I was going to write a post today about the 4th of July holiday. It was going to be cute and flippant, and reference that everywhere I go today, the question is “any plans for the holiday?” I know it’s a day off for many, a long weekend filled with grilling and chilling. And that’s great. But do we really understand why that’s so great? What we are actually celebrating? Most folks don’t try to analyze it because the freedom we have is taken for granted.
Instead, I’m re-posting this. My cousin, who just returned from Kuwait, wrote this poem. I honestly think it speaks for itself. Here is his post in toto:
I jotted this down one year when I was working for the school district back in PA. I am no poet or philosopher. I was trying to express an emotion I had to deal with when individuals flippantly disregard our service to our people and our country. Not sure if I nailed it but I came close. I forgot about this, I was going through old emails and came across it and thought I would put it out there again.
Medals on my chest:
I wore medals today.
Not the full sized ones they handed me,
those will probably never see the light again.
But I wore my medals today
the mini-medals I bought for just such a day.
They added some color to my dull blue uniform and
they offset the shiny badge on my chest.
I wore my medals to school today.
The kids looked and looked again.
Some asked me what are they?
I told them these are what you wear when brothers don’t come home.
I wore my medals to work today.
Some shook my hand some said thanks with a hug.
Those that once passed with noses high now passed with heads down or mouths agape
But I wore my medals today.
One child asked “Why would you? Why should you?”
I told the child: because I could and I would.
We said we would stand against all comers wherever or whenever we were called.
We said we would stand for others who could-not or would-not stand with their brothers.
I wore my medals today.
Vincent Provenzano TSGT USAFR
6 years US Navy (two wars)
7 years Air National Guard
3 years Army National Guard
3 years US Navy Reserves – Seabees (activated)
9 years and still serving US Air force Reserves (two deployments)
Happy Independence Day
Remember who gave up all so we can be who we are now.