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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

We're Going to Applaud Whether You Like it or Not

Today is Veteran's Day.

On Sunday, our pastor asked all current and past service men and women to stand.  Brian stood with about 75 others while our congregation applauded.  I commented after church about how for as long as he lives, at least two holidays a year, he would be asked to stand while everyone showed their appreciation.  

I said, "How do you feel about that?"  He just shrugged.

He hates it really.  Well, he would say "hate" is a strong word, but he doesn't love it.  I asked him if it made him feel honored and he said, "I guess so."  Then followed with some murmuring about not being or feeling worthy of the honor.  

You can read back on my Memorial Day post for details, but essentially Brian joined the Army Reserves at 16 thinking it was a good idea at the time and feeling sure he wouldn't have to go to war.  

It's not that he feels bad about his service or regrets it even.  It has more to do with feeling like there are men who joined for nobler reasons and served with great courage and sacrifice. (Correct me if I'm wrong here, honey.)  There are those who got more blood on their hands, and in their minds, than he did.  (As an aside, I've talked to some of them, too and they don't like being applauded either.)

I say Brian, and others like him, deserve our gratitude and honor, too.  I'm grateful that when he was called to the first Gulf War, he didn't flee the country or do something to earn a dis-honorable discharge.  He could have shirked his duty either with flippancy, rebellion or cowardice.  But he didn't.  

He did what he said he would do. He did what he was called to do.  That's who I want serving our country.

I'm grateful to have a husband like that.  To have a father like that for my children.  And proud to applaud him, and any like him, whether they like it or not.  Aren't you?

Maybe if we keep applauding, if only twice a year, it'll finally sink in that they all deserve it.



  1. Ain't humility great?

    If holidays were only for those honored, we could stop celebrating Christmas, MLK Day, etc.

    However, these days are also for US to remember those we are honoring. If we didn't have an outlet like applause and such, we might have no way to show our recognition, and therefore may cease to appreciate what has been done for this country.

    You know, even that veteran with both his legs missing and blind in one eye will still say he's not worthy of applause. He's a liar too, just like your hubby.

  2. My brother is the same way. I appreciate their humility, but of course I think they deserve SO much more than our thanks a couple days a year.

  3. I think he deserves it and so much more! I am really proud to have him as my big brother!!! I am also excited about seeing all of you this next week! ~The Cleaning Lady

  4. oooops Kristen I just realized I sent that more than once...dang it! Love love love you! xoxoxo

  5. *standing ovation from Alabama*

    I thank him from the bottom of my heart.

  6. What would be away he's more comfortable with receiving gratitude? I probably would enjoy people applauding me but i am very out going and such. Of course people are going to recognize him at special times but maybe something more discreet at other times would help him feel more comfortable? My DH is supper shy, so I try to show my appreciation in private but sometimes you do want the whole world to know how great he is, so I will mention it when he's not there and suggest that they let him know if they agree what ever he did was a good move. Like when my husband got promoted I told everybody, because i was proud but I told them individually and encouraged them to congratulate him privately.
    It made him feel great and not so self conscious as if I opened my big, but beautiful lol, mouth in a grand announcement.
    Just a thought

  7. We are always happy to say thank you whenever we see people that have served or are serving our country. Sometimes they seem surprised by that, but we want them to know that there are many of us who appreciate what they do and to help counter people who do not support them.

    Thank you to your hubby!

  8. Brian was in the middle of starting his college career when he was summoned to serve his country. When the time came, he along with some other friends who were also in the middle of their college days, just dropped it all and went to war. There was no complaining or "why me", it was just done. Truly remarkable for someone to halt their lives, when so many kids are just wanting to party at college, and serve their country. I salute Brian, and the others I knew in his unit, along with all who have ever served our country in war or peace. The way Brian and others handled this abrupt change in their young lives is truly remarkable and honorable.
    I often wonder if I would have had that same honor and courage to act the same. Brian should always be proud to be recognized for his service, no matter what the occassion.