Friday, November 12, 2010

Happy Veterans Day

I am not sure I have ever expressed to anyone who reads this blog the complicated nature of my relationship with the military.

I have:
  • gotten recruiting calls from West Point (for no good reason; seriously, my grades in high school were terrible and my SATs were very good, but not amazing)
  • been a pacifist
  • considered joining the Reserve
  • dated someone whose father was a retired two-star general
  • numbered soldiers and Marines among some of my closest friends
  • been scared to death on and after September 11
  • lived very close to the Pentagon
  • been simultaneously horrified and delighted by the weekly Twilight Tattoos on the National Mall
  • opposed every war the U.S. has entered in my lifetime
So, yeah, it's a little complicated.

But you know what?

Until my adult self is ready to be the kind of unambivalent pacifist my 15-year-old self was, and is willing to deal with the consequences of what it would mean if my nation suddenly gave up its military, I have no business being anything but undyingly grateful to the men and women who serve our country in all of the jobs our military takes care of.

I am deeply proud of my friends in uniform, and I am honored that they serve to protect me and my freedoms.

Day 11 of my month of gratitude: I am grateful for people who do the work I can't do. Happy Veterans Day.

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