I Don’t Celebrate Veteran’s Day

Now, don’t get in a huff all because of my title. Because my title is true. Today is just like any other day, I had the choice to get out of bed and follow my passion. I also had the choice to stay in bed and sleep. Either way, I had choice. You know why? Because we are FREE. 

I don’t celebrate Veterans Day because each day, I have the ability to hug my dad, visit with my grandpa and talk to my friends. 

  
My dad is a Cheif Warrant Officer 5 in the National Guard. My grandpa served in World War II and I have friends who have been stationed all around the world. Why don’t I celebrate Veteran’s Day? Because I celebrate these people everyday. 

  
Growing up, I didn’t realize that all dads didn’t have to work the first weekend of every month. Or that everyone didn’t have to schedule their birthdays around summer camp. When Katrina came, my dad got three days warning to pack up his things and head south with his unit. When ice storms hit Missouri, Dad has to help other families before he can help his own. 

  
The summer before my freshman year of high school, Dad’s name went on ‘the list’. In two weeks, we finished hay, taught mom to drive a trailer, and then watched our dad fly away on an airplane headed to Iraq. A year later, we got to hug him for the first time in a year. To this day, I have never felt such pure joy. 

And that is why I don’t celebrate just one day. Because I celebrate everyday.

Each time, I get to check the cows with him, I am thankful that we are healthy enough to walk. When he makes fun of my cooking, I’m thankful that he has the ability to joke and that we have food on the table. But most of all, I’m thankful that each night I get to hug him good night. 

You might still think that one special day might all be worth it. Well, I don’t.

My dad didn’t serve because he wanted a free meal from Outback Steakhouse. My dad didn’t serve so he could get better deals at Walmart. My dad didn’t serve so strangers could walk up to him on one day and thank him. 

My dad served because he wanted Bethany and I to grow up in a better place. He served so you and I had a chance to follow our passion. My dad served so you could be FREE.

So why should I celebrate him on just one day? Why should I not be thankful everyday?

Veteran’s Day is a great reminder to all of us, but we shouldn’t need one. We live in a great country and that alone should be a daily reminder. So celebrate and remember today. But do it again tomorrow and the next day too. Because without them, there is nothing to celebrate at all. 

~Nicole

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