I am an ex-Navy vet of the first gulf war. I go thru my shop and thank all of those that served, and all of those I know that did their time in the service. I am not asking for thanks, and please don't post it. Thank vets that dont expect it. That will make their day. Trust me on this.
Thanks for starting this thread, I was in the Air Force- Operation Northern watch & Operation Southern watch, I've done nothing compared to those who have given the ultimate sacrifice or maybe lost a limb. Thank you to those who have.
Being a vet is a strange thing. We (I) are all proud that we served our country. We felt a duty or some of us were drafted. Some of us served in combat. Most of us did not. Either way we put our life on the line. We missed our families, we worked hours that would make most people quit.
We miss our brothers that we served with. And think about them often. We spent holidays overseas.
We got stale cookies from home for our birthdays, Christmas, or for no reason at all. But we shared them and loved any kind of taste from home.
When we could home on leave we loved sleeping in our own bed, seeing or children, getting a loving hug from a loved one, getting fast food, drinking a beer at our local bar, petting our dog, or maybe getting a chance to go hunting.
Sometimes we could not come home when a family member was lost, and had to mourn from abroad. Sometimes relationships would fall apart, and all we could do is suck it up. (AKA the "Dear John" letter) Sometimes we felt so alone that it became overbearing. Mail from home was worth it's weight in gold. A purfume scented letter from a wife or girlfriend would flood your memory of her face and make things better just for a few moments.
Pictures of your kids, your dog, your car, sitting there waiting for you gave you hope, that they still love you. You yearn for letters from your friends you grew up with, but you are lucky if you get them. You might grow up missing the coming of age of becoming 21.
You forget that your mom's meatloaf is the best food you ever had. You forget what it is like to eat off a plate instead of a tray or out of a MRE.
You forget that at home you do not have to stand in line to eat. And when you get out...you loath any kind of line you might have to stand in.
But in the end you will not complain...you did what you had to do. You are proud of what you did. Yeah...you missed a lot at home, but you did more than you know. It might take a few years to sink in. But when you realize what you did...it was all worth it. And thus...you helped freedom ring.
Now, you might have a house, a wife, kids and a few dogs. You might hunt and shoot and go have a few beers at a bar. Sometimes times you might think that your fellow vets can't do the same right now. I can only hope they hunt and kill as many them dirtbags as possible. Then we can hunt good and free.
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