Welcome to my digital writing journal, or mydigitalclutter. What started as a family blog almost two years ago has morphed into my writing therapy. This is where I do a lot of free writing, mostly about my life with my family and the things that catch my interest. While nowhere even close to perfect, in each post I like to see how my writing is changing with time and practice. Most posts are left unedited for this reason, so if you don't mind, take the journey with me.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Gratitude for Service

Today is Veteran’s Day.  Is your flag flying in your yard?  I put mine out this morning as I left for work.  I saw a boy scout and his mother putting flags out in my neighbors’ yards, and I smiled.  Today is especially bittersweet in remembering those who have served our country, but my heart is filled with gratitude none the less.

My father served in the air force.  He doesn’t talk much about that time, except for a bit here and there, but it mostly about a few people he met.  I remember as a child, looking at his old uniform that hung in the closet, faded navy blue, with the gold buttons.  I didn’t understand then, the sacrifices made by men and women who wore that uniform, but I stood in awe at it just the same.  My dad was long out of the military by the time I came along, but he still had the same sense of pride as he did when he wore the uniform.  I never saw him miss an opportunity to salute the flag, taking off his hat in respect and honor.  In later years, I’ve seen his tears, as news comes of a veteran receiving honors and the pomp and circumstance after years of dedicated service.  His gruff face can crumple into a myriad of emotions, and I see the gratitude in his eyes, a fellow brother who understands.

I grew up in an area filled with “military brats” in my school.  Most of my dearest friends in high school were only there for a few years while their own mother or father spent time station at the local air force base.  I spent my senior year with friends who had a parent serving in the First Gulf War, and only then began to understand the toll political unrest can take on a family.

It hits very close to home with the recent events in the nation, and my own family.  There are families today that are mourning their loved one.  They remember those whose lives were lost in the line of duty, either on foreign soil, or on home ground.  Many know the pain of losing a loved one.  Many have been lost, fathers, brothers, sons.  Mothers, daughters, sisters.   My father in law has lost a father and a son, both while serving their country.  My husband has lost a brother, and I don’t know how one ever gets past that, especially when the wounds are so fresh.

Near my house is a small park, only a few feet wide, dedicated to the Veterans of the Armed Services.  Today it will be festooned with yellow ribbons.  I’m proud to say that I honor them.  I wave my flag proudly and support them.  Today I am grateful for my freedom and for the brave men and women who fight for that blessing in my life.

4 Lovely Scribbles to Me:

One Cluttered Brain said...

Me too! I noticed yesterday that the Mesquite Recreation center put a WHOLE bunch of flags up in a field close by.

Thanks for this post!

I am very grateful for those who have served our country. Not to mention the people who are serving us now to protect our freedoms.

Stacy Dean said...

I love this post. very inspiring and heartfelt :)

wonder woman said...

My husband was part of the Reserves until 2 years ago. It's days like today I'm so thankful he was never deployed.

We have a good friend who was just deployed last month, and we didn't get to say goodbye. I pray he is safe.

2busy said...

This is beautiful. I agree with everything you've said here. No one could have said it better. My father was a helicopter pilot in Viet Nam and my husband was in the first Gulf War. We are a very patriotic family.

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