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Honoring ALL Veterans!

With the utmost respect, sincerity and admiration… I want to say “thank you” to all the veterans and servicemen of the United States of America.

Because of you, we Americans have the freedom to vote, speak, own a gun, worship as a we choose, pursue our ambitions, and so many other freedoms that are taken for granted each and every day by nearly every citizen of this great country.

I would offer that the debt of gratitude that we all owe veterans is NOT beyond our ability to repay. You repay that gratitude by standing in silence and removing your hat when you salute the flag. You repay that debt of gratitude when you vote in an election, and put forth the expectation for your children, friends and associates to do the same.

You repay that debt of gratitude by looking to the veteran straight in the eye… young or old… and simply saying “thank you”.

There are many ways to say it.

Last year I took my first trip to Washington, D.C. Washington is a fabulous place for you to visit. If anyone out there is thinking of it I strongly urge you to act on your inspiration.

Seriously… it can change your life.

The night we arrived in D.C. it was raining buckets. I mean serious pelting rain. My 14 year old son and I sat next to each other on the tour bus as we pulled up to the Iwo Jima memorial. A monument statue created from the famous photograph shot by Joe Rosenthal.

As we stopped and the tour guide finished her spiel about the monument, she offered that if you would like to stay on the bus that they would just drive around and you could take pictures from the window.

I was instantly pissed.

When you ponder all the misery and hell that these men went through in their war service experience… charging ground deeply entrenched by the Japanese forces… taking ground so we could prevail in the Pacific theater of operations… and these people weren’t willing to get off the freak’n bus and stand in the rain to pay respects to these men.

My boy and I got off the damn bus.

We stood… sans iPod and any other electronic gadget to distract… and I explained to my son the significance of the War in the Pacific… the fight and struggle for strategic islands… and the moment caught on film that recorded the soul of a nation.

We walked, in the rain… without an umbrella… and we got back on the bus. I had a hard time looking at the folks on the bus. Especially the young adults that should know better.

Enduring a little bit of rain seemed so wholly insignificant compared to what they endured on our behalf.

Washington is wrought with moving memorials. Vietnam, the Tomb of the Unknowns, Korea, the World War II memorial… etc.

This 6’4” man stood overcome with the emotions and feeling of appreciation for the men and women that have provided us with the qualities to be the most admired and regarded nation on the planet. They make us what Ronald Reagan put so eloquently…

The Shining City on a Hill”.
No self defense and fighting lessons or thoughts in today’s blog. Just the lesson to offer the strong suggestion that if you’re reading this today… in English rather than German or Japanese… and you have the luxury of making individual choices for your life… with respect, sincerity and admiration…

Thank a Veteran!

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