Margaret’s school did a bit about what is a veteran and why they are important. I was pleased that she realized that our friend J is a veteran. J is a Navy nurse (though formerly Air Force) and served in Afghanistan. As a nurse she wasn’t in a war zone but she was still seeing the casualties and meeting the men who were in the thick of things.
We also have DH’s god daughter’s ersatz fiancee–they’re like 25 and have been dating since HS. He served in Afghanistan in the Army and it was the front lines fighting that as family you wish he didn’t have to go into. He’s such a nice guy and I sit there in amazement that he seems so okay both mentally and physically. When he came back we had a “welcome back” sign on our front lawn for many months.
My family was pretty hippie when I was growing up so in my family there are no vets; John had an cousin who served in Korea, and the cousin’s dad served in WWII. In the small town where they lived there is a war memorial with the names of everyone who served in wars, going back to the revolution. I grew up in Providence, RI, so it was a city and the war memorials limited it to those who gave their lives. And revolutionary war memorials didn’t list names because that would include almost everyone.