Thursday, November 11, 2004

Thank you from a Vet

On this Veterans Day in 2004, I just thought I'd take a minute to say to those of you who have paid taxes anytime between August 1972 through now. For those of you who will be doing that for the next maybe 20 years, you have my thanks in advance for honoring my service with your income taxes. I sincerely appreciate the money you entrusted to the Federal coffers that was a main paycheck for a career, and is now a retirement one. Over the course of 24 years of time spent making a commitment to actively support and defend the Constitution of these United States, you have gracefully allowed me to: Sail the oceans of the world, somethimes in fast combatants, sometimes in supply ships and once on an aircraft carrier; Cavort with the clouds in jet fighters; Fine tune my skills as an expert rifleman and pistol shot; Jump out of "perfectly good" military aircraft for fun; Play with things that go "WHOOSH!" and "BANG!" way better than that stuff you get to play with from the corner fireworks stand; Study for one bachelor and two masters degrees; Mediate on the wonders of nature in the starry skies at night, far from city lights, and to watch the dolphins gracefully play on the bow waves of warships, far out to sea; Serve under incredible leadership; Lead this country's youth (and sometimes not so young, but "my" sailors none the less); Meet people from all continents and represent you as Americans. On my spare time, I have benefited from many facilities around the country, where I and my family could relax and enjoy life while on vacation. The pay wasn't enough to get me on the list next to Bill Gates, but it afforded a family of four with a comfortable lifestyle, with some left over. People have expressed their thanks and gratitude for my service, but I am equally taken that this nation is still full of those who will continue to support a Military worthy of itself. Yes, it was hard some days. Yes, the family suffered. Yes, my life and theirs was enriched by the opportunities. Yes, I'd not trade the experienences for anything. Yes, it's not lost on me that some paid those taxes, and would have preferred I wasn't employed in that manner, but they gave the money to the Government anyhow. So, in return, I humbly appreciate your service to me. Thank you!

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