Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veterans Day

Today is Veteran's Day and I just wanted to take a moment to thank the many men and women who sacrificed so much to defend our nation.
I spent part of today attending our Primetimers lunch, during which a portion of time was set aside to honor our Veterans.

Many things struck me today, one of which was the fact the that every man and woman who has ever served has a story to tell. I got to sit next to one of our Veterans who served as a lab technician in a "mobile hosptial" all over the South Pacific. He would see 200-300 patients dropped off to them at a time. He described it as being similar to "M.A.S.H." but without the humor. They would do their best with what they had; (imagine treating wounded soldiers without the aid of penicillin, antibiotics and many of the other medicines we take for granted). The surgeons would treat as many soldiers as they could until their surgical instruments were all used. They would then crash on a cot for a quick nap or meal while the instruments were cleaned and sterilized, and would then repeat the cycle.

In addition to the physical hardships, many of our soldiers, like this gentleman, were recently married and/or had families they left behind. Imagine being a newlywed or having children and seeing your husband/father shipped to New Guinea, or some other remote country...no telephones, no emails, no internet, the only form of contact being written letters.

This was just one part of his story, and only one of many stories I heard today. Some I saw still bear wounds they suffered to defend our freedoms; some paid the ultimate sacrifice and lost their lives. My question is this; on this Veteran's Day, have you taken the time to remember? If not, take a moment and thank a Veteran today...and if you have time, ask them for their story.

I went to lunch today not expecting to be impacted the way I was; and so I say to our Veterans, "thank you." Thank you for serving, for fighting, for sacrificing so much, and we stand today on your shoulders.

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