It’s November 11th, and time to think of someone other than ourselves for at least one day.
Around here, I tend to treat war as a subject for adventure comic books, and exciting fiction…but I’m never too far away from thoughts of the real men and women who put on the uniform and serve. My stepfather was in the Canadian Air Force during WWII…my father-in-law served as a company clerk and supply sargeant for the American Army…and one of my closest friends Glenn Reid (a former roommate and band-member) spent years in the air force as a mechanic and ground-crew tech.
I’ve never been in the armed services, I’m too much of a wimp to have even considered it, but I can tell you what it’s like to know veterans, and have them as part of your close circle of friends and family. It chokes me up inside to think of what they did….and what others still do every day to keep my ass safe on the ground. Years ago, I was helping an old fellow across the street near where I lived…he was moving a little slow and I offered my arm to help him make the lights in time. He thanked me, and we crossed to the sidewalk, where he needed to to lean against a building for a moment to catch his breath. He told to me that he’d been having trouble with the leg lately, which surprised him, since it had been years since he caught a bullet there on Omaha beach. When I heard that, I became weak in the knees and couldn’t stand myself, as I’d never met anyone who’d survived Omaha before. I started crying and shaking his hand, and acting like a complete baby around this guy, whose name I never got.
I hate war. I hate the occupation of Iraq. I hated Viet Nam. I hate some of the things that have happened in Afghanistan, and Bosnia on both sides of the conflict. But the men and women who march towards danger because it’s their job, are the people that own my heart in a way that’s hard to describe.
Thanks, people. So many of you are humanity’s best example. I hope they retire your occupation someday.
Ty the Guy Out!
Here now, your comic book moment of zen:
That’s a page from Scott Chantler’s “TWO GENERALS”, a graphic novel about Scott’s grandfather, who served with the Canadian Infantry in WWII. You may order a copy here.
And Comic Book Connection Initiative, which gives disadvantaged children and teens comic books and graphic novels, is working to send comic books to soldiers serving overseas. If you know of any soldiers who might appreciate some reading material, check out the contact info on CBCI’s Facebook page.