Thursday, January 22, 2009

Originally Posted 11/11/2008

Time to Reflect
from The Daily Scream by Dan

Today is Veteran's Day. In a strange twist of reality, almost everyone but Veterans has the day off. The men and women of our country that really might appreciate the chance to stop by the local VA Center, War Memorial or cemetery are denied that option. Lord only knows why the people that schedule the events of the day typically arrange for them to be held during typical work hours instead of the early evening when a few more Veterans might be able to attend.

I won't say that my family has a long standing military history, because I honestly don't know that to be a fact. What I do know is that my great uncles Ralph and William Wise served, my dad Robert Houck along with my two step-fathers Paul Blow and Andrew Stash served and my step-brother James Blow and I served. Those that did serve seldom discussed their service or their sacrifices, instead they chose to simply be active in Veteran's organizations such as the American Legion and VFW that supported and furthered the causes of the brave men and women that defended our nation. Uncle Will was a Charter Member of Legion Post 907 in Candor, NY...the post that Dad and I still belong to.

A lot of blood, sweat and tears have been shed to get our nation to the point we are today. Maybe our system isn't perfect, but I can tell you that I haven't found another that begins to compare. We have rights and freedoms that citizens of other nations can only dream of, including many nations that consider themselves to be democratic and free. One of the unique opportunities afforded me during my tenure with the military was being able to travel the world and see a large number of different countries and cultures along with their rights and freedoms or lack thereof. Ask any Veteran and they will probably tell you the same thing, there are many beautiful and exotic lands beyond the shores of America, but when it comes right down to it, there is no place like home.

I think I will venture out later today and pay a visit to the VA cemetery in Black Mountain. My former neighbor Charles England is buried there along side countless other brave men and women. It may be a small gesture on my part, but not one taken lightly. I am very thankful for the sacrifices of our Veterans and I am proud to be an American.

Take a moment from your busy day and reflect on your freedoms...then go out and thank a Vet!

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