What would you call a country that had the power to come to you as a young man of 18 or 20 and tell you:

Your life, your plans, forget about them. Put them on hold.  We are taking you away.  We are going to cut your hair, tell you when and what you can eat, sleep, and do every waking hour that you are alive for the next 2 years.  Maybe longer.

We are going to teach you how to kill others.  We will order you to shoot your weapon and you will do exactly as you are told, or face the consequences.

This was my vision of what our country was like when my Dad and Uncles were growing up.

Some served in World War 2, some in Korea, others during peacetime, but all of them served in a branch of the military.

We no longer have an active requirement that we serve our country in the same manner.  However if you are between 18 and 25, you still need to register.

It’s Veterans Day and this is often a forgotten National Holiday.

Yesterday in Fort Wayne, we had our annual Parade.

Vets will get free meals at various restaurants.

But for a lot of us, it is nothing more than an inconvenience (no mail delivery on Monday), if anything.

It’s time to stop that kind of thinking.

The servicemen and women in our armed services are doing it because they choose to serve. They want to give.  And it’s not all about killing either. As I look back at my Dad and Uncles, they didn’t go grudgingly into the army, navy, air force or marines.  They selected what branch they wanted to join.  They served.  Some saw terrible things, others were spared.

No matter, please take the time today and beyond to appreciate and express that appreciation to those that serve.