I know this is now the day after Veteran's Day. Shoulda written this yesterday, but I was still gathering me thinks.
It's been a long long time since I wrote a Coffee with Dad diary. He's still around. He's 83 now, still coming around for coffee very faithfully every Sunday (used to be every Saturday, but now Sunday and Monday are my days off).
He's what I would describe as a Moderate Republican. His idea of the perfect guy in politics is former governor of Minnesota Arne Carlson. He voted for Obama last Tuesday, he said "well Obama scares me a little, but Romney scares me a whole lot more". He also voted against those two vile constitutional amendments that Minnesota Republicans put on the ballot for this election - the Voter ID amendment and the anti-gay marriage amendment. Bless his heart.
Ahem. Anyways. Yesterday was Veteran's Day, I said to him, "Dad, we could both go to Applebees today and get a free lunch - it's Veteran's Day, we could take Mom and Lynn (my sister) and make a day of it."
He was embarrassed. He kind of hemmed and hawed and then said "you know, I don't want to be thanked for my service. It's just something anybody would do."
And I know just how he feels. I'm a veteran too, he was a 20 year man, I only put in 6 years, but we both feel the same way. Nobody was shooting at us. Iraq and Afghanistan war vets deserve that free lunch. I mean, he did a lot of dangerous things in his time in, and I did too, but nothing like that.
Sometimes people say to me "thank you for your service". Usually that's when I go for stuff like mammograms at doctor's offices where the VA farms out required medical tests that I go for. Starry eyed young girls say this to me, and it always embarrasses me the same way it embarrasses Dad. Although I love them for it.
If you want to thank veterans for their service, the best way to do it is to prevail upon your Congressperson to help our troops still in Afghanistan and other such places. They are not getting the help and supplies they need. My cousin Kyle is there right now and they don't even have decent food to eat or basic supplies. It's a damn disgrace, and I wrote my Senator Al Franken about it.
I am so happy after last Tuesday I can't even tell you. And Minnesota has gone totally blue. Yayyyyy! that gives me hope.
Well acourse except for the fact that we still couldn't get rid of Michelle Bachmann haha. But hey, Jon Stewart needs some comic fodder for the next few years, no?