The Environmental Inspector
by Baxter Black, DVM
This holiday season, as in too many in our lifetime there will be empty places around the Yuletide table for sons and daughters in the service of our country.
In my mind, perhaps because I never was one, soldiers hold a mystical image; knights, rifles, battered banners, gun smoke, charging horses, tanks, glory, honor, and courage.
Vietnam was my war. I was never drafted, I didn't volunteer. I regret it. During that time I held Jane Fonda and the deserters to Canada in contempt. Yet, was I any better than they if I never served?
Since September 11, there has been a significant reversal in the attitude of the public toward our soldiers. From a suspicious distanced acceptance, to an almost gushing admiration. It is easy to have an impersonal relationship with "the military" if you think of them as professional robots in uniform. But when we see our family, friends and neighbor's kids enlisting, we remember that ours is an army of everyday citizens serving for a short time doing their duty. And that they will be back, most of them and we will be better off because they went.
Patriotism is a personal realization that there is a greater calling than your own self interest. Divisive and bickering as we can be among ourselves, when our family is threatened we can be a fearsome foe.
This new war is different. We are fighting ruthless back-shooters and they have our children in their crosshairs. It is hard to be blasé when you see soldiers with automatic weapons on the concourse at the Kansas City Airport.
Our government's response has been swift and massive with the overwhelming support of Americans. I have no doubt we will prevail. I hope and pray that our knights in armor will slay the terrorist dragon and return victorious to sit with us at the Christmas table very soon.
Go git `em, doughboys. Yo mama, Osama! I wish I could go with ya.
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|January 7, 2002 9:53 PM||