Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Totally Awkward Veteran

I just finished writing a research paper for my English lit class on dramatic literature, so my motivation to actually blog went out the window.

But I feel that since today is Veteran's Day, it's important that I share what today means to me.
As a veteran and the wife of an active duty Marine, days like today have a whole different meaning. 
I know firsthand and have experienced the sacrifices that come with serving our great nation.
Missed birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, milestones...
Pain, grief, loss, guilt...
Mental health issues, physical issues...

With that said, it's still incredibly awkward for me when people tell me "thank you for your service". 
I honestly end up mumbling some words like "it was an honor", "you don't have to thank me", "thanks"...
The best one is when I blurt out, "No, thank YOU"....
It usually gets a little awkward, since the other person is looking at me like, "why the hell are you thanking me? I'm not a veteran, and I just thanked YOU!"
 I feel like I am coming off as insincere, when in reality, I am SO grateful that there are people in this country that will recognize a veteran for their service.

Being thanked for a job that you volunteered for and absolutely loved is sometimes awkward matter how you put it.
But when I think about it, most of my friends that are fellow veterans probably feel the same way I fact, I KNOW they do.
I've had many discussions about it with fellow vets and even my husband.
If you're a veteran and you don't, then I'm going to assume that your humility level is slightly lower than me (haha...sorta.)

But this doesn't mean I'm not proud of my service, and proud of my accomplishments as a Marine. 
I love being part of this "exclusive club", and even better, I get to be married to someone who is in the same club as me! score!
I am constantly in awe of what Marines accomplish every day, and I am so humbled some days to share the same planet earth as them!
How can I not be proud to be amongst such great men and women?!

So, I end with this...
If you're a veteran, don't be ashamed to go get your free meal and appetizer at participating restaurants. 
Don't be ashamed to post your photo of you proudly in uniform on your social media.

If you're a thankful citizen...
A thank you means a lot.
A hug means a lot (but be careful...I know lots of vets who hate being touched and may get all awkward if you try and hug them...or even violent...haha....but really...)

And in the off chance you meet a veteran like me who is totally awkward in "thank you for your service" situations....
Just break the ice, and say something like...
"I bet you don't miss wearing them combat boots anymore!"
 "I bet you don't miss getting up at zero 430 every morning!"

Dannika's school had a Veteran's Day flag raising ceremony this morning.
The students were encouraged to wear red, white, and blue.

Dannika and her principal.

The boy scouts did an awesome job of raising the flags.

I love how so many kids showed off their patriotism in their red, white, and blue!

Silly kids.

Afterwards, they invited us all in for coffee and cookies in the cafeteria.

I even got some adorable "thank you" letters from the kids.

Some of my faves..

Dear Veteran,
Thank you for 'hiting' bad guys. I love you.
Love, Billy

Response from me: *I've actually never hit a bad guy, but I have build bombs, rockets, and guns that might have aided in their deaths...* (is that appropriate to even say to a child?!?!?!)

Dear Veteran,
Thank you for dying for our country.
(Name illegible) 

Response from me: *I'm so glad I could die for you! lol.*

 Happy Veteran's Day, folks!

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