VETERAN'S DAY 2014
HONORING THOSE WHO KEEP AMERICA FREE
I just finished A Time for War by Robert Smith Thompson. Although it's an incredibly detailed history of the events that brought about the second world war, I'm not buying Thompson's premise that America was the the instigator that essentially left the the two major Axis powers (Germany and Japan) no other choice than to declare war on us. The truth is, right now there are billions of people around the world, who, whether they realize it or not, largely owe any freedoms they have, to the blood of American soldiers --- virtually all spilled on foreign soil (HERE is an example).
Over the course of my 23 years in practice, I have treated slews veterans and heard hundreds upon hundreds of amazing stories. While in school, I actually had the privilege of living next door to a WWI vet (the last US veteran of the 'War to End all Wars' died in 2011). I still treat a few WWII Vets, but unfortunately most are now gone (HERE & HERE). The vast majority of our Korean Vets are gone as well (a recent patient was an Airborne Ranger there --- one of the "Frozen Chosin", who told me it was so cold in North Korea that there were times when the air itself was actually blue). The reality is that even our youngest Vietnam Vets are on the verge of 60, and those who served in the first Gulf War are at least 40.
The elections of last week were about politics. Today is about celebrating principles that are far more noble and lasting --- freedom, courage, liberty, sacrifice, duty, and honor. Whatever your political persuasion, whichever party you happen to belong to, or however you feel about the politics behind some of our nation's wars; today is the day to put all that aside and remember our veterans. When you get a chance, be sure to thank a VET for their service to our country.