What will you do on Veterans Day to honor our service men and women? On November 11th, we will celebrate Veterans Day. How will you honor those who have served? When my daughters were in high school, they where in Air Force ROTC and spent their veterans day mornings as part of honor guards at veterans cemetery’s in our local town. Three things really stuck in my mind as I remember back to those ceremonies—the men and women who attended these events took the the ceremony very seriously and showed the utmost respect and reverence. They were also very appreciative of the young ROTC students participating in the honor guards. The other thing I noticed was that there were only a handful of people attending the event.
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, there are 17,484,000 living war veterans. It is my hope that on Veterans Day, all Americans take the time to, in some way, honor those who have served in our military. Go to a veterans day parade, a ceremony at a veterans cemetery, or any type of activity honoring those who have served. Please check in your local paper for Veterans Day activities in your area.
The Indomitable Spirit I was trading emails with my friend Diana this last week, as she is a Marine, now retired. We both agree that it is nice to speak to someone that speaks the same language, in this case, Marine Corps. It is a life long association of a brotherhood; You are never an Ex-Marine, always formerly on active duty. As we discussed Sam and his condition, and her promise to keep him in her prayers; she asked, “What is it about the Marines?” That is an excellent question. I began to think of why they command respect, adhere to a high moral conduct, and maintain that bond with their comrades in arms, long after they are finished wearing the best looking uniforms of all the branches of service. Are we mentally conditioned so rigidly? Brainwashed if you will? Is it the fact that we all can shoot a rifle incredibly well? How about the fact that close quarter combat skills are permanently ingrained? Those are just fruits of the Marine Corps tree. The one thing that sets Marines apart is their indomitable spirit; and their faith in an ideal. This is the one thing that Marines never lose, or give up, but only enhance as their experience in the Marines prepares them for life. They will stick to this ideal of love for God, Country, and Corps; and will serve any Commander-in-Chief that is elected. And, as a last resort, will visit violence upon any and all of America’s enemies that may threaten that ideal…So the next time you have the privilege to see a Marine, go ahead and admire the probable fitness of the body and mind, and the sharpness of an impeccable uniform; but know that the Marine you see is special because of what he carries within….Today, (November 10th) is the Marine Corps 233rd B’day. Did you all know it is the oldest branch of all the services; even established before the militias of the revolutionary war? They were excellent riflemen and were used on merchant ships to fight pirates. All Marines still are riflemen first, and what ever their job is second. Yeah, even the Marine Corps band can put down their tubas and march into combat…The first Commandant of the Marine Corps was a man named….Yeah, you guessed it…Samuel Nichols….
This most assuredly includes Sam and Erin…Going on 16 months now, of progress and stalemates, and then more progress. This would wear down lesser people without the Faith and Spirit that are present in these two. Fortunately for them they see an ideal even higher and more tangible than believing in the Marine Corps’ ideals…That of course, is the Faith they’ve been given by God for Sam’s healing, rehabilitation, and total restoration. Erin still ramrods his daily tasks, and Sam still fights for every inch for Erin…It is a perfect symbiotic relationship. I saw them on Saturday, and they looked terrific…Sam has gone several days without an UTI and without any antibiotics…He is also pain free right now so his days are so much more pleasant. I was speaking with him as I overheard Erin explaining what a particular drug was for to a family member that has someone new in Sam’s ward at Kentfield. She is so sweet and helpful to the others that haven’t been through what she has in such a short amount of time…What a resource of knowledge she has become for the benefit of others. Sam’s newest gesture is to refer to comedy by slapping his knee…The picture is small and not really clear, as my phone broke that took such excellent shots; but I think you’ll get the idea nonetheless….