As the daughter of a retired Marine ( I learned at an early age to never say "former"... ) I grew up surrounded by the men who had become my father's brothers during his time in active service.
I've never served, and at nearly 30* I doubt I ever will. But parts of the military trickle through your subconscious as you grow. I can spot a veteran at 30 yards. Its the walk, the stance, the unconscious scanning of the crowd around them.
Heck. Almost every Marine pilot has the same dang hairline as my dad.
I've heard the stories - some loudly laughed over at the dinner table, others half heard as my brother and I struggled to still our breathing enough to hear the murmurs that filtered through our bedroom as my father tried to put his own ghosts to rest. The rest can be told in the stiffening jaw, the quiet grip on anothers arm, the ducked head and indrawn breath as a name from long ago is heard. I got really good at reading my father and my "uncles."
I've grown up in the thick of these men and women. I wish I had the right words to say how much I respect them, how much I treasure them...
No poetry, no flowery words, can really say what needs to be said. All I have is this -
And a promise to never forget.
Have a wonderful day today folks.
* Ye gods... that was scary to write. But the important part is nearly... as in almost 18 months. Now the Prime Geek on the other hand....