Veteran’s Day is a yearly reminder of two things – my greatest regret, and the man I was named after.
My greatest regret is that I never served in the military myself. When I was the age most enter the military, I was a left-wing radical, distrustful of authority and skeptical of the values that motivate most to serve. By the time I had matured and realized what I had missed, the opportunity had already passed. I am the only man in my immediate family not to serve in the military.
This day also serves as a reminder of the man I was named after – my father’s younger brother Jack. I never met the man, he died on a hill in Italy when he stepped on a land mine long before I was born. He is forever frozen in history as a lanky, smiley 18 year old, but I exist in part as a living memorial to his service.
I am in fact blessed to have been surrounded by men who gave their all – a father and uncles who served in some of the worst battles of WWII, a brother who served during the Gulf War, and a brother-in-law who served in Bosnia and Iraq.
Scripture notes that there is no greater love than to lay one’s life down for one’s friends; today we celebrate the men and women who have demonstrated this sort of love to us all.