Veterans’ Day 2014

     I’m not sure if I can say this right, but I’m going to try.
     There are lot of folks who hate everything to do with war, who believe we should never have stuck our nose where it didn’t belong, who believe we were duped into fighting for democracy when the asset protected was only oil. You are the folks I hope to reach with these words. You see, it doesn’t matter.
     Every nation needs a defense. Sure, it would be nice to live in a world where everyone played nice in the same sand box. We don’t. Just look at your family, your co-workers, your neighbors, at any group of humans, including your spiritual community. We don’t always behave. Take that fact and crank it up to the international level, and the bad behavior gets seriously dangerous.
     Humans need rules, boundaries, and those who are willing to enforce them. We are not so evolved that we can walk away from that system. Maybe someday, but not now. So we need those soldiers who are willing to follow orders and be the enforcers.
     My son is one of those soldiers. There were many years of tracking his unit’s location on maps and worrying over stories from those regions. I did not see my son for five years and wondered if I would even know whether something happened to him. He’s safe now, stationed on US soil for the first time since he graduated high school, other than basic training and a very brief stint as a civilian, before he re-enlisted. The Army and the life he’s led have changed him, because you’re right, it’s not a pretty world out there.
     It’s not a pretty world here in our own country, either. Just like every police officer and every soldier, my son has had to do things he’d rather not talk about. But he is still my son. And we still need those willing to be the enforcers. Do you remember when we called them peacekeepers? I don’t think we saw them as the enemy then. I am forever proud of my son and his service. I’m grateful for him and all those who serve in our military and as law enforcement. Whether you want to admit it or not, we need them.
     So,thank you to all of you who’ve served.

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