in the Army and was stationed in Vietnam. He was fortunate enough to be stationed behind friendly lines and is alive today to tell the story.
When I was 10, I had a stepfather who was in the Navy, stationed aboard the U.S.S. Sterett, a cruiser. He took the family on Westpac, and we lived in the Philippines for 2 years, '84-'86. It was an experience I will never forget. We didn't live on the military base, but chose to live in Olongapo City, so we got the "whole experience". This was just a year or 2 before the military lease on the base at Subic Bay expired and we were effectively booted out of country. At the time I was there, the sentiment towards Americans, especially those in the military, was very bad. It is a truly beautiful country full of good people with old fashioned values. Even as a boy, I realized the people there did not enjoy the same liberties enjoyed by Americans, and I remember being extremely happy after completing the 26 hour trip back to the States. I literally wanted to kiss the ground when I stepped off that plane!
I think any citizen who voices a disdain for the U.S. should spend a mandatory 6 months in a 3rd world country; it will give you a new appreciation for the freedom we enjoy and a renewed respect for those who spend and lose their lives on foreign shores protecting those freedoms.
May God bless the United States of America, and our brave men and women in the U.S. armed forces, past, present, and future.