Growing up Veteran’s Day was a day off from school. I knew it was a special day for some people, but not having veteran’s in my household we didn’t celebrate that I remember. Fast forward 20 plus years.
When I was in college I dated a Marine. He was deployed to the first Gulf War and was gone for nine months. It was hard on his family and hard on me. This was before the instant gratification of email and Skype. I would get a letter dated February 8, that said “Don’t know what’s going to happen, but the ground war is starting tomorrow.” I didn’t get another letter until the following month.
During that time, we attended Marine Corps balls (November 10). Happy Birthday, Marines! And I realized how amazing it was to be a part of the military, regardless that I had a small part. We went to weddings of fellow Marines, where they tap the bride on the butt and say, “Welcome to the Marine Corps, ma’am.”
War isn’t fun. It’s not pretty and for the families who endure at home while their solider is away, they deserve all of the respect and support we can give them.
I married that Marine 19 years ago. After his contract was up, we debated about re-upping, but in the end, he gave it up for me and our daughter. It was a tough decision for him.
As a veteran, he has a different mindset than the rest of us. He wants to be where the action is, protecting his buddies. When he is around other vets, it’s like a club. They all belong and those who don’t…well, they don’t completely understand.
We have a lot of veteran’s in our community, and on Monday, November 11 at 11 a.m, they will gather at the Windham Veteran’s Center to honor one another and celebrate what it means to be a patriot. If you have never been to a Veteran’s Day ceremony, I highly recommend that you attend. There is nothing better than shaking the hand of a vet and seeing the gratitude in his eyes.