Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

Thank You, Veterans

I just wanted to thank each and every veteran on this Veteran’s Day for all their service to this country. And I also wanted to say those veterans suffering from mental illnesses–and there are many of them–are surely in my prayers.

  • Margaret Balyeat

    I have at mny times in our dialouge shared that my late father was an abusivealcoholic and that as the ‘scapegoat” in the family, it was primarily me that was on the receiving end of his (physical and emoyional; NOT sexual, thank GOD!) abuse. In his fibal years, howevwem we came to a sort of understabding, due primarily to the fact that I was finally able throughACOA group work and individual cunseling to stop reacting in the tried and true ways I had all of ny life, which put him in the podsition of being forced to change gis OWN behavior (As I became less and less reactive and unwillibg to be the victin, he no longer received whatever “pleasure” he’d always gotten from devaluing me. Also dueing thelast years of his kufe, my two younger sisters were able to (Unfortunately with the help of a fifth of Canadian Club!)convince him to submit to an oral history interview about his WWII experiences, which they taped and shared with our older sister and myself. Like many(most?) combat veterans, he had never really liked to talk about those years except perhaps with other veterans, but he answered ther questions (i.e. “where were you.what were ytou doing when tiy heard that Pearl harbor had been attacked and what was ytour initial reaction?” as well as relate many anecdotes(some horrifying,others actually amusing(?)which gave me a deeper understanding of the many experiences which had created the man he was. (Not that any of them excuse his abusiveness; they just added insight.) It has become my practice on Veteran’s Days since his passing to listen to this tape again. It keeps me mindful of the horrorifying realities of war and the long-lasting effects on those citizens who actually LIVE them. Other than on 911, we Americans haven’t experienced war on our own shores since the Civil war days, and i realize that it’s BECAUSE of our many veterans that we’ve been so blessed. However, a tour of Europe the summer of 1967 ( I “won” the trip; wasn’t one of the privileged class who as a matter of course “did the continental tour through my church which decided to send a representative from our local congregation on the “Christian teens Abroad Tour and sponsored an essay contest on what it meant(means) to be a Christian.) showed me the downside (And there actually IS one1)of the peace we as Americans have enjoyed. even forty years after the fact, there were still many bombed-out buildings in many of the six countries we toured, and they were vwey tangible reminders of how HORRIBLE war truly is! In addition, we toured the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam where the Frank family and their companions hid from the Gestapo for all those years; the small size of the “window” she described as her only connection to the world was absolutely heartbreaking! Most tterrifying of all was our tour of the concentration camp at Terrazin, Czechoslovakia(as the land was still known in ’67) Those sights coupled with our visit to Omaha Beach and the cemetery at Normandy were all factors which served to cement my “dove” status throughout my college years which followed. (Yes, I was among the thousands who traveled to our nation’s capital to protest the Viet Nam “Conflict”. (“Conflict”, my a–, it was a war albiet an undeclared one replete with all the horrors of ANY war, both for the citizens AND the soldiers fighting it.!Strangely enough, I ended up marrying a Viet Nam veteran, so I hot some first-hand accounts of how very real that war was as well.) My point?… I honestly believe that EVERY citizen of our privileged country should have those expieriences/witness those sights in order to gain a more honest understanding of what war truly means. (Oy ain’t pretty!) We all owe a sincere thank you to ALL veterans. cobat or not) for keeping those types of manifestations fron our land for so many years. After all, it’s the peace time soldiers who kept us at peace through their very presence. That’s quite a turn around in mindset for an ex ;flower child” who knew (and supported) her share of draft dodgers and war protesters back in the day. Unfortunately, war has been around sibce the dawn of civilization, and it’s not going anywhere any time too soon. (If you don’t believe me, read Revelations)and today’s weapons are much more deadly than Sansob’s “jawbone of an ass’! So, to anyone reading this who has served our country–in either peace or war times, let ,e add my heartfelt appreciation to Therese’s. At his request, we gave my father a military funeral. To this day I can’t hear “Taps without crying! (….”All is well, safely rest…” I’ve found most ex-military people (or current, for that matter) don’t know how to react to a simple thank you, perhaps, as one of my ex-navy cousins observed, because they’re so unaccustomed to hearing it and view their service suimply as “duty.” On a trip last spring to Chicago’s Field Museum to see the King Tut exhibit, I encountered many yuoung sailors since the great Lakes Training Camp is nearby, and made it a point to speak a thank you to each of them. Their reactions were so similar it almost seemed scripted! (a hanging of the head, shuffling of feet and a whispered, “Oh, you’re welcome Ma’am” One of my sisters who was with me grew embarrassed FOR them and asked me to stop….how SAD that it’s come to that!

  • Larry Parker

    My thoughts:
    (Add the four magic letters, the colon and the two backslashes to start, of course.)


    I make it a point to thank every Veteran I come across in my like. A simple “thank you for serving our Country” can make people feel that they were just doing their duty.
    I always add…Thank You for holding my Freedom in your hands and heart.
    It seems to make it more personal, that they did the service for ME, and we usually end up talking about what Freedom really means.
    My favorite bumper sticker is
    ” if you can read this, thank a Teacher.
    if you can read this in English, thank a Vet”
    stretchycat, daughter of a WWII pilot.

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