Friday, April 10, 2009

Completely Off the Subject.

This is completely off the subject, but hey what are blogs for?

The other day I dropped my daughter off at high school after an early morning dental appointment. On the way back to the car, I hear a noise that catches my attention and I see a kid raising the school's American flag up the pole. There wasn't any military flag detail there; there wasn't reveille music playing; and he didn't seem all that interested in what he was doing. But I stopped dead in my tracks, faced the flag, took the position of attention and fought the urge to salute. When the flag reached the peak and he secured the lanyard, I went on my way. I laughed inside myself later at how automatic that was and yet I knew exactly why I did it.

I've been out of the Air Force now almost 15 years after serving 15 years (I was blessed with an early retirement) which was after 17 years as an Army brat, and I realize some things will probably never leave me...

Pride in my country
Pride for my flag
Anger when I see someone fly a raggedy, ripped and torn old American flag.
I still almost come to tears when I hear the national anthem.
I fight the urge to salute a military officer when I pass one in uniform.
I fight the urge to stop and pat a soldier on the back or shake his/her hand in public. I do sometimes just say "Thank you for serving." (I imagine as I get older the urge fight will stop and the patting will begin - I'll earn the right with my grey hairs)

The people of this country aren't perfect, the governing bodies aren't perfect, and the economy isn't perfect, but it's mine and I love it...warts and all.

If I had a chance to do it all again - serve in the military, I'd do it in a heart beat!

No other occupation, other than the ministry, that I know of is described as "in" when asked, "What do you do" I am "in" the military. No other occupation that I know of is described as "served" when asked, "What did you do?" I served in the... (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, or Coast Guard) Somewhat like the ministry, the military serves the greater good. They don't always do it right, and they don't always know what or why they are doing it, but they do it for this country.

America Bless God!


CFHusband said...

Good post! Thanks for your service!

Rick Lawrenson said...

Good post Juan.
I remember as a kid playing ball on an Army post across the street from the parade field how every afternoon when the cannon fired and the bugle played as they lowered the flag we stopped our practice or game, turned to face the flag and stood at attention until the bugle stopped.

Traffic also stopped on the streets in the vicinity.

It's no wonder why the military has such respect for the flag and country. Those guys and gals are giving their all to defend its honor.

You should have been a Marine like your son!

Irma said...

I feel the same way about my Canadian flag, and hearing my Canadian national anthem always brings me to tears.

As you probably know, the hotel I work for is the "host hotel" for the world curling championship. A few days ago, I looked out my office window and realized the German flag was no longer on its pole, and was lying on our roof. I called our maintenance department in a PANIC, "The German flag is down!! It's touching the GROUND!!"

They literally RAN to fix this, and soon I saw the German flag flying proudly next to the other nations.

We may all have different flags to which we swear allegiance, but hopefully we all respect the flags of different nations.

Thank you, Juan, for your service to your country. Thank you for helping to keep me, in a different country, safe. It is only because of people like you that I get to sit in my office and watch the flags fly...