My Great-Uncles Albert, Goldren, Herbert, J.C., and Willis served in World War II. As did my father-in-law, Harvey. My great-grandmother’s cousin spent time as a Japanese prisoner of war.
My stepfather Chuck served during the Korean War. So did Great-Uncle Glen, who fought hand-to-hand there.
My Uncles Don and Bill served in the Navy during the Vietnam War. Second cousins Carlos Irwin, Donald, Gordon, & William were service members then as well.
My brother Steve & I served in the National Guard during peacetime. Our younger brother Randy served full-time Army, mainly in Korea. Our cousin Ritchie is full time. My daughter Christine met her husband Christopher while both were in the Army. He served combat duty in Iraq.
Many of these people have been career service members. And that’s just my side of the family. Jennifer has her own list, running back to World War I.
When I hear, “Support our troops,” I think, “My family is our troops.” When I hear, “I prefer heroes who weren’t captured,” I think, “I prefer politicians who weren’t deferred service.” And when I see veterans homeless, or struggling to get VA benefits, well, you don’t want to know what I’m thinking.