Monday, May 30
Memorial Day has a special meaning for me. I'm a Navy vet, having served four years from '96 to '00 and conducting two tours in the Middle East. I did my service, left honorably, and still count it as one of the best decisions I've made in my life. In fact, I question at times how different my life would look if I had taken a deal offered by my CO to stick around for another four years. But ultimately, my heart wasn't in it anymore. I knew that when hearing the Star Spangled Banner failed to elicit any response out of me, good or bad. I think if you want to make a life out of serving your country, your heart has to be in it 100%, and mine wasn't.
Beyond that, I have two relatives who unfortunately are no longer around anymore, that I remember often, but especially on days like today. My grandfather, Doyle Johnson, served in the Army at the tail end of World War II, after the fall of Hitler but while Allie forces were still going through the process of putting things back to relative normalcy. Also, my father-in-law, Ron Tasch, who served in the Air Force during Vietnam. The work he did, I'm certain, will never be made public. All I know is that his unit worked closely with the CIA in a place in the Philippines that technically didn't exist until sometime last decade, when documents surrounding it were declassified.
I miss them both, and remember them on this day for the service they gave to this country. /salute
Posted by J. J. Westendarp at 10:42 AM