America has fought many wars, and many hundreds of thousands of our fellow Americans have fallen in countless battles across the centuries and across the world. But Veterans Day honors all who served, and it is an unalloyed good thing. We often focus on the men who saw combat, and their stories are an amazing glimpse into the iron core of America. Yet far more served honorably without being sent into harm’s way.
It sounds trite, yet those men who saw combat could not have done what they did without the men who supplied them with ammunition and food and medical care and boots and kept the oceans of paperwork that controlled it all flowing smoothly or repaired their weapons or tanks or trucks or planes.
The honor is in the service. Millions of of citizens decided for many reasons that they would do their duty. Many were drafted, many enlisted. But they put their lives on hold and invested their time and energy and yes, sometimes blood for the good of the country.
I am less interested in their motivation (GI Bill, vocational training, boredom…who cares!) than the fact that they served in defense of the greatest country on earth. And for that they deserve recognition and a simple and honest: thank you.