I wont pretend to even begin to understand the feelings of people who have served in combat. But, it is always a day to stop in your tracks when war veterans are remembered, such as in today’s Armistice Day and Veterans Day celebrations, in the UK and US, respectively.
I come from a country that has never been at war with any other nation, but that does not mean that I do not know people who have had military service, and even combat. Most of these have served in some way as supporting soldiers in recent wars in the Middle East. Their experiences and stories are always graphic and always frightening, as they tell of the daily risks they take. Of course, some do not know combat, but are part of the support for those who do. I do not know if it really matters, how you serve.
I heard reports this morning about the seeming unjust situation of American women who have served in the military yet struggle to be recognized as veterans, by men who served and ordinary citizens, who think that they have not been in combat, but merely ‘paper pushers’.
I also heard reports about the various kinds of injuries that keep surfacing in people who have served in combat. Normal life is never like most people know it for people who have been in combat.
As I drove on the thankfully quieter streets this morning, I thought about the upcoming wreath laying ceremonies. Thoughts go to all who served, and their families, and to all who have given their lives over many years.