If I’d have seen this post by Sean Hughes earlier, I would have added it to my earlier Memorial Day 2016 post. However, I think it deserving of a place on my blog, so I’m adding this stand alone Addendum. Mr. Hughes, undoubtedly speaks for many of us veterans, especially the war veterans.
Here is the opening of his piece, The Blank Check … followed by the last two paragraphs. It’s a quick read, and I highly recommend it:
“A veteran is someone who, at one point in their life wrote a blank check made payable to The United States of America, for an amount up to and including their life.”….
The fallen are heroes. Maybe more than we realize. All of those men and women laying beneath those humble stones had plans for the days after they died. They all had hopes to get out alive, even if they didn’t know how. To start or finish a family. Write a book. Start a blog. And none of them did. They gave their life to a task that only they could do. Or a teammate only they could save. For many of them, the life of a warrior was all they knew any more. All they would do. All they could do.
This war has shaped my generation the way that only a war that travels with fighting men and women for 15 years can. And for those of you whose check was cashed, we remember you this weekend. Not because of the hundreds of millions of Americans sleeping soundly in their beds at night. Chances are, they’d still be sleeping soundly if you were still alive-perhaps even if you never went. But for the brothers and sisters who fought this war with you. And the bond we have. And the debt you paid for us. You never got the chance to try to stop living the life. And for that, we will be forever in your debt.