By: Rita Henuber
Veterans Day is Sunday November 11.
Today, November 12 is the Federal Holiday in the US.
Veterans Day, formerly known as Armistice Day, was originally set as a holiday to honor the end of World War I, which officially took place on November 11, 1918. It is also celebrated as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day in other parts of the world.
In 1954 Congress amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word "Armistice" and inserting the word "Veterans." On June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.
The difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day.
Memorial Day honors service members who died in service to their country or as a result of injuries incurred during battle. Deceased veterans are also remembered on Veterans Day but the day is set aside to thank and honor living veterans who served honorably in the military - in wartime or peacetime.
Why I Write Military Stories
I come from a family, who over the years, have served in every branch of the service in every conflict since WWI. I have ancestors who served in British conflicts back to the early 1800’s. Two great(too many greats back to count)uncles were in the Charge of the Light Brigade. They were members of the 11th Hussars, a unit in the British Army. Their names were Thomas Dunn, a corporal, and Alexander James Dunn, a lieutenant. Lt Dunn was killed in the battle. Corporal Thomas Dunn was one of the fabled survivors.
I have stories of family in WWI but no proof. SO, fast forward to the next war to end all wars and I have many, many relatives who served. Some weren’t even in the military. Half of my family lives in Florida. Have since the early 1920s. An uncle owned several shrimp boats. One day, after the start of WWII, some scary guys in suits and uniforms showed up and said his boats were needed to protect the east coast from U-boats. There was no please. No thank you. No payment. All his boats were taken and he never got them back. He never complained. He was proud he could help.
My daddy trained Coast Guard recruits in Florida and Washington State, and patrolled in the North Atlantic riding shotgun for convoys.
Another Uncle was a Navy ace in that war and in Korea.
One uncle, on the other side of my family, was home in December 1941 for 30 days of leave before he was to report to his next duty. His next duty? The USS Arizona in Hawaii.
My husband’s uncle served in Germany.
My husband was a Marine and served in Vietnam.
We lost several friends there. It took me three trips to the Vietnam Wall before I could get the courage to walk the path and find their names.
My son was with the first Marines into Bagdad.
There are many others but I think you get the point. The military in is my DNA.
Our modern military epitomize honor, duty, and commitment. They are the youngest, most educated, dedicated and highly trained military to have served this country.
You don’t need to shove them towards danger you need to hold them back.
Many people think courage is the absence of fear. It isn’t! Courage is fear overcome. The willingness to face a danger to protect someone else.
One week our military men and women are riding in helicopters, carrying M4s and H&K416s, and wearing sixty-five pounds of equipment. The next week they are riding in minivans carrying their child and wearing a t-shirt that has USA on it in bold red, white and blue letters.
My definition of heroes and heroines.
Please take time to honor and remember ALL the men and women who have served in the military. We owe them so much. Some of those heroes and heroines are the people who taught you to ride a bike, helped you with your home work and sacrificed to send you to college. Others reside in gardens of stone. When you say thank you tell them I am grateful also.
I’d love for you to add the names, branch, rank and dates served, of your heroes and heroines in the comments. For every unique name, up to 100, I’ll donate, a dollar and match it with another dollar to the Wounded Warrior Foundation. http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/
To learn more about Rita and her books visit her web home http://ritahenuber.com