Friday, September 18, 2009

Soldiers, War, Loss, Honor


It must have been 1969 or 1970, with Vietnam still going full blast. My sister's boyfriend was over there and we were visiting relatives in New Hampshire. It was a regular summer event with my aunt and uncle having an awesome pool and big 3-story house. We kids, my two sisters and I, got the third floor as our bedroom and it was an evening I'll never forget.

I was outside by the pool, heard the phone ring in the house and didn't think much of it. My aunt picked it up, called my mother to the phone and it was a brief conversation. Moments later I heard the wail, the scream of pain, the total bottoming out of my sister's world as she got the news that Larry had been killed in combat. May his memory live on with those that new him and may they be at peace. Him, too.

We must honor every soldier, no matter the war they fought in.

That honor includes respect for their duties done under the orders of the powers that be, regardless of what we think of the powers that be.

That honor includes giving a little space and time to them when they do or don't want to talk about what they did and saw.

That honor includes making the Veteran's Administration hospitals places they can return to as often and as freely as needed, with great services for health both mental and physical.

That honor includes never telling them what you think about whatever war it was they fought in unless to say they did what they were called to do and they did it to the best of their abilities.

Thank honor includes thanking them for their service.

It isn't the soldiers that do right or wrong in any given war, it is the war makers, the top dogs. I do believe war can be just as much as I hate those that start unjust wars.

But I will always honor the troops.

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