That fat old guy sitting under the awning of the RV parked next to you drinking his iced tea and watching the world go by was once a skinny infantryman wading through the rice paddies of Vietnam, and he was the biggest bad ass you will ever meet. He left home a boy, spent a year watching his friends die around him, did things you would not believe, saw horrors that you cannot imagine, and came back a man bearing scars you will never see.
The young fellow wearing the orange apron working in the lumber aisle at Home Depot just got back from spending a year in Afghanistan sleeping in the sand, dodging IEDs, and not knowing if he would ever have a chance to take a shower and sleep in a real bed again. He doesn’t go to slasher movies because he spent a tour of duty living in one.
That gray haired woman line dancing at the RV rally spent many 18 and 20 hour days standing in pools of blood in an operating room at a field hospital somewhere just this side of hell, looking into the torn bodies of young men and trying to put them back together and keep them alive long enough to be evacuated to a facility that could save them.
There are heroes among us. We are surrounded by them. Today they drive motorhomes, but once they drove tanks. Today they take their grandchildren for walks in the park, but once they walked through fields of death. Today they laugh with us around the campfire, but some nights they sit alone in the dark and they cry.
These are America’s veterans, and all of us, each and every one of us, owes them a debt we can never repay. Because no matter where they were stationed, at home or overseas, no matter what their assignment was, once upon a time they wrote a check payable to the United States of America for any amount up to and including their own lives so that we can sleep securely in our beds tonight. If you love your freedom, thank a vet. Those are not just words, my friends.
To all of my fellow veterans, thank you for your service, thank you for your sacrifice, thank you for you. In honor of Veterans Day, as we do every year, we will be happy to send a free copy of our e-book Overnight Parking With The VFW, listing VFW posts nationwide that allow RVing members to camp overnight. The VFW posts usually limit this opportunity to members of the organization who belong to any US post. Just send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will get your copy off to you.
Welcome home, brothers and sisters.
Be sure to enter our latest Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an audiobook of Highland Passage by J.L Jarvis. It’s a time travel historical romance that begins with the heroine blacking out following a car crash on an icy road, and waking up in a mysterious stone chamber being cared for by a kilted man who claims to be an eighteenth century Scottish highlander. To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.
Thought For The Day – Don’t ever think that the reason I am peaceful is because I have never known violence. It is because I have.