On this Veterans Day 2014, I say thank you to those who have served and to our military families who have given so much.
And what a treat to meet Air Force veteran Kenneth this week when my wife and I took the kids to the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum in McMinnville, Oregon.
If you’ve never been there, you should go. The museum really is an Oregon gem and an incredible number of volunteers who are military veterans help make it that way.
They give their time. They share their stories.
And when Kenneth shared his he got me thinking: we live in a wonderful world of ‘instant’ via iPhone, Android, Facebook and Amazon right now that is way too easy.
And everything we have is because of sacrifices by those before us, particularly those that have defended us in our nation’s military.
Like the crew members that were gunners on this aircraft that Kenneth showed us. They had to wear electric suits (like an electric blanket you put on) because the aircraft had no heat and the air up high is remarkably cold.
He said it was common for these electric suits to short out–leaving that gunner so cold that many of them came back after a flight with hypothermia.
So let me get this straight: these flight crews are flying for hours, taking on enemy fire, firing and bombing targets and often so cold they get hypothermia? Yes, that sounds like hard work, dedication and sacrifice all rolled into one.
So does the job of the gunner that would sometimes spend several hours on his back, in a ‘bubble’ that hangs just below the aircraft. Wow, I never knew about that.
So I guess what I’m saying is this: when you click ‘post’ or ‘share’ on social media today…or you buy something from Amazon with a single click…remember how easy you have it.
And remember that our freedoms we enjoy did not come that way. They required hard work and sacrifice. And let’s thank those we know who have or are serving our country.
And when you can, get out to see the veteran volunteers at the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum. Bring the kids and grandkids.
And if you see Kenneth please tell him the Sussman family says hi.
Of course, he likely won’t remember us, which is okay.
Because we are the ones who need to remember him and his service.
And on this Veterans Day we are doing just that.