For me, Memorial Day isn’t just for those of us who died in the line of duty, it’s a day for all veterans. A second day. One veteran made a huge difference in my life when I was on the bottom, Dale Thomas Craig. He held my hand when I was so fragmented I didn’t know who I was. He gave me art supplies, he supported my goals, and he even bought my very bad art at a time when I needed money.
Without Dale, I wouldn’t be who I am today.
There are many other veterans who were a part of my life. The Geezer, his father, my father, my Cuz T, my Ex. My special friends like Dale, Tom, and Don. Most American families are like this with all the more recent wars represented. I hope there’s someone out there who remembers what they did.
The WWII vets are vanishing at a rapid rate with, the experts say, all of them dead by 2036. In our family, G’s father, my father, and my Cuz T’s father are all gone now. Korean era vets are dying now too. Look at Paul yesterday. American military men and women who fought in Vietnam have white hair or no hair. They were fighting in Vietnam when I was in the Army though they said they weren’t. They were fighting there when the Geezer was in the Army.
No matter what we did or who we are now, our participation changed things just a little and changed us a lot.