They say ‘a picture is worth a thousand words,’ but whoever said that had never sat down to an evening of battle stories from a war-hardened veteran. Hollywood has not even started to scratch the surface of the stories of glory, drama, pain, and loss that occur when these brave men and women uproot themselves from their homes. Their families. Their friends. Their safety.
My thoughts and my prayers go out to the ones living and to the ones who have passed on. The ones that have gotten that late night call saying Uncle Sam needed them, had just minutes to kiss their wife and kids goodbye, grab their ‘go bag’ and head off to God knows where. The ones that hoped to never receive that letter, and had to stand on trembling knees, holding that gun with shaky hands, scared to death, but no less brave.
The ones who had to push those buttons, and drop those bombs, having only a vague idea of the impact they were about to have on those islands and the rest of human history. The ones who flew in unannounced in untested craft on a wing and a prayer, and brought down one of the biggest foes America has ever seen.
The ones who are learning to walk for the second time in their lives. The ones who will only dream of walking again. The ones drinking away the ghostly sights and sounds that only they can see and hear. To the ones whose most powerful story is a haunting stare and a quiet tongue, and you just know better than to ask anymore.
I wish you all a peaceful Veterans Day.