veteran:  adj.– a person who has served in a military force, (in a war);

VETERANS DAY:  n; November 11, a legal holiday in the commemoration of the end of WW1, and in honor of veterans of the armed forces, ( formerly Armistice Day).

Isn’t this holiday special?  It’s a day when a special group of U.S. citizens assigned their lives to the freedom of this country; and boy, did they do it!  I think that that’s the the best of a commitment to anyone, or to anything.  It epitomizes how great a U.S. person can be.  My Dad is one of those people.

My Dad served in Korea, 1953-1955.  That doesn’t sound like a long time, but there’s a little story here.  Dad had to go to Korea 2 weeks after marrying my Mom.  Also, Dad was playing baseball in the Yankee organization, in the middle of his prime baseball days.  After 62 years of marriage to my mom, they’re still having a glass of wine every night; they might even throw in some cheese and crackers!  I personally think that the commitment to his country, also encouraged his commitment to my mother,  after 62 years!!  I also think that being a veteran, helped his decision on what he would do the rest of his life; becoming a police officer.

Aside from keeping the “bad” guys off of the streets, dad provided the “other” side of a policeman, helping people, with several other interests.  He played Santa at Christmas.  I played Little League baseball, and the team was sponsored by the Peoria Police Department, so dad asked the Peoria Police Benevolent Assoc. to pay for our entire team for a trip to go and see the Chicago Cubs play a game Wrigley Field!  And they did!  What a trip that was.  Dad and 3 or 4 other dad’s drove us up there.  I’m from Peoria, Illinois, so we were about 2 hours from Chicago, and Wrigley; you would think that would seem like eternity to a 9 and 10 year old kid, but it wasn’t.  We stopped about half way up, and had a lunch at a family style restaurant, eating fried chicken!  What could be better?  That’s nothing, compared to what was available to us at the ballpark.  Anything we wanted; hot dogs, sodas, souvenirs, popcorn, and we all, (the team), ate every time one of the soda  guys, (as we called them), came around!  I won’t tell you what happened later in the night,  (after eating more than I could handle!), after getting home, but it wasn’t pretty!  We did that 3 or 4 years in a row, what a memory.  He coached me in basketball,  and after I became “of age”, (or maybe a little before!), we went out for a beer.  Again, what could be better?  All of this from a policeman, who went to Korea, to defend our country.  All of his commitment instilled by not only his family, but also from his country.  That’s what a veteran learns, commitment, and loyalty.

I just wanted to say Happy Veterans Day, not only to my Dad, but to all the others who have served our country; from the beginning of our nation, to our present time.  I salute you, and admire you, and what you’ve done.

I love you Dad, (ok, have that second glass of wine today!),  and to all the other families who have a/or more veterans in their family history.

Please enjoy the freedoms of our country, as it was written in 1776.



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