… from the bungalow

Mixed Emotions: Happy Veterans Day


If you know me, you know I love peace. (That’s the peaceful way of saying that I abhor the exertion of force and the bringing of death upon others.) I’m a bit of a hippie that way. So Veterans Day, for me, means a veritable cavalcade of conflicting feelings. I believe in the wonder and magic of life, but the world is just as effed up as it is wondrous. I can’t blame the soldier for the mess we’re in.

Every day I see shining examples of love juxtaposed with the hate and anger and greed in this world, like colors popping out of a gray-scale backdrop. It’s humanity. And for better or worse, I love it all.

Hippies = people. Soldiers = people. People = people.

kneeling soldier, Veterans Day

I appreciate you. Happy Veterans Day.


P.S. For my friends in Commonwealth countries, Happy Remembrance Day.


Author: Chris

Introspection to a fault. College administrator, parent, soapmaker.

20 thoughts on “Mixed Emotions: Happy Veterans Day

  1. Great blog post. My dad was drafted into Viet Nam, my mother was a protester. I grew up hearing, “Hate the war, but respect the uniform.”

    This war needs to end, and peace needs to be restored, but no matter what I will appreciate the sacrifices that have been made for us, especially by those who had limited choice in the matter.

  2. Well put. I was struggling with a way to phrase this while I drove to work, and now I’m spared having to do so.

    I’ll be sharing this a little later. I’m seconding it now.

  3. Nice work, love. I was wondering how you were going to do this one, considering our stance on war and the armed forces. Beautifully done.

  4. I feel the same way, but like Steph said above “Hate the war, respect the uniform.” I was completely anti-military until I met my husband. He served in the Navy. Now I can hardly see a photo of a soldier/marine/sailor/airman without tearing up.

    • It’s interesting to me when two people can love and respect each other even when they have seemingly different points of view. It sounds like you’re on the same page now, though. Thanks for reading and commenting, Miranda!

  5. I know exactly how you feel, Chris! I’m so against violence and war, but so grateful to those who are willing to risk their lives to protect our country!

  6. My mother’s city was bombed by the Nazis in WWII. My father and all the other Yanks were her heroes. Hitler was an evil that had to be stopped, and not one of those veterans wanted to be in that war, but sacrificed for others. I was a “hippy” war protester during Viet Nam and my husband was over there. The Nam vets had the draft and not the luxury to choose to go or not. It’s a damn shame that so many of our military are at war because they need a job or health benefits. War should always be the last resort, but too often we’ve seen wars that were nothing but a waste. If everyone had to go to war, there wouldn’t be any.

    • If everyone had to go to war, there wouldn’t be any.

      That’s a very interesting point, Mary! One I hadn’t really considered before. It makes me sad, the state we’re in. Thanks for your comments.

  7. Well done. I’m a dirty smelly peace loving hippie too. But that is naive and I admit it. I am thankful for these men and women who give themselves. I sure as hell couldnt do it. Well done Chris!

  8. My husband and I are both Air Force veterans. We met while stationed together in New Mexico. My husband served in Iraq and Afghanistan during his enlistment. As a matter of fact, he was in a deployment unit, which meant he spent an average of 8 months out of every year deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. I had the base pass sticker on my car and a yellow ribbon magnet and encountered some very aggressive opposers of the war that felt compelled to address their grievances to me and my daughter, who was a preschooler at the time. I had my car spit on, I was cursed at and confronted on more than one occasion and some man even asked my daughter if she knew her father was a murderer because she was wearing a t-shirt he had sent her that pictured a map of Afghanistan that said “My Daddy is an Airman over there”. Thankfully, she was too young to even comprehend the question. My point is, thank you for distinguishing between the politics and the uniform.

    My husband and I both respect the men and women in uniform, especially since we still have friends serving here and abroad and being fully aware of the sacrifices that they make but we also agree that this unnecessary war needs to end and our troops need to be brought home.

    • I appreciate this comment so much. Sometimes it feels like I’m supposed to be on a different page than men and women in uniform. Your story breaks my heart. How dare someone tell an innocent little girl that her daddy is a murderer just because he’s in the military?! I’m constantly dumbfounded by supposed peace-loving people who yell and curse and condemn. What’s peaceful about that? I know we can’t all be Gandhi or Mother Teresa–it’s difficult to keep calm when we feel a sense of outrage, obviously–but let’s practice a little bit of what we preach, shall we? Thanks for commenting.

  9. My uncle died last year, a decorated Captain of the U.S. Navy, having served in Desert Storm and various other capacities. I appreciate everything said above as well as the post that sparked the commentary. I don’t enjoy getting involved in politcal talks, with anyone, about anything. But, one thing I know is true, war is part of this world, and without those who have taken on the occupation of protecting us, either willingling or unwillingly, we wouldn’t be able to live in a country where voicing our opinions openly is even a safe option. The addage is: Freedom is not Free. I love America, I love living here, and I have nothing but HUGE respect for those who serve in the armed forces.

    • I’m sorry to learn about your uncle.

      Exactly. War is a part of our current reality. It is what it is, and within this reality, there are people who take it upon themselves to put their families on hold and their lives at risk to engage in the defense of our safety and freedom. I have a lot of issues with the United States, but this is about appreciating others for their sacrifice.

  10. OMG I completely missed this post, what happened?
    Both of my grandpas and three of my cousins were in the military. Only one died during his time in the military. He was overseas, but not in battle. He died by suicide due to some compromising photos that were posted on the internet. I have strong feelings about the way our government treats our soldiers – but i will always respect the soldiers who will lay down their lives so I my children may have the freedom to express their opinions, be it written, verbal, emotional or any other type of expression.

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