Veterans' Day is this week and that means it is time to honor those men and women who lay their lives on the line for our freedom. Veterans' Day has had a new meaning to me for the last few years. I have always respected our military men and women but a few years ago it hit a little closer to home. My cousin Phillip had enlisted in the Army when he was younger and he hit the ground running and took the job as a soldier seriously. He went to Ranger school and Paratrooper school and rose in the rankings in the Army. I was so very proud of him. After 9-11 I started getting this feeling that something was going to happen and I may never see Phillip again. He had been stationed in Germany and we had lost touch but he still meant a lot to me.
I remember being at my grandmother's house one night and she told me she had something to tell me----Phillip was going to war. It was like someone had hit me right in the stomach. I sat there for what felt like forever not knowing what to say. She told me that my aunt was going to have a get together before he left to go back to Fort Benning and I could not wait to see him and tell him how much I loved him. I did not want to let him go that day. I was scared to death something was going to happen to him.
Every day as the updates on the Iraq war came I was sick---- I felt worse and worse as the statistics came in. I was a nervous wreck not knowing how Phillip was doing or if he was still alive. Then came the article in the paper with Phillip's picture in it---I had a HUGE sigh of relief that day--He was ok! Then the pain came again and lasted for a while until he came HOME!!!!
Oh the day he FINALLY came home......My aunt threw a coming home party (she always has parties) And I don't think I left Phillip's side for 1 minute that day!! I was SOOOOOOO glad he was home in 1 piece.
But the battle doesn't end when the troops come home. They have to deal with what they saw and what they did and sometimes it is VERY hard for them to reacclamate to the day to day.
I don't think that at times we give our troops the respect that they deserve. They fight for US!!!! I know people my age only aquaint war to what is going on now but there are more troops out there that have fought in wars that we could not even wrap our heads around how bad they were.
Thank our troops and let them know how much you appreciate what they do!!!!!