Veterans Day 2016

by Steve Mitchell

I don’t want to get too schmaltzy here.  It’s mostly been a pretty good day, even though I had to work and even though we live under the heavy cloud of the tire fire which is the looming Trump presidency.


Still, it’s mostly been a pretty good day.

On FB, Lucie posted a photo of me from basic training.  A few friends thanked me for my service.  That’s nice.


Have I used this image before?  Maybe.

I’m finally arriving at a place where veterans day doesn’t tie me up, where I don’t feel all itchy and resentful, where I can accept gratitude with the understanding people feel good offering it.

I was only three years older in that photo than Alec is now.  19 year old Steve had more in common with Alec than with 48 year old Steve.  When I look at the photo too long, I see Alec instead of myself.  The resemblance is just close enough to tug at me.  I can see him in the uniform, and…

I don’t like it.

What are you gonna do?

He doesn’t have any plans to join the service; although, I’d support him if he did, but…

I don’t like it.

My time in the Air Force was mostly good.  I don’t regret it.  But the not good part, the war, has thrown a shadow across my entire adult life.

I know what the uniform has given me and what it has cost me and, as a father, the idea of my boys paying that price, experiencing that pain, well…

I don’t like it.


happy veterans day