Friday, November 11, 2011

Thank A Veteran

I was going to blog about Christmas and my new book and writing about holidays. But here in the USA on this November 11, we celebrate Veteran’s Day. Regardless of our personal position on war, I think most all of us bear a deep respect for the men and women who serve. Christmas will come soon enough, and you can check out my newest book, Reinventing Christmas, on my website at and find it at Champagne Books in ebook on November 15. For today, I want to call us to be mindful of those who serve or have served our country.

My father, Dale Rettstatt, Jr., was a veteran of World War II.

He was injured twice, receiving a Purple Heart for the second injury that left shrapnel in his head and made him subject to sudden and nearly-debilitating migraines. But even after returning from active duty, my dad continued as a life-long member of the Army reserves. I remember the pride I used to feel at watching him march with his reserve unit in parades in our small town. He took a quiet pride in being a soldier and packed for his two weeks of annual Army reserve training like a kid going off to summer camp. He never talked about the war, but he and I would sit together and watch movies like Bridge On the River Kwai and Run Silent, Run Deep. For me, it wasn’t so much a matter of enjoying war films as it was a means of trying to get a glimpse into my father—the soldier.

I didn’t learn much about him through those movie sessions, but I did learn a few things by watching the way he lived out his commitments to both country and family. I learned that you don’t give up when things get tough. I learned that, sometimes, you put yourself—your life—on the line for something you believe in. I learned that war isn’t fought for the sake of the fighting, but for the sake of the family back home.

On this Veteran’s Day, honor the vets in your life with a special memory, and give some thoughts to those serving today, whether here in the US or abroad.

Linda Rettstatt
Writing for Woman

Available at Champagne Books


KMTolan said...



Linda Rettstatt said...

Yes, Kerry--Amen. My dad wanted to go to college and become an engineer, but the war intervened. He never fulfilled that dream, but was always there for my creative efforts at music, photography, painting. I know he would be proud of my accomplishments in writing. We need to realize the full depth of sacrifice our men and women in the military often make--the loss of dreams.

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

I've always had tremendous respect for the people who give up their lifestyles, not just their lives, to protect and defend us. Many of my childhood friends served. One in particular, a real boyfriend, was wounded in Viet Nam at the age of 30. He has recovered due to his own personal strength and integrity, but he lost three of his men that day, and that wound will never heal.

Helen Henderson said...

Linda made a great point when she included loss of dreams among the sacrifices our servicepeope make. As a daughter, wife, aunt, and sister-in-law of someone in the armed forces, I've seen first hand the toll taken not only during conflicts but peacetime as well.

Basically shy, I am uncomfortable walking up to someone in uniform and shaking their hand. But I always smile and nod. And when I walk around town, I stop at the cemetery and replace any flags that have fallen over.

But my biggest effort is a work called Hearth and Sand. Stories from the battlefront and the homefront. Even if it never gets published, the two author work will give voice to otherwise silent words.

It sounds simple, but to all our active duty personnel and retired veterans, "Thank you for your service."

Helen Henderson

PS - Even though the day is overshadowed by Veterans Day which comes a few days later, to the few and the proud, "Happy Birthday to the Corps."

Garage Equipment said...

Military veterans often receive special treatment in their respective countries due to the sacrifices they made during wars. Different countries handle this differently, some openly support veterans through government programs and others ignoring them.

Angelica Hart and Zi said...

We salute you for writing this blog, as well as salute all those brave people who have served. We are forever indebted to them, and will never forget that we owe our freedom to them. Angelica and Zi

January Bain said...

Well said.