I would not have the freedom to sit here and run my mouth if it weren't for millions of men and women who have served in America's armed forces. On this Veteran's Day, I would like to thank those great Americans, especially the following members of my own family:
Bob Howes (uncle), U.S. Army, Viet Nam war
Bill Howes (father), U.S. Army, 1959-1961
Pat Green (uncle), U.S.A.F., 1966-1970
Alex Green (cousin), U.S. Army, current
Tom Esposito (father-in-law), U.S. Army, WWII
Joe Green (grandfather), U.S. Army, WWII
Bill Howes (grandfather), U.S. Army, WWII
Buck Green (cousin), U.S. Army, WWII
Robert Green (cousin), U.S. Army, WWII
Theron Barton (uncle), U.S. Army, WWII
All but one of my family members have returned from war. Buck Green fell in action in St. Lo France shortly after D-Day in 1944. His loss is still felt today by his surviving sister and my mother, who was young when he fell. His gift to me was not in vain.
From time to time I remind myself that if these brave souls could travel from their homes in rural South Carolina and Virginia to fight the facists, then I can get off my derriere and work for causes and candidates that I believe in. It's the least I can do. If they can risk their life for their country, I can help others in my community by teaching CCD and coaching recreational sports teams. It's the least I can do.
That's the takeaway of Veterans Day. Those of us who did not risk our lives have an obligation to make sure those who did risk their lives did not do so in vain. Exercise our freedoms well. Live our lives well. It is a gift to live in the USA.