Friday, November 11, 2016

Skywatch Friday - The Patterned Sky and Veteran's Day

For #SkywatchFriday, a sky photo from last Sunday (November 6) taken in Binghamton, New York.  I just loved how the clouds looked.  Think of the two trees in their fall foliage a bonus.

Please visit Skywatch Friday and see other sky photos posted from all over the world.

A bonus for my readers. Today is Veterans Day in the United States and Armistice Day or Remembrance Day in other countries.  In tribute, I'd like to repeat a post from November 11, 2009, the first year of my blog.

A Special Veteran

Many years ago, when we were a lot younger and my spouse was serving in the military, we befriended a younger single man.  At the time we were stationed in Kansas.  This young man had grown up in Missouri.  One day he invited us to his parents' home in rural Missouri.

I got the feeling this invitation was quite a leap of faith for him.  That
he didn't do this kind of thing very often.    We accepted the invitation and spent a weekend with his family.

His father was a Korean War veteran.  It was a Saturday night and,we were warned, the father was going to overindulge in alcohol.  And so he did.

It was obvious that this inebriated older man was reliving his experience in war.  He was in the middle of a battle.  He shouted out commands.  He fought demons only he could see.  Finally, he was carried to bed.

Our friend's mother explained this happened every weekend.  Long ago, the father was young and in battle.  His commanding officer was killed.  The Dad received a battlefield promotion and he was suddenly in charge.   It did something to him, hurt him in a way he was never able to recover from.  Every Saturday night he would seek solace in the bottle. Although he relived the battle and was obviously suffering, in the morning he would remember nothing.

I have never been in war.  I know people who have.  I know people who were civilian casualties of war, too.  But this Korean War veteran has stuck in my mind over many years.  We never received another invitation.  We drifted apart when our friend, sadly, became more interested in drugs than in our friendship.  In his own way he fought demons too.

War claims many victims and I wish we treated our veterans with the respect they deserve.  Not just lip service.

I wish I could tell our friend today we were not ashamed of what we saw.  I wasn't mature enough then to understand.  Now maybe (maybe) I am.  And, if his Dad is still alive, I hope that he has found peace at last.

Day 11 of NaBloPoMo.

14 comments:

  1. That's a lovely capture, Alana! I liked the way the two trees with contrasting colours are appearing in the picture! Every war has its casualties, sad that it happened with your friend and his family!

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    1. There are so many causalities of war - we may meet them every day, but just don't know.

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  2. Very moving incident. I would be shocked to see what you did when I was a lot younger, but today, I understand how war affects peeople and war veterans have a way of dealing with their agonies that most of us would never know of, as we've never been there! It is hard on them, no matter which country or race they come from.

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    1. I understand better as I grow older, too.

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  3. I think a society forgets how big a role soldiers and veterans play for us. We take them for granted and we shouldn't. Not only them but their families too. This post is a great reminder of that.

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    1. Thank you. When I see specials for Veterans Day (a free cup of coffee, a free donut, etc) I think of the families also. As a former military spouse, I know that well.

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  4. A wonderful skywatch and a very special day.
    Best, Synnöve

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  5. This phenomenon was never properly diagnosed- and treatment NOT proffered- for our veterans for years. Finally, now it is.
    May we find adequate treatment - or better yet- a cure- for those who served and now are mentally maimed.

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  6. Happy Veteran day and it been foggy here in North Idaho.
    Coffee is on

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  7. A moving Veterans Day story. I can see why it would stick in your mind all these years later. Thanks for sharing it.

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  8. Beautiful sky. And sad story. Probably far too common.

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  9. A beautiful sky indeed!
    Sad tale of one of the consequences of war.
    Re your query on my post, the report of the smog you read must have been about Delhi. The pic on my post is from Mumbai where the haze gets bad as winter sets in/out.

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