Monday, November 11, 2013

The Reluctant Veteran

I have to admit something horrible.
I hate Veteran's Day.  But not for the reasons you may think.
I am a reluctant Veteran.  I cringe when people thank me for my service, because frankly, I don't think I deserve their gratitude.
Really.
I didn't do anything spectacular in the Navy.  I was never in a conflict, my life wasn't in any danger, the only things I sacrificed was my innocence, a few thousand brain cells, and maybe caused some liver damage.  I did nothing more than a flirty co-ed on spring break.  I spent half of my Naval career in southern Spain for crying out loud.  On the beach.  Or in a bar.
I don't regret serving in the military.  I learned discipline, honor, and loyalty.  I made great friends, had extraordinary experiences, and got to see a lot of places not many people would have the opportunity to do.
But I really don't deserve to be honored.  I have friends who deserve it more.  I have family who have served and are still serving.  People who have actually deployed to war zones, come back and sign up to go again.  I sat in a tiny room by myself, then when my four years were up, I skiddaddled out of there, never even tempted to reenlist.
I don't take advantage of my veteran's benefits.  There are those who need it more than I do.  I am healthy, I can pay for my own medical needs.  I did not loose a limb nor do I suffer from PTSD.  Those that do need care more than I.  And they need better care, not to fall through the cracks of governmental loop holes and rhetoric.


So in honor of all the REAL veterans out there, to Micki, Lisa, Mike, Christine, Jason, Darby, Jeff, Keith, and all those who I served with and support.  Happy Veteran's Day.  YOU deserve it.  I am proud to call you friends and family EVERYDAY.

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    1. Sorry, I meant to say nicely written. :)

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