Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Veteran's Day!

"I dream of giving birth to a child who will ask, "Mother, what was war?" ~Eve Merriam

"Lord, bid war's trumpet cease; Fold the whole earth in peace." ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

"It is easy to take liberty for granted, when you have never had it taken from you."
~Dick Cheney

Today is Veteran's day. Veterans' Day is holiday formerly observed in the United States as Armistice Day in commemoration of the signing of the Armistice ending World War I. November 11Th officially became Veterans' Day on May 24, 1954, by act of Congress. A lot of people get Veteran's day and Memorial day confused. Memorial day is for decorating the graves of love ones who have died. Veterans day is to Honor the Surviving Soldiers who have stood in defense of the Untied States. For many years the Vietnam Vets were the largest group of Veterans. It is now estimated that the Veterans of the current war will equal if not surpass the number of Veterans from any previous war.

My brothers, David, Jimmy and Reuben are all Veterans. My Husband Dave, is a veteran. Dave's Dad was a veteran; as is My oldest son Anthony and my nephew David. Two of my Brother-in-laws, Lawrence and Lennie, are also veterans. Both of My Mom's brother's, Robert and JC, were veterans. I have lots and lots of friends including both Artie and Chris who are veterans. My brother Reuben reminded of the fact that we come from a long line of veterans. Thanks Reuben!

Some of America's most famous entertainers, such as Clint Eastwood and Tony Bennett, started their career in the armed forces. Before they were famous, many celebrities served in the U.S. military. And famous veterans, such as Tony Bennett and Montel Williams, developed and honed their talents while in the service. These famous veterans are proud to have served their country and most credit their success to the lessons learned while serving. The list of entertainers who have spent time in in service to their country also includes Bob Feller, the legendary pitcher for the Cleveland Indians; Actor, Director, Screenwriter Alan Alda; and Comedian, Actor, Author Bill Cosby. As we celebrate Veterans Day this year, we remember all service members (famous and non-famous) who have served this country. We thank them for defending our rights. And protecting the lives of each of us.

When I was a little girl and even into my teen years we would, every once in a great while, go out to eat after Church on Sunday afternoon. We didn't go to a local restaurant. We didn't go to a fast food joint. We would all load up and drive to Augusta. Where way in the back, between the shoes and the knitting thread, we would all line up and go through the lunch counter line at the K-Mart's diner. There was always an old man there that Daddy said was a Vietnam veteran and Mama said not to look at. Mama was afraid of him I think.

I would sneak looks at him trying to see if I could see what made him frightening . I often got caught looking at him and would get in trouble. He was a stranger and in some ways he was strange. He always wore a black vest with all kinds of badges and buttons on it. He wore holey blue jeans and wore out shoes. He had a dog leash with no dog and just gave the general impression of being not quiet right. He had an American flag sewn crooked across the back of his vest. Sewn on by his own hands I imagined. I spent a lot of time imagining back then and no matter how hard I tried not to look at him, my eyes would go to him again and again.

Years later when I was almost grown I saw him again in the Regency Mall, sitting in a wheel chair then, in the center of the mall still smiling and laughing with his "dog gone" and a few newer stuffed animals in the chair with him. Still wearing his vest full of badges and buttons. This time I got close enough to him to see into the deep sparkling green of his eyes and there, I saw that he had lived through many trials and tribulations. I even spoke to him but it was not until I was turning to walk away and catch up with my friends that I spotted hanging just above his heart Two of the Military's highest honor Badges. The Purple Heart and the Bronze Star.

I gave him a big hug that day, praying that Mama wouldn't somehow catch me. He smiled and patted my hand and with a laugh he told me that he sure was glad that I had stopped by for a visit. Mama would have tore me up if she had caught me but I was thrilled to have met him. I often think about him even now. I'm sure he died long ago But something about him touched my heart and made me look twice and even more at him. I can't even imagine what he must have gone through in service to this country, But I'm sure it was no walk in the park. You don't get those medals for walking in the park! Today I am sharing two poems that I wrote about soldiers. I hope you enjoy them. If you know a veteran thank them today for giving their all to defend those of us who live here in America! Have a wonderful day!

Soldier's Prayer
Hold close
Your children.
Our Pains eased
By your loving touch.
Give us strength to endure.
Wisdom and courage each day.
Keep Our loved ones safe from harm.
Oh Lord, Let our Deaths be not in vain.
Lord Watch over us as the winds of war
Blow us onto paths we fear to walk alone.
We know you walk beside us every day.
Never Forsaking us as we trod.
Let us return home full of pride.
Having served Our Country.
And Our God with Honor.
Hold us safely now
within your hand.
Written By:
Patricia Sawyer
Just One Time

Just One time Lord
I would like
to wake in the
first morning sunshine
without a cloud of dust
swirling into red and gold dunes
of sand!
One time, Lord
I would like
to kneel and pray
for my family and my
fellow soldiers without my
weapon waiting at ready within
my hands!
one time, Lord
I would like
to smile at a child
or a beautiful young woman
without the fear that they conceal
a bomb to explode as soon as they get close
to me!
One time, Lord
I would like
to spend a day here
in this war torn Land
without looking over my
shoulder for an unseen enemy
waiting for his best chance to
kill me!
Just One Time, Lord
I would like
to Walk with My wife
and my children and feel again
whole and pure and freshly clean.
As if I had never smelled the stench of death.
Just one
final time
Before I die
here in this
war Ravaged place!

Written By:
Patricia Sawyer
for your information~ A "dog gone" for those who don't know is a dog leash with a collar, stiffened with a wire hidden inside. When you walk the collar will swing and sway and it's little bells will ring as if the collar restrains an invisible dog. for a funny story about my own personal "dog gone" be sure and look back to my post called a Double Dog Dare! Thanks!


Big Time said...

Thanks Patsy for the Veterans Day wishes. Me, David and Jimmy are all veterans as well as Anthony and Bubba. If I remember right Dave is also. We have a family of service men. Uncle Robert and Uncle J.C. And if ou go back as far as the Civil War our Great, Great Grand Father F.O. Black and his brother went to war against the North even though their father the original F.O. didn't agree. I bet if we look into the past as far back as the Revolution we had family fighting the British too. Reuben

Pblacksaw said...

Bigtime~ Thanks for reminding me.. I edited the post to include all of yall who I love so much. I am sure you are right about the revolution! It sounds like we might just enjoy a good fight? Jennifer plans to join the air force and has taken the GED tests recently with the hope of them accepting her with that. She can't wait she says.. I can't say I am happy about her joining but she is grown. I love ya!

Sunshine said...

It sounds as if the men in your family are very proud to be American and serve their country. Fabulous! Nothing like men in uniform...my favorite! I am sure Jennifer(?) will do very well in the service and look great too!

Pblacksaw said...

Sunshine~ Thanks. and yes our men are proud to be American.. And yes there is something about a man in unform.. Sexy I say. Jennifer is a tough cookie so she might be more than the Air force can Tame... She has a lot of me in her even though I am just her step-mom..
Thanks for stopping by.