Veterans

I have a book from a creative writing class I took in the 5th grade. It’s one of those “All About Me” types of books, with name poems and magazine cut-outs of celebrities I loved at the time.

Page Nine is titled “My Thoughts On…” and on the bottom half of the page is written:

“Nuclear Weapons.

I HATE THEM. (Underlined twice for emphasis.)

They will destroy the world sometime.”

I was 10 when I wrote that; my dad was a third of the way through his Air Force career as a missilier.

My dad, and other servicemen and women, who served in the military during The Cold War did not always see combat in the traditional sense. They may not have been deployed in the traditional sense.

But Dad left us quite often to “pull alerts”–manning or supervising missile silos in some of the most desolate places in the U.S.–for days at a time. In one job my dad had, he was gone every third week for an entire week.

And I’m not sure, but I can’t imagine that missiliers would be any less prone to PTSD symptoms, knowing that if the President so ordered, millions would die.

I don’t mean to diminish those who, quite literally, serve in the trenches and are in danger every single day. Times are different now than they were during my Dad’s tenure in the Air Force. But my Dad’s service was still invaluable.

He’s a Veteran, and my 10 year-old self (and my 37 year-old self) loves that he spent 28 years making sure nuclear weapons did not destroy the world.

Thanks, Dad. Love you bunches.

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