Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day, Veterans Day, Presidents Day, Independence Day, Inauguration Day, et al

When I woke up this Veterans Day morning I thought about two things: why did my neighbors set their alarms damnit, its a holiday and my little brother.

He's an Intel Specialist for the Army and holds one the highest level of security clearance. Not a true top-tier secret squirrel, but enough so that what he does is simply referred to as "work" and this post required five drafts before it was approved for publication.

At 6 feet tall, 225 pounds, he has the type of presence you get from a heavily-narrated Morgan Freeman movie. Animals are oddly drawn to him. When he left for basic training, my parents dog lapsed into a three month long depression and gained 10 pounds.

Civic duty and service are the sort bureaucratic buzz words he'd never use to describe what he does. Silly and redundant compared to the experiences he's shared. The fellow solider who joined the Army after his entire family was killed during an uprising in Syria, to the 12 hour shift he took sitting with a solider suffering from PTSD to ensure he didn't comimit suicide, to the Drill Sergeant who jumped on top of a live grenade that was mis-thrown during a training exercise (the grenade, 1 of about 100 used that day, was a dud).

It culminates into a combination of worry and respect. I worry that some right-wing fruitcake will finagle his way into office and his inane ramblings will keep the U.S. locked in combat for years to come.

But I respect what my brother, and all the servicemen and women, absent motive or political agenda, are willing to give.

Graves at Arlington on Memorial Day.JPG

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