Thursday, November 10, 2005

For my veteran...

Today is Veteran's Day, and while I am remembering our soldiers and Iraqi and Afghanistani citizens who have died in the war, I also want to say a special thanks to my vet. She served in the Air Force, right after high school, and stayed for two years. She came out much the worse for it. She is one of the admirable people who devoted part of her life to our nation and I am so proud and grateful for her selflessness, as I am to my father who served in the Air Force during the Vietnam war, and to my brother-in-law who served in the Navy. Her service to country is just one of the many things that make her such a wonderful, divine, loving person, and just one of the things that make me want to be more like her. Eventually, she knew she could not stay under the constant threat of persecution for being gay and in service. She left quietly and kept her honorable discharge by doing so of her own accord. Many are not so lucky. For those who choose to serve their country regardless of the danger of persecution, they serve in silence, their families are ignored, and they risk jail time, dishonorable discharge (and it's loss of voting rights and impact on jobs among other things), "exploratory surgeries" (as happened to my vet's cousin), and physical abuse. I believe this country betrays servicemembers like mine and thus betrays itself. I continue to work to end this kind of brutality and discrimination within our military, all the while mindful of how incredibly grateful I am to be able to call this veteran mine and that she is alive today.

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