Veterans Day was established initially as Armistice Day on 11 November 1918, the end of the First World War. It’s a day to honor all who have served.
It’s believed Memorial Day was established at the end of May, because by then flowers would be blooming all over the country and the graves could be decorated with them.
On the right are the War Dead. Percentage-wise, the bloodiest war was the Mexican War, which most people know little about.
Sadly, we also lose service-members in training all the time. It’s a dangerous profession even when one isn’t at war.
And now we face another ‘war’ where an average of 22 veterans kill themselves every day. I highly recommend going to this web site and scrolling down to look at the pictures and then doing what you can to help: Mi22ion
Which is kind of amusing since those occupations also tend to have the highest divorce rates. My first year in 10th Special Forces, I was deployed 330 days out of 365. And that was without a long deployment (usually 6 months for Spec Ops). Instead it was constant coming and going as mission required. Do you think that’s conducive to marriage? Or a romance novel:
Becky lusted for Lance, but he was in Bosnia at the moment, trying to keep people from killing each other. So she went for the tennis instructor at the country club. The End.
Seems no heroine ever wants to boink the guy serving fries.
On the flip side, there was this article in the NY Times where the author complains about the modern male: Swearing Off The Modern Male.
I confess I don’t know what Coachella is, so I am lacking in moderness. (Is that a word?). Sometimes people send me messages on Facebook and I don’t see them for like a month. Seriously—who sends a message on Facebook? I don’t know what Tinder is and if I did I imagine my wife would pile some tinder under me and make me a smoking wreck. She’s currently cleaning the shower convinced she can get the water marks on the glass off. I’m staying away as she just yelled down asking me to google what happens when you mix alcohol and acid. On the other hand, if there’s an explosion, I will know what to do! Army training, sir!
I do lean towards the idea of universal service. Not necessarily military. We’ve got the Peace Corps, which Jen’s daughter has joined—that’s a serious deployment she’s going on. No texting, Facebooking or any of that crap. As a matter of fact, Jen was told not to expect to hear from her daughter for the first three months if not longer since her daughter will be going through training, learning the culture, the language and getting to know the villagers she will be living with for the next 27 months. Basically, no news is good news. The Peace Corp has been in existence since 1961 and has only had 220,000 volunteers. Current volunteers? Just under 7k. It will, though, give her a very unique perspective about the world in which we live in. We could have a version of the CCC to work on our crumbling infrastructure. Except they’d have to leave their iPhones at home.
Frankly, there is something to be said about going through a rite of passage. I’m not talking some fraternity/sorority bullshit singing ignorant, offensive, songs on a bus ride. I’m talking one where a person is pushed to their limits. Because most people have no clue what their limits are. And that most people are capable of so much more than they think they are. They just never have been tested. And as a society, we have stopped testing the average person, so our average is below average.
Pushing yourself is a learned thing. I don’t know how much training I went through where they started with the old “look to your left, look to your right, one of you is going to be gone.” Sometimes it was two of you would be gone. Sometimes it was: we’re going to do our best to make all of you gone. It just never occurred to me that it would be me. And that attitude has stood me in good stead over the years.
Growing up, all my dad and all my uncles had been in the military. They’d all done at least one stint. Went through basic. Stationed somewhere. Sometimes where they got shot at. Had to learn to obey orders. Inculcate discipline. Now less than 1% of our population has served. I find that a bit worrisome.
After all, where are the heroes in the future romance novels going to come from?