Monday, May 25, 2015

Just Reflecting

I didn't serve.  My dad ended up as a Lt. Colonel in the Army Reserve but never saw combat.  The closest I ever got was a few summers at Ft. Gordon, Ft. Benning and Aberdeen Proving Ground.   I shouldn't leave out the trips to Camp Blanding either.  I can appreciate Memorial Day but really only as an outsider.

The last time anyone in my family was killed in action was during WW2.  That was years before I was born.  Before that, one ancestor died at Elmira.  His youngest son, just three years old at the time,  became one of my Great Grandfathers.  Another died in the Yellow Fever epidemic at the Castille De San Marcos.  Both serving under the flag that some enlightened professor's minions are burning around the country today to "put that chapter of our history to rest" by digging it back up and desecrating it. 

I know people that served.  Through them I have met others.   A few years back, I went out of town to meet a couple of old friends to go to a gun show.   In that trip, I met a couple of  veterans and their young families.   Their young kids always said "yes sir" and "yes mam" to their parents.  They were polite.  They were well-behaved.  

They had a wooden mock up of a Browning machine gun on a post on their back deck.  Nothing fancy.  Just enough for a kid's imagination to build on.  It had a belt of empty cases hanging from it to make it more realistic.   Made me think of the "tank" my dad built in our back yard.   Just a plywood playhouse but painted up to look like a tank.   I had a plastic Browning MG that ran on batteries.   Maybe things haven't changed everywhere.

One of the veterans was employed at a car dealership in the service department.  He talked about doing the job right because peoples' safety and lives depended on it.  He talked about how some of the employees didn't get it.   One in particular had done a brake job and not tightened some critical bolts.  When told about it, the had a hissey fit, said they weren't being fair to him and quit.     

Then I think about the ones that didn't come home.   The well-behaved kids that grew up without their father or their mother or that don't exist at all.  We don't know how much we've lost.   We can only know where that loss started.

I don't  have a stirring story about a hero.   I'm not going to post pictures of girls in red, white and blue bikinis and say its for Memorial May. Not even going to talk about Barbeque.   I'm just going to go to work and do my job because people depend on me and, in the back of my mind, I'll be thinking about the ones that this day honors.

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