Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans Day 2009

What is a veteran? People have certain expectations of veterans. They expect them to have a certain set of experiences, a certain set of beliefs. They expect them to react in certain ways to certain prompts.

Veterans come from all over. They are all kinds of people. They join the Armed forces for all kinds of reasons and do all kinds of different things while they are serving, under different circumstances. They leave the service after different amounts of time and for different reasons. Some veterans have been in combat, some have not. Even a lot of veterans don't agree with each other, about what combat is or who is a veteran of it. Some veterans consider themselves to be elite. Some take pride in being a regular old dog face or deck ape.

I think many, maybe even most veterans feel a bond with those they served with. Those they didn't serve with are another matter, especially if there is a big enough age difference to be generational or if there is an officer/enlisted divide. Not all veterans are disposed to like or trust each other.

I'm a veteran but when I think of veterans, I think of the World War II and Korea guys who were adults around town, when I was a little kid. Most of them were great guys, some not. The ones that went to meetings and wore the funny hats, not so much but that's just my opinion. A lot of people seemed to like them fine. I don't think of myself as being like them. To be honest, I don't think they, what few of them are left, see guys of my generation as being like them either. I guess that's the way it always is.

Recent vets, the ones I've met, seem mostly OK to me. I hope now that they are out of the service, they can have good lives. Like I've had. Like a lot of vets have had. I hope nobody puts a lot of expectations on them that don't need to be there. They've already done their part and met the expectations. Wherever it was, whatever they did. That should be enough. They've been who the country needed them to be. Now they can just be themselves.


Buck said...

Thank you for your service.

reddog said...

Like most veterans, I thank the Armed Forces for the opportunity. I needed a place to go and no one else would take me.

Most people use that as the definition of family. I do.