Veterans Day is the day that we honor those who have served in the United States Armed Services consisting of the military services of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard.
To those who have served and continue to serve, we offer up a huge debt of gratitude and heart-felt honor from those of us, the citizenry of the United States of America, whom you serve in our stead.
There have been times when serving in the US Armed Services was not an option. Those of us who are old enough, saw our friends and family mandated to serve in the military, forced to fight on our behalf by law, sometimes against their will. Regardless, whether a veteran volunteered or was drafted, you were placed in a position – that for whatever reason – I and my fellow Americans were spared.
You, our United States Veterans are the true heroes of our nation and in my opinion deserve the highest respect and honor.
On July 4, 2009 PFC Aaron Fairbairn was called upon by the President of the United States and God Almighty to pay the ultimate sacrifice for our country.
Years have passed since then, and the pain of that day is still ever present, though my thoughts of what took place on Aaron’s fateful day have run the gamut. I have had other relatives who served though they lived long enough to be honored on this day. Though I knew there would be times Aaron would be at risk, I expected him to return to American soil, as did my other relatives.
When I talked to him on the phone the evening of July third (after a period of imposed “radio silence” during which he was not allowed to call) he assured me that everything was okay. During that short phone conversation we talked and laughed before exchanging I-love-you(s) as he longed to phone other friends also while he had time. None of us had any idea that it was going to be the last time we would talk.
Though we honor all who have served, are serving and some are volunteering even as I type these words, some have made and will make the ultimate sacrifice carrying out their oath of service. For Aaron and all those who were called upon to deliver this fateful level of service, America honors them on Memorial Day.
I can’t help to imagine what it must have been like for Aaron and his brothers in arms in the Battle of COP Zerok Paktika in Afghanistan that ensued that day, but it must have been horrifying. As unimaginable as it is for me to think that Aaron was having to draw fire on the enemy, I couldn’t help but think the young man who was shooting at him was someone else’s son, who also made the same sacrifice for what he believed in that day.
No matter what you think of war or the military in general, it can be a very nasty business and thanks to Aaron and all who have served, the rest of us are able to have the freedoms we are offered by the USA while we are spared the potential horror and/or loss of life thanks to their service.
To all Veterans:
May God bless everyone who has taken the States Armed Services oath of service. I will be forever grateful for your courage.
Thank you for your service.
This day, I feel that we are blood brothers and I honor you.