Tuesday, November 11, 2008

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  • Thank a Veteran

    This nation will remain the land of the free
    only so long as it is the home of the brave.
    -Elmer Davis

    Even casual readers of this blog will have noticed that my husband is presently deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. And that I myself wear the uniform. You might expect that I would have a lot of thoughts on this Veteran's Day. Heck, I might expect that, too.

    My first thought is that I'm happy to be off from work, because it afforded a rare opportunity to video chat with my husband. The eleven-hour time difference can be challenging, and I've gotten used to some late-night phone calls. My next thought is that I'm awfully lucky to be able to see my husband in real-time, even if he's a little blurry. (And for those of you who know him - check out what the Marines did to his hair!) Although I, too, am a Lieutenant in the United States Navy, I presently find myself feeling more and more like a Marine wife. As much as I don't love being here while my husband is in a combat zone, I can only imagine how much worse it was when letters took months and packages arrived not at all. When deployment orders said "for the duration" and there were no scheduled replacements. Instead, I get a reasonable expectation (although not a guarantee) of seeing my husband in another 6 or so months, and lots of photos.

    This would be the iconic shot, and a reminder of another thought of mine. As you know, we just had a landmark election, and while my liberal soul is personally filled with hope, that hope actually has little to do with my military affiliations. It has to do with the promise of America.

    As I see it, America has given two great gifts to the world. As the longest-continuous democracy, we have had a continuous expansion of the franchise. After 221 years of expanding the vote, nearly every adult is now eligible to cast a ballot, and over 60% of us did last week.

    The second great gift is civilian control of the military, rather than military control of the civilians. Ponder that the greatest military strength in the world will turn on a dime should the democratically-elected leaders order it so. This was unprecedented in the Second Continental Congress, and it remains rare today. With great strength comes great responsibility.
    Lastly, remember that each of these flak vests belongs to someone who is far from home. Remember that it is an all-volunteer force. Remember how lucky we are that they are willing to wear these vests over somewhere, over anywhere, so that we don't have to wear them here.

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    11 Comments:

    Blogger JayJay said...

    What a lovely post, and I agree wholeheartedly. The hope and optimism that I saw in minorities and young people this election makes me so happy. I really hope these new voters continue to make their voices heard.

    11/11/2008 9:19 AM  
    Blogger Donna said...

    Thanks so much for your thoughtfulness in writing this - it was wonderful.

    11/11/2008 11:45 AM  
    OpenID myboringblog said...

    Nicely said.

    11/11/2008 11:46 AM  
    Blogger Nonnahs said...

    Beautiful, poignant post, Theresa. I am full of hope right now, too, along with you and so many others. My hope is that it lasts and carries over into action and change for the better- for all of us!

    11/11/2008 11:47 AM  
    Blogger Karen said...

    Beatifully said. Thanks to you, and a long distance thanks to the Husband, for your service. May his time away fly by, and hopes from a stranger that he stays safe.

    Blessings to you both.

    11/11/2008 11:50 AM  
    Blogger Beth said...

    Thank you, and thank you to your husband, for the sacrifices that you have made to serve our country and the people in it.

    11/11/2008 1:25 PM  
    Blogger Kristen said...

    Thank you and your husband for serving, and thank you for the food for thought.
    I too think about what it was like for those overseas and on the homefront before these days of high-tech, instant everything. It may have made for more romantic stories and movies, but how difficult to be out of touch and uncertain for so long.

    11/11/2008 1:47 PM  
    Blogger Margene said...

    Beautifully said. He and you are in my thoughts often and more so today.

    11/11/2008 2:14 PM  
    Blogger Dorothy said...

    I especially want to thank you and your hubby. It takes courage to enter into a military marriage, knowing that you will very likely be stationed apart. You have the gratitude of all of us.

    11/11/2008 4:50 PM  
    Anonymous Joyce said...

    Semper Fi! My husband is retired a retired marine corp pilot. My father was a marine and two of my sons. Thank you for helping us all remember what is important. Proud of you and your husband.

    11/11/2008 7:45 PM  
    Blogger Knitting Up North said...

    One day late, but no less sincere thanks. Love you both. And he still does not look his best in a buzz cut (that was discovered when he was 14 years old). SC

    11/12/2008 10:32 AM  

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