Thank a Veteran

As we celebrate Veterans’ Day today, it is a time for us all to pause and reflect on just what our Veterans have done for us. “Some gave all; all gave some.” When a man or woman enters into military service, he or she vows to defend our nation from all enemies, foreign and domestic. Included in the documents signed at that time is the sobering admission that joining the Service may cost you your life.

In times of armed conflict (read: war), huge numbers of Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines have laid down their lives in the name of freedom. Countless myriads have gone through events that would absolutely petrify the average citizen. Those who saw the face of war came home scarred for life, if they came home at all. And the vast majority of those who survived those wars absolutely do not talk about it. It’s not a topic for dinner conversation.

We owe our Veterans a debt of deepest respect. It is because of their selfless sacrifice that we enjoy all the creature comforts of life that we routinely take for granted. It is because of our Veterans that speaking Japanese, Chinese, Russian, or Arabic in the USA is an academic option, not a social necessity.

It is a tragedy that Veterans are not universally respected in our modern society. It is disgrace that Veterans are homeless in our nation. And it is a disservice to our young people that video games glorify war and killing. War and killing are not games. In reality you don’t “get another life” or get to start over. And you can’t just forget the “game” when it’s over.

Whenever you encounter a Veteran in any social setting, be sure to tip your hat and offer thanks. When I was stationed at Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha, Nebraska, someone called the base to complain about all the loud jet engine noise, and the planes flying over their house. The Airman asked, “Did you get a good look at the tail of the airplane?” “YES I DID!” the caller shouted. The Airmen then asked, “Did it have an American flag on it?” “YES IT DID!” the caller boomed. “You’re welcome,” the Airman said, and hung up.

My hat is off to all of our Veterans. Thank you for your sacrifice. Thank you for your service. And Ooh-Rah, Aim High, Semper Fi and Hold Your Heads High!

For the Greater Glory of God,
Fr. Matt