He will walk out this morning as the sun rises for a new day. Under his arm he carries the “stars and stripes” the “Red ,White and Blue” …Old Glory.
It will take him a moment to undo the cord that is on the flagpole, his arthritic, shrapnel, worn hands just will not work like they used to years ago.
But he gets is done.
He carefully snaps the flag onto that cord and pauses… He looks at the stars on that blue field .
Oh how they have been added, there were 48 when he was younger and he remembers the joy when 2 more were added to the “Land of the Free”!
He sees the red and white and his mind will drift back to a time when he clung to a pier in Pearl Harbor, or maybe it was driving that truck providing fuel and supplies in Korea. A rice field in Vietnam…hot and dirty. Iran, Iraq or Afghanistan.
He remembers his buddies, friends, the ones he lived with while wearing that uniform with pride. They matched! No social status, just one common purpose. A purpose that holds true still today,
He remembers the ones that are gone, the one he cradled as they took their last breath.His friend. His heart will sink. His mind will go from that flag to a moment to a sea of tombstones with the name, rank and position engraved upon it and the place they served.
He will raise the flag, watching as the slight wind begins to unfurl the folds to open it to a new day of freedom, flying over the land protected by these men and women from all foreign adversaries.
He will kiss his wife and say “i’ll be back in a while, I’m going for coffee”.
She smiles cause he does this every day!
He pulls in and there they are…he is late and they let him know it! The Colonel will say, you getting a little lazy today. They are from all of the wars, yes, there is even one from WWII. No food just coffee and the one that drinks the Diet Coke!
They will even allow those who didn’t serve to come and set with them…and listen.
Their stories are all the same, they will drift back and talk some about their service. Love for THIS country and where will we be in the future.
They would suit up again in a moments notice, if the age and health would allow.
They are Americans
They are Veterans
He will go back home and at the end of the day as the sun begins to set, he will walk back out and bring that flag down, folding it correctly and walking it back into his house for the night he hears in his mind the bugler playing “Taps”
Day is done, gone the sun,
From the lake, from the hills, from the sky;
All is well, safely rest, God is nigh.
Rest well Veteran!
May God bless you on this your day!