Large Man Chronicles
From The Fauquier Times-Democrat Published 11/11/09
Saying Thank You
I make a point to thank a service member (active or former) every chance I get. I hope it makes them feel good. It always makes me feel good….and ironically, it’s one of very few things that I do that isn’t mostly about me. (Note to self: Work on that!)
15 years ago (or so), I met G. Gordon Liddy at a DC radio station’s remote broadcast…he told me that I should do this for all service men and women…thank them for their service. I think G. Gordon Liddy is a thug and an ass…but I also think he is a fairly intelligent person, and I think he’s right about this subject.
Shades of gray…
I never want The Large Man Chronicles to go political in its content because I’m not smart enough or dumb enough to try and sway opinion on issues that are so full of shades of gray. I personally do not like war of any kind. I don’t think we should have invaded Iraq…but at the same time, their leader was a murdering madman, and I believe he may have caused the U.S. harm at some point in the future. So maybe we prevented some horrific acts in the long term. Who knows? I don’t know. So here I stand on two sides of that very crooked fence.
I also do not want the LMC to go political because I do believe that finding Osama Bin Laden and stabilizing Afghanistan is a worthy endeavor. But I deplore war. Innocent women and children, and innocent men die in wars. Fathers, daughters, mothers and sons die in wars. Friends die in wars. Most of the time though, the men that start wars seem to get out of them OK. Hmmm?? How can I support that? Looks like I’m on two sides of that fence too.
My personal belief is that everything in life is not right or wrong, black or white, up or down…life is full of could be, might be, light gray and dark gray, and slanted horizontal lines. I’m burdened with just enough intelligence to know that I can’t judge anybody’s beliefs. More often than not, I wish I was a little bit smarter… BUT…every now and then, I really wish I didn’t know so much. What is right, and what is wrong? I don’t know. But nobody has ever convinced me that they do either, and I’m proud to say that I know a lot of very smart people.
Please don’t respond with child abuse, animal cruelty, human trafficking, spousal abuse, or the designated hitter…I’m saying that “not everything” is as clear to me as it may be to others. Some things are very easy – for anybody.
To me anyway, a war is something else. As I said earlier, I deplore war…but a very good friend of mine from high school was killed in the attack on the Pentagon on September 11th 2001. This was a girl that I had kissed, someone that I had held in my arms and danced with…laughed with…she was a friend, a daughter, and a mother….and maybe one of the sweetest, kindest people I have ever known. Based on those facts alone, finding Bin Laden seems reasonable to me. I believe that somebody should be accountable for that crime. Then I consider the other victims at the Pentagon, and all the victims in New York…their families, their friends…to me, it becomes a no brainer.
But is it a no brainer? I’m sorry, no… even that is not without shades of gray. I don’t have a child in the military. I don’t have a loved one sleeping in a bunker, wishing they were home. I’m not praying every night and day that a chaplain doesn’t come to my door. Shades of gray.
So… Whether or not you agree with the military actions that this great country is involved in, saying “thank you” to the mothers and daughters and fathers and sons that protect this country – and frankly mankind, is not a political issue. That seems reasonable to me.
Saying “thank you” as a courtesy to men and women that say, “OK…I’ll go”…seems reasonable to me. Women and men that would protect my children….your children….saying “thanks” to them seems like a reasonable thing to do. Taking care of them when they come home seems reasonable as well…I think I would rather update and upgrade Walter Reed Hospital before I paid for anymore AIG bonuses, but that’s another discussion for another time…and I might be wrong.
Please extend a thank you to these men and women when you see them as you go through your day. Simply tell them, “Thank you for your service”. I promise that it will be appreciated…just try. It will make you feel great. More importantly, it might make them feel great…if just for a moment.
Thanks for reading.
To be continued…
The Large Man