hug a veteran…

Happy Veteran’s Day ! Or rather, perhaps more applicable would be “Hope you make it thru this day designed to make you remember your dead friends”…

There are around 19.62 million veterans in the USA this morning. We get up, brush our teeth… throw on some clothes and head for the coffee pot, just like everyone else. Some of have seen combat, some of us have served overseas, some have been involved in search and rescue, drug interdiction, or border skirmishes. Some of us loved the military, some were just there doing our time. Some of us like the props we get on this day, the “THANKS” and all that jazz, and for some of us, it makes us feel uncomfortable because we made it home, while so many of our brothers and sisters did not. Some of us came home with drinking problems, drug addictions, missing limbs, or demons too heavy to carry on our bruised shoulders. Some came home fine and cannot understand what all the fuss is about. Some of us will spend today laughing over cold beer and a hot grill with friends, trading deployment and liberty stories, trying to out-do one another with the debauchery or horror. Some of us will sit alone, and reminisce…

We can be a prickly lot, us veterans. We can overreact, misconstrue, feel too deeply or not deeply enough. We sometimes laugh at inappropriate times, and sometimes cry at night, for no particular reason. We are just like everyone else, and yet we are not. We are bound to one another, for better or worse, and we will always have a part of ourselves that our loved ones can never touch, or understand, but that we seemingly share freely with that stranger wearing a unit ball cap in line at the grocery store. We infuriate our families, our civilian friends, and the colleges who try to push us into specific programs while we dare to pursue our own goals. We irritate our neighbors with our temporary tax-exempt status and our partners with our traveling feet, always planning ahead to when we can move back to that state where we ACTUALLY want to be.

But we have our strengths as well. We will be your friend for life, if you let us. We will throw the first punch to defend you, without hesitation. You can sleep on our couch for an undisclosed period of time, we won’t judge you if you cheat on your spouse, or get fired for calling your boss a *&$@^$&*@#$. Hell, we would probably buy you a beer for that one. =) We are hardworking, often to the point of exhaustion, we are loyal, we love to laugh and play, we love to see you and we are for real. Befriend us, don’t fuck us over and you will be in our hearts for life. We are just built that way. We know how temporary this game of life can be, and are always trying to get just a little bit more out of it, just in case. You never know what kind of shit is coming down the road at you, and we have learned that you have to take happiness where you find it, to stockpile it for the inevitable rainy day.

If you catch the eye of a veteran today, you don’t have to gush platitudes. You can simply look at us, see us for the flawed human beings we are, and nod. A small smile will play upon our face, and if you grin right then, there is a chance you’ve hooked us…. if you are in a relationship with a veteran, then just go hug them today. No words needed, just a reminder that we are noticed, that what we did had some meaning, and was not all just a supreme waste of time to those who we came back to, in various states of disrepair. That freedom you all are always talking about, that you feel we defended for you ? Go do something with it, something real, something meaningful to you. Go work, go play, go create, go LIVE, because so many of don’t have those luxuries any longer…

As I sit here and type this morning, my own demons are pushed to the back of my mind as The Soldier occupies almost all the space I have in there. He is back on standby, as of 0500 this morning… sigh. Yes, they just got back from an almost 2 month mission, and are cycling up in the rotation already. The ramifications of being involved in so much on a global scale. I am hoping they get orders soon, and get in and then out as quickly as possible. I am hoping against hope that the end of January will bring him home, safe and in one piece.

I cannot hug him today, or even look into his eyes and give him that head nod. I am counting on someone else to do that for me, some kind stranger, who can make him smile… who knows, it could even be one of you… =)


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. NotAPunkRocker
    Nov 11, 2014 @ 13:01:35



  2. tishmoon
    Nov 11, 2014 @ 13:10:48

    Aww… thanks so much, Punky-Gal… =)


  3. Rose
    Nov 11, 2014 @ 15:55:16

    ((hugs!)). This was a very moving post… think you nailed it and spoke for a lot of veterans out there.


  4. tishmoon
    Nov 11, 2014 @ 16:20:06

    Thanks so much, Rosie !! =) I can only speak for myself and a few men I have loved, and a few more I have lost… but there you have it.


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