Heat All Around

Friday, November 11, 2011


I am disabled. I did not get that way from donning the uniform of the brave ones and

defending the rights of those of us who never faced the confusing enmity of others, but in my life as a disabled woman, I have met many who stood up and faced the

horrors of ideology, jeaoulsy, righteous or not-so righteous disdain masked as war.

I have a driver...he's seven years older than I am, and I am about to turn the BIGGER THAN LIFE


He is one of the drivers I often have when I go for my medical appointments. He served in

Viet Nam from it's inception, before the American people even knew we were fighting an undeclared war.

Viet Nam...My oldest brother Bob

(here at the christening of my son, Christopher) served during the Viet Nam war in the U.S. Navy. Bob is nine years my senior, so I was just a little kid who thought the only evil in the world, outside the

devil our Priest spoke of with such barn raising vitriol, were the

monsters that lived underneath my bed or inside my closet...

Until we drove down to

Norfolk, VA to pick Bob up for his short leave from his first return from Viet Nam while serving on the

USS Intrepid.

I was a

CHILD! I thought my brother was the bravest man I'd ever met, and I had the hugest sister-crush on him.

Imagine then what it felt like when we drove through Norfolk, a city dependent upon the dollars spent by the Naval base personnel, and I saw the postage stamp lawns of the Norfolk people displaying signs that said,


My driver friend told me he has people come up to him today and

THANK him for his service back then.

I remember seeing images of our Viet Nam soldiers returning from that horror of war to the horror of being greeted by their fellow Americans SPITTING on them!

My friend tells those who NOW honor his service back then, they're forty years too late. Honor those who are serving now.

I do not like war. I do not pretend to understand it, but I deeply honor and respect those who do not sit before their TV screens yelling at the images of who we are told we"hate" but step up to defend all that we are.

War is horrible. I wish it was mandatory for all politicians to have to serve a minimum of two years in the Miltary up close and personal with the realities of war. Maybe then, they would not be so eager to send our heroes to their death like they are nothing more than

chess pieces to be moved across a world-wide chessboard.

Today is Veteran's Day. I have in my family several who stepped up...to them I say,

thank you, just as I say thank you to all the brave men and women throughout the world's history who stood with their courage knocking at their knees and brought honor to us all.



Cyrus Keith said...

Thanks, my sister, for remembering us. *hugs*

gail roughton branan said...


Lin said...

It is an honor to remember you and your brothers and sisters, Cyrus. Thank you for being our hero.

Rhobin said...

My brother served on the carrier the US Ticonderoga in the Gulf of Tonkin. While he was there, my younger brother served in the 7th Calvary in Germany because he had a heart murmur and couldn't go into a war zone. So Lin, we share something else.
My father was on duty at Hickam Field in Hawaii on Dec. 7th; Bill's father was at the Battle of the Bulge.

I now teach writing to returning war vets. Their stories... amazing, heart rending, scary.

Gloria said...

Thank you Lin, these heroes deserve all the thanks we can give. Many of my ancestors fought in the US army in various branches. I didn't know any of them personally, but I do honor and thank them for their service. I remember though during the Yom Kippur war in Israel, when I was living there and only in high school, our neighbor, a handsome 19 year old was called up to fight. He never made it home. He was killed in this war. An innocent teen with his whole life ahead, killed by the enemy. I will never forget how devastated and lost his parents were. Their only son and only child, gone forever.