Thursday, November 11, 2010
Veteran's Day 2010
Today has been great.
I don't bitch about having to work on Veteran's Day too loudly, because too many of my fellow vets aren't alive to enjoy the day with me. I may have had to work at -25 degrees today, but I am alive & whole to do it.
As always, I am overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and gratitude from the people I know. My day has been filled with well-wishes and thank-yous, and it's been rather humbling and really heart-warming. No one serves to get the recognition and the platitudes; if they do then they aren't truly "serving" and tarnish the memory of those who have served honorably.
And unlike last year, I was finally able to get into Applebees and enjoy my free lunch. It was packed but not insanely so, filled with vets from every branch, from WW2 to currently serving troops. Made a new friend sitting at the bar, a fellow Army vet who was in Germany about 10 years after I was. When you're a veteran, you're never without instant friends as soon as you come across another. Five minutes after the first hello, you're talking like you've known each other for years.
I'm dedicating this year's Veteran's Day post to the grandfather of one of my high school classmates. Gerald L. Martin enlisted in the National Guard on July 10, 1940 before assignment to Company 1, 103rd Division as an infantryman. He served in the Pacific Theater, and was discharged in September 1945 with the rank of Sergeant. He remained in the National Guard for 28 years as a Company Commander and attained the rank of Major. Gerald passed away this morning in Millinocket, Maine at the age of 88. Godspeed, sir.