11.11.09 8 years ago 30 Comments

Hey everybody, happy Veterans Day. I hope you’ve got the day off. I’m not sure if I technically have the day off or not, but I’m taking it off, because… hell, it’s my holiday. And although I have a nice day of walking around the park and going to a matinee planned, I do have some posts set to go live later on, so there will be some new content throughout the day. Warming Glow will chug on without me, as long as you keep coming back.

For anyone who’s curious about the picture: that’s your fearless television blogger six and a half years ago (middle right), much leaner and balder than he is today. That was in Kuwait before the war started; back then, we had the luxury of celebrating victories in our little bunny ring toss game. Nowadays I’m more comfortable, but I miss carrying a nine-mil and the authority to give orders.

You know, that’s the real sacrifice veterans make: not the horrors we suffer while serving our country, but the loss of the world we know when we re-enter civilian life. I don’t want to be thanked for what I did; I just want to be normal. I want my command of a tank company at age 25 to count as much as running an 80-person department when people look at my resume. I want employers to treat veterans like people with exceptional job experience, not as otherworldly beings who insanely took a different path. I don’t deserve pity or awe, and I don’t want one day of reverence followed by 364 days of nonchalance. I don’t want yellow ribbons on cars. I want every person to challenge himself or herself, to pursue a life they deem honorable, to make the most of the few short years they have on this planet. Those who have been to war know that it can reveal the worst of humanity. Strive to make it better.

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