Sunday, May 27, 2012

Thanks to a Veteran; Happy Memorial Day


Happy Memorial Day!
Thank You Veterans, Past, Present, and Future!

This Memorial Day post (I know Memorial Day is tomorrow) is dedicated to my Grandpa Smith. Samuel Brooks Smith served in World War II and passed away when I was only 4 years old...on Father's Day, no less. For years on Memorial Day we would go to the cemetery and pay our respects. If there were wild flowers in the field I'd pick a bouquet and tolerate the long drive to the graveyard. Dad would stand there for a long time just looking at the headstone and I would get bored. I was bored, but at least I was part of an important tradition.

The last time I visited Grandpa, and now Grandma Smith, was the summer of 2010. I was in the area so it was convenient that I went. I do not remember the last Memorial Day I went and paid my respects, not just as a granddaughter, but as a thankful American.

Last Sunday I picked wild flowers in the fields....they are still out there now, back behind my house growing in full abundance. I have no plans to visit the cemetery tomorrow, and to be honest, I feel like chicken poo for it. I got to thinking about this and it bothers me. It also bothers me that a Navy veteran will lie somewhat forgotten tomorrow. That is why I want to dedicate this post to my Grandpa.

I have one regret so far in my life, and that is that I feel shorted that I didn't get the chance to know this man very well. After all he was part of the creation that went into forming the man my father is. (He had to have been pretty cool!) All I remember of him was sitting in an old rocking chair and begging him to take out his false teeth. Of course to placate a grandchild he did every time. I also remember the smell of a pipe and a Navy tattoo. Oh and the bananas the nurse would give me at the nursing home when mom and I would go to visit.

So anyway, PLEASE thank a veteran! Not just tomorrow, but anytime you see one. We all get the e-mails about how we get stressed out sitting in traffic but at least we go home to our families every night and don't have to sleep in a dugout foxhole. Some of us also complain about how America is a  piece of crap. I don't think it is, and I can thank a veteran for it.

We have chickens and dogs as pets and not necessarily look at them as dinner; thanks to a veteran.

We can drive anywhere we want; thanks to a veteran.

We can SAY anything we want, even about this great and wonderful country we live in; thanks to a veteran.

This can go on and on; thanks to a veteran.

Someday I'll see Grandpa again and I'll get to catch up on things I didn't get the chance to do here. I'll tell him how sorry I am for not visiting more often; however, he's still in my heart, everyday, not just on Memorial Day, the 4th of July or Veteran's Day...

I have SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO many veterans to thank. So thank you all. Because of you I have the freedom to write this and to post it.

And thank you, dad. You served in the most controversial of them all, Vietnam. I'm proud of you and you should be too! Love you!

Happy Memorial Day!


The Chicken Lady

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