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Embrace Service

Did you serve in the military?
When you think of service,
Do you think of military service?
There are other kinds…

Today is Veterans’ Day in the USA.

It is a day to honor our servicemen/women.
Not all our veterans served with a pure heart,
Motivated by the desire to serve for freedom’s sake.
Some just didn’t know what else to do!

Now, that may sound a little sacrilegious –
A little disrespectful to some of you.
But, I know for a fact at least one
Veteran who served out of frustration.

Hey, Bob, were you ever in the military?
“I think so… 2 years, 9 months, & one day.
I was in when the Berlin Wall was built.
Thank God I got out 3 months early for summer work!”

So you didn’t serve out of love of country?
“No! I was told I could learn electronics,
So I went into the Nike Ajax Program.
Then I discovered it was cancelled!

I ended up learning nothing about electronics.
It was a sham. The recruiters lied to me.
As a clerk typist, stationed in Germany,
I felt trapped by the military system.”

You see not all veterans served in wartime.
Not all veterans have a heartwarming,
Grateful, fuzzy feeling about their service.
Not even those who DID serve in wartime.

So how do we honor our veterans?
How do we honor the families of those
Who sacrificed their lives for us?
How do we honor the clerk typists?

Here’s Bob – a handsome soldier,
But don’t let the smile fool you.
He was shuffling papers, typing orders,
And counting the days ’til discharge.

Some folks enter the military out of high school
Because they are at loose ends.
They don’t know what else to do with their lives…
Not ready to go to college, not sure of a job.

Those folks can end up making a career
Of the army or navy, the marines or air force,
And can be excellent servicemen/women.
Original motive aside, they serve with honor.

So what’s my point on Veterans’ Day?
I guess it is… don’t generalize.
Don’t assume all veterans served
To help preserve our freedom.

Look at the size of our military.
Look at the money spent in peacetime.
Look at those who served during wars.
Look at those who gave their lives.

Look at the whole picture of war
And military and fighting and preserving.
Honor our veterans, yes…
But what about the drop-outs?

I don’t mean to belittle Veteran’s Day.
There are people out there who
Served for patriotic reasons…
And they deserve to be honored.

There are families who lost loved ones
Who served to preserve our freedom.
They deserve our gratitude and love.
Yes, Happy Veterans’ Day!

God Bless America!
And God bless those who serve to keep us free!

Comments on: "Embrace Service" (10)

  1. Dana Pulliam said:

    A hearty amen to this! A hero’s nod to the heroes and a thank you nod to the others is truly honor to our veterans.

  2. Hi Jan,
    Poor Bob, not what he had bargained for.
    Still I am sure he did his best, and I thank him for his service.
    Sending you blessings! ♥♥

  3. Elaina Colby said:

    Regardless of the motive or reason for enlisting in US Military Service, the commitment is not renegotiable. If you enlist for 4 years, you serve 4 years and you do whatever you’re assigned to do. You might not have been motivated to join so you could preserve the freedom of the United States but that’s exactly what you end up doing when you’re a service member. War and conflict could break out at any time and you could find yourself in the middle of it. I thank God that that never ended up being my path. You might end up being the most patriotic toilet cleaner because you don’t have the option to quit and you don’t have the option to tell the government you’re not going to do it. You turn your life over to your country in military service by stating the Oath of Enlistment:
    “I, _____, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”

  4. A nicely balanced post. I have to say that I am grateful that I just missed post-war call up

  5. Bob’s time of service reminds me of my maternal grandfather. He was stationed in the army stateside during WWII. Being older, he filled a void left when other army troops headed overseas. Both Bob and my grandfather completed their time, and like many others they were grateful to return home. Every veteran has a different and unique story.

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