I've been trying to think of what to say about Veteran's Day. I'm about as anti-war as you can get. It's not that I think that use of force isn't called for sometimes. I come from a family that has two navy veterans and one army veteran. They stormed the beaches of Normandy and liberated concentration camps. One of my father's best friends when I was growing up was in the Air Force. Being from the deep south, it's hard to avoid knowing someone in the Armed Forces. And growing up in what is still the South's fairly martial culture, I know that sometimes you have to be willing to give "the last full measure of devotion." Moreover, I was taught as a martial artist when to enter a fight. If you're put in a situation where force might be called for, assume you would die.....if the rules of common decency and honor still call for you to enter the fight, then you can face the situation with honor, dignity, and bravery because you can't change the fact that you will enter the situation.
And knowing all of those people (dead and alive), it's hard not to want to see them home from a war we have no business being involved with. It's easy to ignore the casualties......the government makes those announcements fairly quietly. But it's our duty to embrace the legacy of those we've sent to "defend our freedom." For the most part, they joined because they wanted opportunity, a better life, to defend the country they loved. And we have failed them.
Here's my charge to you: carry the face and memory of one person who lost their life because of incompetence, ignorance, greed, and corruption. Never lose that face....never lose that name, because we are the guardians of their memories now.
This is the P.J. I remember. Goofy, nice......not someone I was ever extremely close to, but he was in the artsy community of our small school. He was good friends with people I consider family. Go read about him.
Peace, Love, and Tunes,