Friday, November 11, 2011

Veteran's Day 2011

I am not a veteran by luck of time and geography.  My draft board was located in a working class area of Milwaukee that had plenty of volunteers, I drew a high number in the lottery, and educational deferments were easy to get.   I was also too young for Korea and had a wife and family by the time that Viet Nam was heating up.  The result is that I missed the military experience in somewhat the same way that my father missed it.  He was too young for WWI, had a wife and me,  and a job in agriculture (a critical home front industry) as WWII began.  He did note in later years that had the war gone on much longer he would still have been drafted even though he was in his late thirties in 1943.  

My conversations over the years with friends and relatives who were vets have given me a sense of an experience lost.  Although many of their stories about life in the service centered on laughable and frustrating moments, the sense of cameraderie they speak of is almost always positive. 

So today my hat is off to those who did serve and especially to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice of service like Waterloo, Iowa's now famous Sullivan Brothers.  We visited the veteran's museum dedicated to them this past summeer.  We learned about their story and also prayed that fewer and fewer of our fine young men and women will be faced with a world that requires the particular and peculiar  rite of passage called war.

Below my grandson practices his salute.


May God bless all those who labor in the cause of peace whether in uniform or out.

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