Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veteran's Day 2014

Think of it, less than 2% of our nation's population carries upon their shoulders the defense of this nation. In earlier times, when the Selective Service Draft was in play this number was a little higher and far more representative of this nation's diversity.

Men, women, some mere children, some like myself, who are much older have given of our time, our lives (too often, literally), our financial security and sometimes (again, sometimes too often) sacrificed our home and family lives, all for love of country.I thank my fellow servicemembers for their conscious efforts to guarantee that our nation's security is continued seamlessly.

I think of the men and women who served before me... my father, his father, my uncle Jim, my brothers Rob and Bryan, my sister Teresa, my friend Beth's father, my friend Shane's father and so many millions more.

This is a shout out, if you will, to them and to those who gave their all--like my former student Hospitalman Ben Rast, who was killed in action in Afghanistan.

We, who serve, have asked so little and I am constantly moved to tears when I think of those who make a concerted effort to thank us, which is why today is so special to we servicemembers. I remember coming home from Afghanistan in March 2009 to be greeted by hundreds of total strangers standing in line to shake our hands as we entered the terminal at Baltimore's airport. I won't lie. I was in tears as each thanked us.

Happy Veteran's Day, colleagues!