Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Honoring our Veterans

A lot of what I learned about honor, I learned from my parents. Today I'm thinking about a lesson I learned from my dad, and it's about honoring our Veterans.

Dad didn't actually teach me this lesson himself. I learned this lesson from my dad via his very good friend, Theo. Theo is much like a second dad (or sometimes an older brother) to me. Theo served in Vietnam, and carries the toll that the war took on him to this day as he fights the early onset of Parkinson's disease.

In College, I took a course on the history of the Vietnam war one fall semester, and as luck would have it, Theo and I spent time together that fall traveling to hunting camp. Just he and I in a dark truck on a cold night, going somewhere we loved to go. We talked about his experiences and what I'd learned. About wild times in his past and about love and friendship.

And then Theo told me that when he returned from Vietnam my father showed up at his door to thank him for his service. And that my dad was the only one that made it a point to thank him for many many years.

Every year on Veterans Day, I make it a point to thank whomever I know who has served our country in time of war. I'll start making phone calls as soon as I collect myself after writing this, as I could not make it through this post without tears welling up in my eyes and my nose starting to run.

I was touched by comments the Joe Theismann made yesterday when he spoke at a conference I attended. I happened to be videotaping at the time, and have posted that video on YouTube.

I'm extremely fortunate not to have lost a loved one in a war. But I'm even more fortunate to live freely, happily and safely in this wonderful experiment in democracy known as America.

Have you thanked a veteran lately?


Lori Bee said...

Matt, I totally agree with you and your Dad about thanking those that served and honoring those that died. A great program you may/may not know about & is real estate related is Homes For Troops. They helped my friend/neighbor Johnathon when he returned severely injured from Iraq. Highly recommend it!

Homes 4 Troops
http://tinyurl.com/6ac39b and http://tinyurl.com/6fl2rc

It's a great way to say thank you. And thanks for your blog on this important matter.

Matt said...

Thanks for the info, Lori. I'm going to check that program out.

It's easy to write about things you believe in. Though it did require a few tissues.

Norm Plumstead said...

Well said, Matt, and totally on-point.

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