Monday, November 11, 2013

How My Thoughts About Being A Veteran Has Changed: Veteran's Day 2013

Last year, I wrote a post about my thoughts about my service in the Air Force titled Happy Red Tails Day!

Today on Nov 11th, Veteran's Day 2013, I spent the weekend wondering if my thoughts about the military chapter of my life has changed. I've been thinking about that time in my life a lot lately, especially in light of the seemingly never-ending conflict in the Persian Gulf.

Things were definitely a lot different back when I served in the Persian Gulf back in 1994. I was serving there as part of a peace-keeping mission in Saudi Arabia. At the time, everything thought that sending troops over to the Gulf (Or, "The Sandbox" as we troops called it) was basically a formality. The first Gulf War was officially over. That war ended so quickly, we had no reason to believe that this would happen again.

But it did.

And personally, my heart breaks a little for all of the troops who never made it back to the States like I did. I remember how exhilarating it was for all of us troops to get the announcement that we were about to cross in over land from the Atlantic, flying into the Philadelphia International Airport. We all broke out in cheers and started a HUGE plane-wide pillow fight that made the flight attendants laugh.

I'm getting teary-eyed at the memory, even now.

Many people have asked me what it was like to serve in the military and specifically, what it was like to serve in Saudi Arabia. I said then that it was a once in a lifetime experience. I had some challenging moments but I wouldn't trade any of it for the world. And you know what my thoughts are now?

My thoughts about being a veteran is an increased level of pride, as the years go on. I won't pretend that I saved the world with my typewriter (And later on, my desktop computer). But I did my part to support the world-wide effort. I was a part of that fabric. I feel an empathy and a sense of satisfaction that is only earned from well...literally earning my stripes!


  1. Thank you for your service, for doing your part to provide the umbrella of security under which we all live.