...Some Gave All. I love those lines and the ones that follow from a country song ...I forget the name.
No one in my family (that I know of) has given the ultimate sacrifice for their country. I know that my father's dad was in the Navy but I never knew him. My grandfather (mother's father) was an MP - stateside for all of WWII. My husband's father was in the Navy but I don't know anything about his service. And of course my hubby was in the Coast Guard for several years before joining the state patrol.
Growing up I knew next to nothing about the military - was never exposed to it and never had any reason to think about it. Life was pretty peaceful in my little world through the 80s. It's not like I watched the news.
The first "war" that affected me in any way was the first Gulf War. I was in middle school and most of the students were "anti-war." There was a walk out and I participated - but only so I could go home early. I was actually fascinated by the images on TV and watched as much as I could. Seeing the military men and the flashes of light as missiles streaked across the sky was breath taking. And "winning" as quickly as we did brought me some amount of pride - even at the age of 12. Of course I knew nothing of what was actually going on and didn't realize that we probably should have kept going.
As middle school continued I was exposed to WWII via the Holocaust. I don't recall any part of my education that focused on the military or battles fought to protect our country. The most my school did was focus on the Holocaust - and I am glad that they at least did that much. I am fascinated, horrified, and enthralled by all things WWII. I found out that my grandmother (father's side) was a working as a 'Rosie the Riveter' on air plane wings. I learned about life during the war in my maternal grandmother's life. It's amazing. We go through nothing today compared to what they sacrificed - just as civilians.
Joining the military was never even discussed as an option for my brother and me. It wasn't put down, it wasn't even brought up. Never said outright, there was always a 'last resort' type of attitude about joining. Yet every time I saw a military person in uniform I was impressed. They never seemed like losers or lower class folks. They were pressed, poised, confident. I loved it! (Not to mention how hot guys look in uniform!)
My husband definitely 'looks' like a military guy - crew cut and all. And I am so lucky to get to see him in uniform when he works. When we have kids I will make sure that they know - military service is not a 'last resort' ... it is a proud and honorable thing. Those who serve keep us safe. They stand up to dictators and fascists the world over. They sacrifice family time, personal time, and their lives so that we may be comfy and cozy in our little worlds. If my children decide to join I will be beyond proud - I will be humbled and in awe that a child of mine would make such a selfless decision.
God Bless our armed forced the world over. You are our freedom fighters and guards in this difficult and dangerous world.