Happy Veterans Day

I am about to get a little personal here….

I come from a family of Vets. My Dad served in the Navy during the Cuban Missle Crisis. He was on a nuclear sub off the coast during that time and used to always tell me as a kid about his time in the Navy and how scared he and his servicemates were that we were going to be going to war.

My one Uncle served in Vietnam, he has spoken to several schools about that war and educated them on what his experiences were there.

Another Uncle is a retired Naval Commander, a former professor at Notre Dame and won teacher of the year in FL once.

Myself, I never served….

In 1993 I signed up. I chose the Air Force because of the educational opportunities presented to me plus I didn’t want to follow my family’s footsteps, I wanted to make a mark of my own.

My ASVAB tests were extremely high, the physical tests were great, then it came to the hearing test. I failed it miserably. I was born with a hearing problem and trying to time the beeps to ensure a good score was fruitless.

At the time, I was devastated. I was going through my life without a goal in mind and I looked at service as a chance to be who I needed to be in this world.

The military cutbacks post Gulf War 1 pretty much ensured that even with the subpar hearing test I would not be an enlisted man. The man at MEPS said I was officer material but with the hearing test they can’t allow me in under those conditions.

I called my mom and was very upset.

My life took on a decidedly different path after that, who knows what would have happened if I made it in.

Would I be writing on a blog about strength training today?  Would I be in Ohio? Who knows?

But… it comes down to this…

I love my Veterans. You should too. Those who serve are people like you and me. They are good, bad, strong, scared, physically weak, physically superior, flawed and human. They choose to sign up knowing that at any given time they will be called into combat or combat support. They know that by serving our nation they could lose their lives during that time.

Imagine knowing that your job carries a risk of death… Sure, in construction and transportation you carry a risk of that as well, but its not part of your “duty”. Policeman and firefighters have that risk as well, but as an Enlisted serviceman, that risk is part of why you signed up.

They are to be respected, honored and looked at as people of real strength.

All the shit we talk about being strong, just getting it done, etc. pales in comparison to the life of a citizen serving this nation. They are examples of what real strength is. Serving overseas away from their families and friends, those who are on the front lines facing down gunfire and bombs, those who support and offer aid to the fallen soldiers, and those who have to make decisions to put lives on the line for a cause.

Those men and women epitomize what it means to be strong.

Find a Vet today, thank them. Talk to them. They made a sacrifice most of us would never be able to make, couldn’t make or aren’t strong enough to make.

At the heart of it all, no matter what you believe politically, their number one job is to protect this nation against all threats. Honour them today.

Happy Veterans Day, you have and will always have my respect.


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