“Moto,” short for “motivational.”
This is my newest addition and one that I am most proud. Wore it today, as I drove Number One Son to the airport, spent time with him at the gate*, and bid him farewell.
When he arrived in Cleveland on 21 December, it was the first time I’d seen him in nine months. Today was, quite possibly, the last time I will see him for a year. He is currently working up for deployment overseas.
* – As a parent of an active member of the military, I am permitted to go to the gate with my son.
I fought in Afghanistan. When people learn of my military service, I get a variety of comments — none more common than “Thank you for your service.” My response sometimes surprises people. I look them in the eye and say, “You’re welcome.”
. . . When I began to respond with “You’re welcome,” I was concerned that it shocked people. I wondered if I was being too flippant or prideful. Then I realized that their reaction said something about what “Thank you for your service” now means in American culture. The phrase has become a reflex for civilians who don’t know what else to say. Most people today play a minimal role in national defense beyond expressing gratitude to those who have served on their behalf.
When he first came home, after graduating from the University of Parris Island, you could see that “Thank you for your service” resulted in discomfort for Number One Son. But now, after nearly four years of service, he is used to that phrase and responds to the individual thanking him.
Number Two Son, who hasn’t been off base in nearly 5 months, will soon go through the same thing. However, with his brother coaching him, I am sure that he will not have the same discomfort and will be better prepared for your greetings and thanks.
I am extremely proud of my two sons, just ask me sometime. 🙂
Happy Veterans Day.
Thanks for the link, Matt.
Whoa, has it really been three years since Number One Son left the house with his social security card, drivers license, $20 in cash, a small scrap of paper with addresses, a few stamps, and the clothes on his back and headed to the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) in Cleveland? Then, started his long, tiring journey to Parris Island, SC?
Yes, it has been three years. Three years today.
I believe that the three year anniversary is special to Corporal Number One Son, as he is able to re-enlist and also choose his next duty station. All indications are that he will re-enlist (have you seen the job market out there?). Not sure where his next duty station will be, but I am absolutely certain that he will do well wherever the Marine Corps send him.
Happy anniversary, Number One Son.