Good morning. Mr. Journal, it is Veteran’s Day today. I noticed it just a few minutes ago when I looked at the calendar after I got out of the shower. I think from now on I’m going to be hyper aware of holidays because of their previous significance.
You know, I’m also making a pretty big assumption that you’re an American Mr. Journal. I mean, it’s completely possible that you’re from somewhere else. Shit, you might even be an alien. Martian or Venusian. Or from one of the moons of Jupiter. How cool would that be? You could also be an illegal alien, which doesn’t really bother me anymore. There aren’t a lot of job opportunities out there to be stolen, so no skin off my back.
I digress. I wanted to put a short entry in this morning to reflect on the idea that these holidays are “still happening.” I mean, if we have a holiday, and there’s no one celebrating it, does the holiday mean anything? Wrap your head around the meaning behind that.
Thinking about the fact that it’s Veteran’s Day here in America got me thinking even more about the situation the world is in. Here in America, and in most of the “western” world, and by “western” I guess I mean any country with healthcare, infrastructure, safety etc. We are much better suited to dealing with the aftermath of this, then say a place like Somalia, or Nigeria, or the Congo, or Iraq. Imagine how fucked they are now? I mean shit was bad when I was in Iraq, and there were no goddamn zombies then. It’s probably better now though, now that I think about it. Less IED’s and VBIED’s. Zombies are an entirely different breed of insurgent.
Holy train of thought Batman! Thinking about Iraq got me back on the thought of it being Veteran’s Day. Can you imagine how fucked up it would be to be a current member of the military when all this went down? I mean a deployed member of the military? Fuck, we have tens of thousands of troops in Afghanistan and Iraq fighting. That’s not even taking into account all the servicemen and women who are stationed in all our overseas bases.
Germany, Japan, Italy, Turkey, Guam, Uzbekistan, Cuba, England, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the list goes on and on. I don’t know if that’s evidence of imperialism or whatever, but my point here today is that all the people who volunteered to serve their nation are now stuck wherever it is they were last deployed to.
They’re cut off from their families, at risk of death, lonely all the time, frequently stressed out, armed 24/7, and in constant danger. You know Mr. Journal, that’s exactly how it was before this all started. That’s the life of a person who volunteers to serve.
I enlisted when I was a kid because my dad served, and my grandfather served. It made me feel like I could finally measure up to my dad if I could do what he did. I’m glad I served. It was hellish at times, thought I was going to die a few times, but in the end it’s something I can be proud of. I can vote and know that I am invested in my country, and no one can take away the fact that I sacrificed my personal time, my professional time, and put my life on the line to give my fellow citizens a chance at a better life.
Serving in the military is an underappreciated sacrifice Mr. Journal. People don’t understand how much it tears families apart, and how much loneliness and separation it puts on the table. You lose years of your life to the military and to politics, not to mention the sad rate of pay many of them deal with.
I’m ranting now. I guess I am single handedly attempting to celebrate Veteran’s Day all by myself. So let me try and end this on a more positive note:
Celebrate those people who give their time, energy, and possibly their lives to sustain your freedoms and safety. Regardless of the political motivations of whatever administration is in charge of your country at any given time, we need to make sure the people who are ready to protect us at all times are rewarded with our gratitude. Sometimes the only way to ensure peace is to be ready to inflict harm on those who would take it from you.
One of the best quotes I’ve ever read goes something like this;
“We sleep safely at night because rough men stand ready to visit violence on those who would harm us."
Fellow Veterans, American and otherwise, friend and foe, living and dead, I salute you.
Busy day today, lots to do.