Jumping into doing a blog post a day for a month when I’ve been nearly inactive since the start of the year may be a bit like plunging into an exercise program from a state of total inertia. I feel as if I could easily pull a muscle of some kind.
There were a lot of Facebook posts today in which people sent out good wishes to the vets. Which I think is fantastic!!! I’m astonished at the sacrifices our service people make. I don’t know how they do it now, or ever did it in any war. But to post it on Facebook just to be like everyone else felt insincere, so I didn’t do it.
My mother wrote a great post two years ago about the veterans on her side of the family – her three uncles who served in World War II. Her words are more touching and eloquent than anything I could write here because she wrote from experience and authentic knowledge of the sacrifices they made.
My nearest personal experience is my father having been in the Navy for a very short while, in peace time, before being given a medical discharge. My brother was a military policeman in the 70s and served in the National Guard in the early 80s; apparently he went to Honduras or some similar hot spot at that time. Dad said my brother told him about some of the terrible things he’d seen, but my brother never talked to the rest of us about it.
Although no one seems to include Civil War soldiers in their thoughts on Veterans Day, I’m reminded of my great-great-great-grandfather James Conover, who joined the cause late in the war and never returned home; and my great-great-great-grandfather Joseph Hutchinson, Jr., who was part of the Atlanta campaign but came down with some kind of terrible eye affliction at the Battle of Peach Tree Creek. He didn’t see any more action, but he continued to suffer from eye disease for the rest of his life. I include their names on the roll of those honored this Veteran’s Day.