So today is Verteran's day, AKA, "Oh yeah, didn't my grandpa or like, an uncle or something fight in a war once...?" to a lot of Americans. But to a lot of others, it's a time to remember and give thanks for someone they know and love who has fought, died, or is currently involved in the war going on right now in the Middle East, or any other war for that matter. I just want to give a quick shout out to everyone I know in the armed forces: My deceased grandfather, Bill; Bob Wicks, family friend; Nick Suddarth, long time friend and martial arts companion; Krystal Heib, aaannd... I'm sure I'm missing at least one or two other people, so thank you all and your families for your service.
As a result of today, the bank in which I am currently making this post from is quite dead. Yes, very much so. I've made 2 transactions today. I've spent most my time doing other things on the computer.
The reason it's dead could be very simple: that everyone knows we're on Friday's business day anyway and that we have been since 4 o'clock yesterday... But I like to think that maybe it's dead because people are really using it as a day of rest and remembrance for all of our awesome men and women in the armed forces. That's a nice thought, I'll keep rolling with that one.
A time like this also serves as a personal reflection on my part, where I remember a time a while ago, back in high school, when I wanted to join the Army instead of going to college. I wanted to be a part of something larger than myself: to serve my country and my loved ones in a way that I could be proud of for the rest of my life. Back then, "College" just looked to me like one big drunken state of debachery. Movies and television bombarded me with images of frat parties, substance abuse, and, ultimately, unhappiness. I never wanted to go to college.
But things changed. My parents convinced me to do otherwise. I listened. I went. I've ranted for hours and hours and pages and pages about my college experience so I won't go into that... But deep down inside I've always wanted to join the Army.
My most recent brush in with a veteran, however, frightened me in a way I can't really describe. I was at America's Pub in Westport, talking sports, politics, etc with a friend of mine, and the bartender spoke up. The place was completely dead, so he mixed himself a drink while he non-chalantly explained that he used to be a Green Beret -- that his job entailed training guerrilla armies to overthrow governments, that his job entailed throwing bombs disguised as food rations to children, that he had killed many, many people and that he didn't feel sorry for it one bit.
And then when you read about those soldiers who killed innocent civilians for sport, and just to see if they could get away with it...
What would I have done if I had witnessed some of these things? Would I have tried to put a stop to it? To do something about it? To do the right thing?
Jeeze. I dunno.
But I don't mean in any way to lessen the value of our armed forces. Thanks again, guys and gals, for all your work and service. I'm indebted to you in a way I can't put a price on. Thank you.