I grew up in the shadow of an Air Force Base in an area with a large military presence and it has had a lasting effect on my life. Many of the kids I went to school with called themselves 'Air Force brats' and as a young girl who was interested in history and politics I was drawn to them and their families because they were some of the most interesting people around. They had mostly traveled extensively and were very comfortable with diversity, so different from our southern stratified conservative community.
I loved visiting in their homes and hearing them talk about their different deployments and sometimes they even talked politics. I could sense that their devotion and love of country was as passionate as mine. Even in those days I had already developed a strong anti-war stance and I identified as a Democrat in my early teens. But thankfully, I was a quiet kid and kept a lot of my opinions to myself. What I could see from them was a commitment to service that I could respect.
What I mainly took away from my associations with my military friends was their extreme sacrifice for my country. Their whole family sacrificed with many moves which always involved difficult adjustments. Their families sacrificed financially because they weren't able to participate in the robust financial times we had as I was growing up. And emotionally they always kept a part of themselves guarded to protect themselves in case the worse happened.
How can we not give back to them after all they have sacrificed for us?
With my early interest in history, I placed my friendships with them in historical context. And I will do that today with reminders of what they have sacrificed throughout the history of our country. I will do that with music because music has a way of evoking a time like nothing else.
Follow below the fold for history and music
American Civil WarOver There by George M. Cohan
620,000 dead in battle 1,100,000 casualties
World War I
15 Million deaths 20 Million injuries worldwide
The White Cliffs of Dover sung by Vera Lynn
World War IIOnly You The Platters
over 60 Million dead worldwide
33,686 American battle deaths other deaths hard to estimate
Fortunate Son Credence Clearwater Revival
Viet Nam WarLet's let 'The Boss' Bruce Springsteen have the last word. And let's heed what he says.
58,000 American service deaths, injured over 200,000
Vietnamese deaths/injuries estimated over 1 million
We Take Care of Our Own
Yes, let's take care of our own and show appreciation and support to those who are sacrificing so much and whose lives are difficult because of their commitment to service. Your donations will especially mean so much to those who will have lifetime recuperations due to wartime injuries. Please donate what you can.
If you would like to help homeless veterans click here or contact your local VA Hospital for information on how to help. They very often have facilities on their campuses to house homeless veterans.