Friday, November 11, 2011

Veterans Day: 11/11/11

This nation will remain the land of the free,
only so long as it is the home of the brave.
(Elmer Davis)

One day this past summer, my husband was in a restaurant in Magee, Mississippi, and saw a couple of servicemen having lunch. He walked over to their table and expressed his thanks to them for what they do, and told them he wanted to buy their lunch. They were very appreciative, and one of the soldiers ripped off an Airborne patch which was "velcro-ed" to his sleeve, and gave it to my husband.

He said it had been all over the world, including his tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq. He and his friend were headed to Camp Shelby in South Mississippi. The patch is prominently displayed on the bulletin board in our office, and I often wonder where those soldiers are today.

On Veterans Day, we pay tribute to the service and sacrifices of the men and women who, in defense of our freedom, have bravely worn the uniform of the United States. Our country is forever indebted to our veterans for their quiet courage and exemplary service.

I recently drove my mother and dad to the Veterans Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi, for Daddy's yearly checkup. While they were checking out, I went out and brought my car around to the entrance to pick them up, and as I sat there in the car waiting for them, I watched the steady stream of veterans and their caretakers coming and going.

Some were in wheelchairs, some had noticeable limps or other visible disabilities, but all of them had one thing in common — they were there because at some point in their lives they had served their country and were still living with the injuries or disabilities they incurred as a result of that service. My dad was in the Navy during World War II, and his greatest sacrifice was his hearing, which was permanently damaged by the noise from the planes he worked on while stationed at Corpus Christi.

I wished I could personally thank each and every one of those veterans I saw at the medical center that day for the sacrifices they made and for the hardships they have endured — for their sense of duty and love for their country. May God bless and keep them and let them know how much their service is appreciated.

I would also like to remember with sincere gratitude our servicemen and women (like the ones my husband met in the restaurant) who continue to risk their lives every day to keep America out of harm's way. May God protect them as they protect us, and bless their families here at home.


C. M. Designs said...

Hi Janie, These are wonderful words that you've written today. God bless your Dad and all of the other men who have served their country so well. We do live in the greatest country on earth..
Blessings, Charlotte

racheld said...

A wonderful, heart-felt tribute, and a lovely salute to all who have served and are serving.

We talked to a tableful of soldiers next to us last Sunday, and told them of our gratitude and respect (after Sweetpea had glanced all around the room at the several tables of young folks, all in their pale gray/white camo, and said in wonderment, "They're all in their JAMMIES!")

Thank you.