On not being morose -five years later

It’s Veteran’s Day, the day we celebrate all the military who have served Our Country.  For the last five years, it has also been the day after I was told by my mother that “We are not going to be morose about this“, her diagnosis of stage four lung cancer.  While it’s not quite an Internet meme, I’ll forever remember those words as if I just heard them last night.  I wrote a second post a year later, “Army Wife: The Toughest Job in the Army“, in which I talked about these infamous (to me) words.

So, five years later, I’m proud to have served in the Army, proud that my father and brother served in the military, and proud and thankful to all my friends and family who have served, as well as all those I don’t know…and cancer still sucks!


Music Monday – Veteran’s Day 2013

It’s Veteran’s Day.  This year, I’m posting songs that have been used in TV shows or movies that are about Vietnam because it was during that conflict** that my father served two tours.  Luckily, for me and my family, he didn’t see combat and came back alive.  To all our veterans and those currently serving, as well as their family and loved ones, thanks for your service.  To those who gave their lives, may you rest in peace.  You are not forgotten!
Paint It, BlackThe Rolling Stones
(released 1966; peaked #1 US Hot 100, UK, Netherlands, Australia, #2 Germany, #8 France)
I see a line of cars and they’re all painted black
With flowers and my love, both never to come back
I see people turn their heads and quickly look away
Like a newborn baby it just happens ev’ryday
The theme/opening credit song to the TV show Tour of Duty, this has a great tempo that just feels like a chopper ride.  This is not the official video and it contains footage/clips from the conflict.
Nowhere To RunMartha Reeves and The Vandellas
(released 1965; peaked #5 US R&B, #8 US Hot 100, #26 UK)
Each night, as I sleep, into my heart you creep,
I wake up feeling sorry I met you,
Hoping soon, that I’ll forget you

When I look in the mirror, to comb my hair
I see your face just-a-smilin’ there

Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, from you baby
Got nowhere to run to baby, nowhere to hide

While the lyrics have nothing to do with Vietnam, the song was released during the conflict and is featured in numerous movies and montages about it.
Ride of the ValkyriesRichard Wagner
(composed 1851)
Obviously, written well before the Vietnam conflict, it is featured here because it is one of the most memorable scenes from Apocalypse Now, a “classic” movie about the Vietnam conflict.
**Note:  By the dictionary definition, Vietnam was a war.  However, since the United States Congress never formally declared was, it is categorized by the government as the Vietnam Conflict. [ source – thevietnamwar.info ]

Music Monday – Veterans Day Tribute

Today was the ‘official’ holiday observance for Veterans Day, meaning I didn’t have to go to work.  I did a little work around the house and saw the new James Bond film, Skyfall, which I liked.  I was going to continue my day off by skipping my Music Monday post, but instead I decided to post a few links to patriotic/military themed songs.  Enjoy!

First up is an old Army advertising commercial I remember seeing on Armed Forces Network (AFN) TV in Europe.

Next up, one of my favorite musicians for military tributes, Mike Corrado.  This song was on his first CD that he made and self-produced. “Sacrifice”.

Lastly, as we’re heading into the Thanksgiving and Christmas season, here’s a really cool home outdoor light shows to God Bless the USA

Army Wife: The Toughest Job in the Army

A year ago today, I was celebrating Veteran’s Day with a day off from the class I was in at Ft. Leavenworth. I was sitting at the desk searching for the video “We Were There” fairly early in the morning, the Kansas sun filtering in through the window that was propped open with a board to get a little air flow, composing an email to my dad who had served nearly thirty years in the Army. As I was reflecting upon the years of following my dad around the world, listening to Army recruiting jingles, and getting caught up in the patriotic spirit of the day, tears started to well up in my eyes –not unusual for me at moments like this.  It wasn’t long before my thoughts turned to my mom, who’d also been around the world as an “Army Wife: The Toughest Job in the Army.”  The night before, I’d gotten a call from her telling me that she’d been diagnosed with stage four lung cancer, but that we were not going to be morose about it.  I cried there for a few more minutes, then composed myself and the rest of the email to my dad, hit send, and went downstairs to chat with my new friend from class and see where the day would take us.

My mom died just over three and a half months ago, not quite a year from when she’d gotten a double lung transplant, and about eight and a half months from when she’d been diagnosed with/notified about the cancer.

I miss my mom, and I guess I’ll miss her more as the rest of my family comes to visit this year.  My dad just came to visit for about three weeks and her not being here wasn’t too weird, but I’m guessing the holidays will be different.  I could be wrong.

It’s interesting as I read down the list of posts/statuses of my friends on Facebook.  It’s pretty easy to tell those who have served, are serving, were/are the spouse and/or dependent of a service member from those who don’t fit any of those categories.  Most Americans will post about thanking Veterans and those currently serving.  Those in the categories I described will usually include thanks for the families of the military, as well, because they know what it’s like.

I don’t know if Army Wife is tougher than being the soldier with boots on the ground, firing and being fired at, but it is a challenging occupation.  I am very proud of my dad’s service to our country and the sense of patriotism I have because of it.  I am also proud of my mom’s service to our country.  Great support at home made it easier for my dad to do what he had to do.

I love you, mom.  May you rest in peace.

We Were There – Veteran’s Day 2010

I’ve always thought this was one of the greatest Army commercials/video clips ever made. I think it ranks up there with “Be All That You Can Be” which is considered to be one of the 100 greatest advertising slogans/campaigns of the 20th Century.

So, take a couple of minutes to watch the clip, and think about all the Veteran’s we’ve had over our (relatively) short time as a country, and all the great things we’ve accomplished because of them.

To all our Veterans, as well as those who are still serving, in and out of harms way, with and away from your families, I thank you for what you have done and are still doing.”

I’ll close this with a bit of plagiarism…I took this from the status of one of my FaceBook friends:

DEFINITION OF A VETERAN: Whether on active duty, honorably discharged, retired, national guard, or reserve – someone who, at one point in their life, wrote a blank check made payable to The United States of America, for an amount of, “Up to and including my life.”
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