Yesterday I had a conversation with my favorite veteran, a friend who goes by the nickname “Doc.” An old salty sailor who never fails to share a story you’ve not yet heard. For instance, I just found out that two of his uncles fought for Germany in World War I. I thought, I’ve known Doc for 15+ years and this is new information to me! I guess I had never asked him about the Great War, and I never knew his mother was German. We were talking about his plans for Veteran’s Day and about what he knew of World War I, as I had read a book recently that took place during the war. Doc was a wealth of information and stories! Though his health isn’t what it used to be, Doc’s mind is as sharp as a razor and his memories always inspire and remind me of my love for America.
Doc served with the United States Navy in World War II. His stories of serving in the Pacific region during the war can make you laugh, cry, or just stare blankly in disbelief. Doc took a liking to me when he first met me because he discovered we had both spent time in the Kingdom of Tonga. He couldn’t wait to show me his photo album from the small island nation! Looking through these old black and whites, I saw Tonga before western civilization had affected the Tongan dress and culture. I saw men in uniform who barely looked old enough to vote or buy cigarettes. And some of them weren’t old enough. Doc, like many others, enlisted early with the eager desire to serve his nation. To fight for freedom and other American ideals, not only for America, but for all her allies.
I don’t know much about WWII history. To be honest, I don’t know much about any of the wars fought before or since. I know what I learned in school and happened to retain. I know what I learned from the backdrops of various historical fiction novels (don’t judge.) But what I do know is this: veterans, like Doc, are a rare breed. They deserve our honor, respect, gratitude, and recognition.
So on a day like today, where we publicly show our honor, respect, and gratitude for all veterans, from those who served in WWII to those who served in Iraq or Afghanistan and all in between, let us put aside our feelings of joy or grief over the current election and focus on something that has always made America great: the men and women who serve in the military to make it so. Yes, there is a time to rejoice and a time to mourn. But today, this day of Armistice, this Veteran’s Day… take time away from the social media wars.
Recognize those who have fought to give us the freedoms we have. Hug a veteran. Thank them for their service. Pay for their coffee or buy them dinner. Attend a Veteran’s Day service in your town. Listen to their stories. Listen to their joys, their grief. Drive a veteran to their doctor’s appointment. Volunteer.
Serve those who have served you.
Recognize. Acknowledge. Remember. Salute.
May we remember those who have served and may we strive to be a nation worth fighting for.
And may God bless America.
Veteran’s Day Special
If you are a veteran or an active member of the military, we would like to give you your choice of this Star Spangled Tie Dye Tee or this Camo Classic Tee as a gift to say thank you for your service on this Veteran’s Day.
Please contact us today (November 11th, 2016) with your proof of service, your choice of Star Spangled or Camo Classic, shirt size (specify men’s or women’s cut), and shipping address. We will hand tie dye your shirt to order and ship it within 5 business days. While supplies last. Offer available only to U.S. veterans or active members of the U.S. military. Some restrictions apply.