Thursday, November 09, 2006

NaBloPoMo, Day 10 - In which I might make you angry

Friday morning. I frequently mention in my entries that my beloved TCB is a member of our armed forces. To be more specific, he is a sailor who is currently stationed at a Marine Corps base in support of Navy personnel at that location. I shared in my last post that his next posting will be on a ship based out of Japan for three years, and that is certainly something that brings me great pain when I think about it, but it also brings me great pride. The work that he does every single day - no matter how mundane - makes me immensely proud. I love seeing him in his camouflage jammies (that's what the uniform he wears to work looks like), I love going to military balls on his arm, and I love driving around on base and watching the vehicles and the personnel going about their daily tasks. These are the good parts of what he does for a living.

Of course we all know that you must take the good with the bad, and that's one reason why I'm not screaming and crying and begging him not to go. There's also my dignity to be considered and certainly begging would be detrimental to that. Neither of those, though, are the primary reason I'm holding it together. This is his career and the move to Japan will, without any doubt, get him the promotion that he deserves and will allow him to retire at the end of those three years with pride and a deep sense of accomplishment. And so I come to the point of this entry.

Over and over for the last 231 years (the Marine Corps' birthday is today, November 10th - Happy Birthday, Marines...OOH RAH!), the armed forces of the United States of America have stood ready to go and "visit violence on those that would do us harm" (Churchill). Today is also Veteran's Day, the day set aside by Congress to recognize those who have fought on America's behalf. With less than a fraction of 1% of Americans being part of their armed forces, it can be difficult for those who don't have a loved one involved to understand or acknowledge the importance of this holiday and those it was created to honor. To that end, I give you this quote from Frank Schaeffer, in the Baltimore Sun, "The act of volunteering to be sent wherever your country needs you must be acknowledged as a priceless gift from the individual citizen to his or her country. This gift's morality doesn't depend on the rightness or wrongness of any war, but on the soldier's high-stakes commitment to the value of our democratic experiment." My boyfriend, those with whom he serves (and those who have done so in the past) stand ready to fight for your right to live safely, to love fiercely, to worship (or not) freely, and to cast your vote as you see fit.

Veteran's Day is not about Iraq or Afghanistan, it is about the men and women who've fought for their country. This holiday and those it honors are not political, and - in my opinion - it is the duty and privilege of every American, regardless of their party affiliation, to seek out and acknowledge a veteran today for the sacrifices they've made. So, I'm going to ask anyone in the United States reading this now to make a point of saying "thank you" to a veteran - past or present - today. I can guarantee that you'll make someone's day.

2 comments:

Nell said...

I think you should get married and go with him!

JessiferSeabs said...

I come from a very military-minded family -- my grandfather was stationed in both Paris and London during WW2, and worked directily with Eisenhauer on a lot of things.

Anyway.

I'm also related to Churchill (other side of my family), so I love your quote.

I also would take a great deal of pride in what TCB does, and I'm sorry he has to go so far away to do it, but who knows what the future will bring to the two of you.

Hugs,
Jessica