I was born in 1954 and was a child of the 1960's and 1970's coming of age during the Vietnam War period. I was the lucky one who missed the draft because of a high draft number the year I turned 18. It was my older Brother, Cousins, and Close Friends (who were as close to me as a blood relative) got the letters to report to Whitehall Street in NYC to muster in. After basic they ended up on the long flights to Vietnam. They served their year and came home although I did have one cousin who was a Marine Pilot and signed up for additional tours jumping from aircraft to aircraft. Boy, did he love to fly. We thought he was Nuts! But we loved him and understood, it was his nature to do this. He eventually came home.
Matter of fact, they all came home-my Brother, My Cousins and my dear Friends. Physically whole, they came home, mentally whole, I'm afraid not. They all left a piece of themselves there in the war zone and they all carried a piece of that Vietnam war zone home with them, some....more than others. One Friend in particular was never the same and he didn't make it and after a few years of being home, he took his life, but somewhere in the jungles of Vietnam a few years before, he had lost his spirit, tormented by his experiences, never to regain it. RIP Fast Eddy - we loved you like a Brother.
This Saturday is Veterans Day, November 11, 2017. I remember my Friends, my Brother, my Cousins and all the others. It's a day of remembrance, of reflection and a day to show my gratitude to our proud and oh-so brave Vets. I offer my thoughts and prayers to the survivors, to the ones who didn't return and the ones who still suffer.
I find myself giving thanks for our brave veterans from each of the wars since we became a nation, each morning I wake. And, while I do this everyday, I will take the time on this special day, this Veterans Day, to be especially thankful to them for what they endured to allow me the freedoms I so love and cherish today. Thank You for Your Service.