Tell Our Veterans That You Value Their Valor!

Happy Friday, RISERS! I hope this week has been good to you. Today, we celebrate Veterans Day—the outward showing of appreciation for those men and women who serve or have served in the Armed Forces. We had a veterans appreciation program at school on Wednesday. It gave us a chance to say thank you to the veterans within the families of our students.

I come from a family with a history of military service. My father was an airplane mechanic in the US Navy, teaching the Blue Angels pilots during his last three years in the service. My grandfather was a paratrooper in World War II, who broke his back during a jump when his parachute did not open. My husband served as a linguist in the US Army for the first three years of our marriage. His father, grandfather, brother, and uncle also served in the military.

Quote of the week: “Honor to the soldier and sailor everywhere, who bravely bears his country’s cause. Honor, also, to the citizen who cares for his brother in the field and serves, as he best can, the same cause.” –Abraham Lincoln

Movie of the week: Having been a Navy brat and an Army wife, I’ve watched my fair share of war movies. Some take a more relaxed, sometimes comical look at war, while others are incredibly graphic, showing its ugliness. Some of my favorites about World War 2 are Patton (it has some language in places), The Longest DayMidway (also contains language), and Kelly’s Heroes. But the one I want to feature here is Battle of the Bulge from 1965. It stars Henry Fonda along with an all-star cast. The movie’s premise is that Henry Fonda’s character takes aerial photographs of a German officer who isn’t “where he should be.” This shows that the Germans are planning an attack on Allied troops. No one believes Henry Fonda’s character, and they spend a great deal of time making him prove his theory. To me it gets a bit sad, as it shows how some of the German soldiers were almost war prisoners themselves. Many didn’t want to fight, but they worried about the consequences to their families if they didn’t do what was asked of them. It shows how conflicting war is and that there are innocents on both sides.

If you like to dig a bit deeper into military stories, check out one of the many great books about veterans. For example, Hacksaw Ridge: The True Story of Desmond Doss is the story of an Army medic awarded the Congressional Medal of Freedom in 1945. My husband loves to read biographies of soldiers such as Omar Bradley, Douglas MacArthur, and George Patton.

Joke of the week: How is a bag of popcorn like an army? It has lots of kernels.

Nugget of Wisdom for the week: Military life is not easy, and sometimes it gets looked down upon by others in society. But the fact is that many of the freedoms we enjoy would not be available if not for the sacrifices our soldiers have made in the history of our country. I personally was not suited to be in the military, but I knew many strong and brave women who rocked the Army. As you enjoy your day today, please remember to thank a service member if you see any in public. For those who are more outgoing, I encourage you to spend time with a veteran at an assisted living facility. Most seniors love to talk with you about their experiences. For those of you a tad on the shy side, visit a local military cemetery and pay quiet respects to those who are buried there. All of us could send text messages or emails to members (or friends) of the family who have served and say how much we appreciate their contributions to the safety and security of our nation. As you think about what to do with your future, please consider the military. It is a thankless job at times, but one that the world desperately needs.

Have a great weekend. Remember, you are most awesome, and YOU ROCK!

Marion Rhines is a foster-turned-adoptive parent. She lives in Knoxville, Tenn., with her husband and five children. She has written and published two children’s books as well as two foster-care-themed novels. She has a Facebook blog, Tips from the FLIP Side, and enjoys working with children of all ages.

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