I have mixed feelings about the theaters our military have (and are) being deployed to. Some of my dear readers have read some of my rants viv a vis this very subject. I am a military brat and a proud, former Marine; so I don't say this lightly. In fact, never doubt my support for our troops, wherever they may be deployed.
Besides the obvious nod that I wanted to give my fellow veterans, I especially wanted to salute my father. Other than his immense joy for regaling others about his many exploits, he was not given to boasting about his accomplishments. He enlisted as a private in the Air Force, as low a rank you could enlist as in those days. My father had an intense "curiosity bug" in him ; something I inherited. He also had a mechanical aptitude (something else I inherited) second to none. Those qualities and a bright mind got him into the "Bootstrap" program as it was winding down. The "Bootstrap" program basically allowed enlisted men to test and qualify to become commissioned officers. A commission was also a prerequisite to being able to earn your "wings" and qualify to serve as a pilot; something my father dearly wanted to do. My father was one of those that transitioned through the end of the prop days into the jet fighters of today. He flew jet fighters in the days when just piloting one was taking your life in your own hands. You know, the guys with parachutes on their back and a white scarf around their necks. He married his high school sweetheart; had us kids and drug us all over the world. In the meantime he finished his education and rose to the rank of Colonel. Though it irritated him till the end, I oft times referred to him as Colonel out of respect. My time in service to this country doesn't even merit a comment when compared to his service. In the autumn of his life, my father continued to travel. He was a member of the Explorers Club, a fellow in the Royal Geographic Society and his name can be found in many publications. He now rests in Arlington National Cemetery where he was interred with full military honors.