why, you’re welcome!

I love that I’m correctly identified as a veteran in some mass mailing database. This email made me feel super special :) Thanks to all my fellow vets – I’m honored to be among you!

Abigail —

Today, on Veterans Day, my message to you is simple: Thank you. Thank you for your selfless service, for your valor, and for your strength of purpose that make all of us proud to be Americans.

Today, Americans will pause amidst a great conversation about the future of our nation to take a moment and recognize your service to our democracy — a service that guarantees us all the liberty to engage freely in that conversation, no matter what our views may be.

We know that we owe you a debt that cannot be repaid. But we can and will fulfill our nation’s promise to stand by you and your loved ones. That is why we’ve worked hard for better care for our veterans, and why we provided the largest increase in Veterans Administration funding in history.

Today, we honor those Americans past and present who’ve served on battlefields from Lexington to Antietam, Normandy to Manila, Inchon to Khe Sanh, Ramadi to Kandahar. You have defended our freedom on land, and at sea, and in the air.

You reflect the diversity that makes this America. You share a patriotism beyond question. And you share the same unflinching courage, selfless compassion, and uncommon camaraderie that — when faced with the tragedy of a despicable and heartbreaking attack last Thursday — the soldiers and civilians of Ft. Hood humbly revealed to the world.

You and your loved ones are the patriotic men and women we honor today, Veterans Day. And you are the men and women we shall honor every day, in times of war and times of peace, so long as our nation endures.

Thank you.

President Barack Obama

Sad day

I know everyone and their brother is talking about the shooting at Fort Hood, sorry for adding to the din. I spent over four years there – filling the roles of civil servant, soldier and spouse of a soldier. It was the best community I’ve ever been a part of. My heart breaks for all the families – of course the victims’ families – but not just them. Like LTG Cone said (when the reporter asked him if the soliders in the readiness center were armed), “this is our home.” Someone – a family member, no less – opened fire in their home. How do you feel safe after that? My heart breaks for the families dealing with the aftermath of this scary, crazy disaster.

I am so glad that Hasan lived. I want to know why. There so little info available that the speculation is running wild on every network. Can it really be as simple as he didn’t want to deploy? Or that he was against the war? I hope the families of Fort Hood are able to get some answers and sense of control back…as much control as you can have when your loved one is in a constant deployment rotation.

One bright spot? Lots of people donating blood today. I know it’s not how we want to inspire donors, but maybe a few of these new donors will come back again later, under happier conditions.  The Armed Services Blood Program always needs eligible donors. If you can’t donate directly to the military, donate to the Red Cross – where the military purchases blood in the case of shortfalls.