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As Veteran's Day approaches once again, I realize it may be controversial to appreciate what Vets have done, what they do today and what they may do in the future. It is a topic for which many opinions (and arguments) exist. With no intention of "starting something," (I saw one heated thread from last year ... yikes!) I humbly only ask that you think of troops who currently serve (and their supportive family members!) and those who served before them, when tomorrow -- 11 Nov 03 -- comes.
If you have ever had the opportunity to visit a VA center or hospital, you're likely to see veterans in wheelchairs patiently waiting for what is sometimes quite mediocre medical care. Often times these (predominantly) men are very friendly fellas who few people reach out to. Many are missing limbs or bearing myriad scars on their bodies, minds and souls, and bearing these silently. For the greater part, each of them served because they were asked to (whether "ask" equals draft, enlist or commissioned). In return, many of them receive little more than the meager recognition selected ceremonies provide, and many who are house-bound will unlikely receive even that.
Today our young (and they ARE young) Americans fight worldwide - whether in well-named engagements or in the illusive war on terrorism. Participation in these engagements spur controversies of their own, no doubt, but these men and women are our fellow citizens. And even the strongest advocates demanding extraction from the war in Iraq are often heard to remark that they "support our troops."
Someday these men and women will return home as well (goodness willing) - with their own scarred bodies, minds and souls perhaps. Meanwhile I wish more than anything I could be with them now - not to "get some" or detain/harass/defend/kill or liberate our perceived enemy -- as much as to ensure these troops are well-trained, well-prepared and well protected and doing the best they can to do what is "right." (Another controversial term, no doubt.) In other words, to take care of them. (Sappy? Okay.)
I have read so many posts in these forums that reveal a true generosity of spirit. And so I humbly appeal to you - not for money, or gratitude or demonstrations of support -- rather for a quiet prayer or a kind thought or heck, even a rant demanding they come home safely. Memorial Day recognizes those veterans who have passed. Please help us, on Veteran's Day, to remember those vets who are still among us.
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