Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day 2009

Hello, everyone. I am in Carthage, MO at my favorite hotel, Best WEstern Precious Moments Hotel. If you are anywhere in Southwestern Missouri I highly recommend this hotel - a unique building, great rooms, good breakfast with some hot biscuits and gravy (and other things) and a great service. I have stayed here every one of the 4 years I've been coming to this area.

Today is Veteran's Day. A day we honor those who have served our country through the military. A day we thank the families that have been the backbone and support of our military men and women. And, unfortunately, a day where the horror of Ft. Hood becomes more real in our minds. Those that gave the ultimate sacrifice in battle, we often can understand, but those who give that sacrifice when they are in the "sacred halls" of the military post - it's just difficult to fathom.

My father was in the military for 35 years. He retired as a Major General. He traveled the world over and commanded small and large bases and units. He worked in the Pentagon, led a battalion and presided over ROTC, as the first AFrican-American commanding general. He fought in Vietnam, and supported during other times of conflict. He is, and will always be, an Army man.

My mother was in the military for 35 years. She retired as the wife of a Major General. She traveled the world over and lived in small and large houses. She packed all the bags, corraled the children and the pets, was Mom and Dad in times of her husband's absence, and was the epitome of the perfect hostess. She heard the horrors of war through the tapes her husband sent her from Vietnam and instead of asking him about the bombs in the background, she shared with him about the regular goings on in America - a comfort to his heart. She is, and will always be, an Army wife.

I was a military brat for 22 years. I did not retire, but was moved off the 'brat" list when I was out of college. I traveled for years with my parents - Oklahoma, Kansas, Rhode Island, WAshington, DC; Virginia, Germany and Okinawa and Texas. I learned to pack up the boxes and move to another room. I met new friends all the time, but I didn't work hard to keep old friends, preferring to let the loss just be "X'd" out of my mind. I missed my Dad when he was away and argued with my mother, until I realized how much I was like her as an adult. I learned to set the perfect table, be a great escort, was the life of the party, never met a stranger, passionately learned the history of places I visited and became well-rounded. I never knew my father in war (as I remember), and was shocked when as an adult I saw a gun in our house - the sidearm my father carried from the time he was a General officer. We never knew it was there. I still love to travel, still carry the Army in my heart - it is my family - and I love to serve in the way God has given me. I am, and will always be, a military brat in heart.


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