Veterans Day, 2013

I am the daughter of a veteran.

My late dad served in the U.S. Navy, but true to some unwritten code, he rarely talked about it.

He and his generation returned from WWII and promptly went about the business of life.

They married, raised children, started businesses. Burying any feelings about their wartime experiences, they worked hard so their children wouldn’t have to go to war.

It didn’t work, of course. There have been several wars since then in far-off places like Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

Their goal, however, was noble. Admirable.

My dad never participated in a Veterans Day parade. Never modeled his uniform for us kids. Never brought out medals to impress us.

He was a humble man.

His believed that life, well-lived, was testimony enough.

You know, it’s kind of a misconception that Veterans Day is set aside to honor those who served in our nation’s military and died either in battle or from wounds sustained in combat.

What Veterans Day recognizes is all who served, both living and deceased. To recognize the selfless contribution all have made so that we might live as free people.

So when I see uniform-clad men and women, proudly wearing their ribbons and medals, crisply saluting the Flag as it passes by, and emotionally listening to speeches, I’m reminded of my own dad.

Who served nobly. And without much fanfare.

And I’m proud. Very proud.

32 thoughts on “Veterans Day, 2013

  1. Debbie, what a profound and beautiful tribute to your father and to all who have served to protect and make our country free. Here’s to all of them. Here, in San Diego, we have a lot of military men and women. Whenever possible when I run into them at the store or in line for a movie, I take a moment to thank them. What they do is over and above. Period.

    • You’re fortunate to be surrounded with so many living reminders that we can’t afford to take our freedom lightly, Monica. Thank *you* for thanking them — for ALL of us!

      • Yes, I am! With marine and naval bases here, San Diego is definitely a military town. In fact, the military is the largest employer here, and we have a significantly large number of vets living here. So, with all this protection, we’re probably one of the safest towns, too!

        • Not to mention all that sunny, southern California weather! I’d sure like to have some of that here today — we could see snowflakes by this evening. Brrr!

  2. Beautiful post, Debbie.
    You have every right to be proud.
    I’m so thankful for our veterans and those now serving our country. Their dedication and sacrifice are immeasurable.

    • Absolutely well said, Suzi. My dad’s generation, like so many who served before them, thought they were making the world free forever. Sadly, we know that peace is an ideal that probably won’t occur in our lifetimes (though it’s good that we still strive toward it!)

  3. What a touchingly beautiful post, Debbie! It actually brought tears to my eyes.

    And as Suzicate shared, you have every right to be proud of him.

    “What Veterans Day recognizes is all who served, both living and deceased. To recognize the selfless contribution all have made so that we might live as free people.”


    I am utterly grateful for our military men and women. Bless them!

    Thank you so much for posting this, dear lady! It’s perfect!


    • Well, thank *you*, Ron — I’m blushing at your lofty compliments! You know, one day set aside in an entire year of days probably isn’t near sufficient to recognize the sacrifices our military personnel and their families make. But it’s a start, huh? Thanks, as always, for dropping by and bundle up for the cold heading your way!!

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  6. How noble they are; those who serve. I honor them too. My father is a veteran of the Korean War where he served in the Navy, my husband is retired Air Force and my youngest son is currently deployed to Kuwait, also in the USAF. I’m so proud of all of them and so grateful to them, and so many, like your father, for their service. May we always bear in mind the sacrifice and courage of those who serve our great country.

    • Barb, I know you’re every bit as proud of your dad, your husband, and your son — thank them, won’t you, for the rest of us who enjoy freedom today! Domer’s dad served in the USAF as well, but that was long before little Domer arrived on the scene. We’re so blessed by their courage!

  7. The bravery and courage people like your father showed in battle was remarkable, but even more remarkable was the determination and courage they showed as they returned home and began rebuilding their lives. In this age of terrible self-absorption (what IS with those ridiculous “selfies”?) they are a models also for how to live in peacetime.

    I’m so glad you posted this. We need every reminder we can get.

    • Linda, don’t get me started on the self-absorption and “selfies”!! I couldn’t agree more that my dad’s generation (“the greatest generation”) provided outstanding role models for the rest of us. Perhaps more than at any other time of the year, I miss Daddy’s quiet wisdom and strength. Thanks for stopping by and taking time to read.

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  9. Well said, Debbie. What a beautiful tribute, not only to your father, but to all the men and women who have served our country and helped guarantee the freedom that we often take for granted.

    • Pat, you’ve got me blushing at your kind words — thank you! I fear that too often, we take our freedoms for granted, when we should be living with gratitude ALL the time.

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  11. This is beautiful. Your father sounds like he was a good man. I love the fact he was so humble and lived without recognition or fanfare.

    My grandpa was in the Navy but the only way we knew it was by the one 8×10 photo that sat on a bookcase i the room they used for an office.

    My sons and their scout troop greeted the local veterans as they arrived for a Veteran’s Day ceremony yesterday. Their goal was to talk to as many as they could and thank them for their service.

    • What a great idea, having the scouts greet and thank the veterans! A lot of kids that age tend to be shy around strangers, and the veterans tend to be modest about their service; putting them together in such an other-directed event surely was a win-win for both.
      You know, Daddy really wasn’t supposed to even be in the war (he was on the young side), but when he saw his older brothers enlisting, he had to follow. Our family is blessed they *all* returned safely.

  12. I think part of the reason too, that men like your dad were quiet about their service is that their generation didn’t feel the need to share everything with the world, the way we tend to do today. Your dad sounds like a wonderful man. You were lucky to have such a wonderful man as your father.

    • Thank you, Terri. I know I was blessed. That’s an interesting change you pointed out, how prone we today are to sharing everything. Of course, with computers and social media and smart phones, it’s so much easier to share, isn’t it? Thanks for your kind words!

  13. Very thoughtful post. We don’t do nearly enough to support the people that have protected our country. I am so thankful to never have had to leave my country knowing that there was a legitimate chance I may never see those I loved the most again.

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