Veteran’s Day was this past Monday. Many of us, myself included, took advantage of an extra day off work. Hopefully, we also took the opportunity to remember and even to thank those who defend or have defended the country.
If you don’t already know this about me, I’m a creature of habit. Once I establish a routine, it’s rare that I deviate from it. How I spend Veteran’s Day is no exception. For the last few years, I’ve watched the local parade on television and then watched a movie called “Taking Chance”. If you haven’t seen this movie, I highly recommend it.
This year, I had to add something new to my routine; a visit to the cemetery. It's been nine months since my father died, but it's still so fresh in my mind.
In addition to watching the parade followed by my beloved movie, and now visiting my father's grave, I always have this period of reflection in which I marvel over the impact the military has made on my life. I wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for the United States Air Force. You see, my parents met when stationed at the same Air Force base. Besides this immediate personal connection to the military, it was also instrumental in getting my writing career off the ground.
My first novel, Letters from Linc, tells the story of a young Marine deployed to Iraq and the wife he left behind. Through letters, which they favor over e-mail or social media, they find a way to not only stay connected but to nurture that connection. The story, set in 2003, was actually written in 2005 and first released in 2006. Since its release, it’s opened all kinds of doors for me, both professionally and personally.
I’ve always felt I owed my success to Letters from Linc. I still feel that way, but I also know a story like this wouldn’t exist without the countless men and women across all branches of the military. It wasn’t that my story was theirs. Instead, the jobs they do made it possible for me to tell the story.
I’ve heard it said that ‘Some gave all and all gave some’. I couldn’t have said it better myself. To those of you who’ve given some and to the families of those who gave all, I thank you from the bottom of my heart and celebrate your stories every day. No matter how much time passes, it's always worth remembering.