Thank a Veteran
only so long as it is the home of the brave.
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.
Labels: You're in the Navy Now