Somehow, it turned out that most of the friends I’ve made as an adult (over age 18) are either military, worked around military people, come from military families, or have some other connection to the armed forces of the US, Australia, or Canada, or Great Britain. I didn’t set out to do that, it just happened. (Granted, the aviation community leans that direction, especially rotorcraft, but still…)
Today in the US is Armed Forces Day. The third Saturday in May is set aside to honor the men and women who currently serve in the Armed Forces of the US (including the Reserves and National Guard). Originally there were separate days for the four (then five) branches of the military, but the SecDef lumped them together in 1949. Note that this did not and does not replace things like the Marine Corps Birthday and commemorations of the founding of the other branches. May is also V-E Day, and Memorial Day.
I’ve mentioned before that I tried three times to get into the military, and failed three times. That’s when I got the hint that Someone had other plans for my future. (I’m slow to get hints.) I grew up reading military history and listening to stories from various relatives’ military service. Then I went to college and gravitated toward the men (no women while I was there) around my college who had served. And then I joined the [then Confederate] Commemorative Air Force and it was 99% military.
I figured out pretty quickly that just serving in the military doesn’t make anyone a saint. It can improve some people, or not. However, taking the oath and serving the country is a serious job, and one that deserves respect.
My hat is off to the men and women currently serving. Thank you. Long may the US be a place worth defending.