Tuesday, November 11, 2008

What exactly does it mean to be a Veteran?

So, I am sensing a theme here...My wife is always posting cute pictures and Witty one-liners, while I am writing the political and make me feel good about myself posts! Hope you all will stick with me for a minute here, if not then scroll down and look at Chuck scowl at you.
I have had many congratulatory and supportive text messages, phone calls, and emails today for my service in the military. Each time I hear one, it makes me cringe because I did not ever serve in an "active" war zone. After I told the third individual that I am not deserving of any appreciation or recognition, I decided to take a step back and look at things from a different perspective.

My sweet Bride was almost 9 months pregnant with our third baby (including two-one year old babies in tow!) when I got the call that I had been activated to go to Iraq. I was so excited, I couldn't sit still! I was finally getting the opportunity to serve my Country and prove my worth! My Woman on the other hand was drinking nasty Oil and doing jumping jacks to get my son out before I left.
The night before my unit was to fly out, I was given a stand-down order along with 4 other guys from the 142nd MI Battalion. I was heart broken and felt like I was being punished, while Janet and all others in my circle of family and friends were saying prayers of thanksgiving that I would not be going to war.
To this day I don't know why I was called to stay behind, but I am sure that God was the driving force. It took me many years to come to grips with, and I obviously still hold on to it, but I did serve my Country. I gave almost 10 years of my life to serving in the military, and was given the unique responsibility of maintaining the operations from other arenas of the world while my brothers were sent to Iraq.

I am very proud to have been a part of such a noble profession for so many years, and to stand in line with other brave men and women today. Today is a day to celebrate those who have served, Memorial Day is a day to remember those who gave all. So by this definition, yes I am a Veteran.
Thank you, a HUGE and heartfelt thank you goes out to all the men and women through out the world that have made the commitment to keep us safe on our soil. Taking the fight overseas as to spare us the agony of seeing the ugliness of war on our hallowed land.


Dani_jde said...

I would thank you for your service, as well as this post. I read an email today about an act of service for several soldiers on a flight to Chicago. It was touching & reminded me how few people recognize the service of our soldiers. Thanks for your thoughts & another touching reminder that we, as Americans, have much to be thankful for. BTW I LOVE the dynamics of your blog...Janet with her pictures & life updates & you with the "thinking". :)

kassy said...

You are right you are a vet, and a huge THANK YOU!! I know that things will happen they way they are meant to happen and you were meant to stay back for whatever reason that may have been. Still your 10yrs to our country is far more than many ppl have given. So thanks :)

Janet said...

I'm so proud of your service and I'm especially grateful you didn't have to leave your {very needy} family to offer that service. You ARE a veteran and are very deserving of praise for offering 10 years to your country.

We love you soldier!

Stephanie Peterson said...

Love your posts! I want to thank you too for your service. It's such a selfless act of service to be willing to give so much to your country. It's true what they say ... freedom isn't free. Thanks!

Also, did you guys get the gift I left on your desk last Thursday night? I've been meaning to come by and see your ADORABLE baby boy and your amazingly wonderful wife but I haven't made it yet. Even though I'm a bit of a flake know I'm thinking 'bout the cute Barton Fam!

Danielle and Fam said...

Hey volunteering is worth as much as actual service...you were standing ready and that's important too. We are glad you didn't have to go and leave Janet with those 3 littles!

Sarah said...

You are so sappy Greg. I love it. Great post and thanks for being a soldier.

Sarah said...

That was a good one. It made me cry, and not because I'm pregnant. Good job Greg! I'm proud of you and everyone else for protecting us. Thank you!