Monday, July 06, 2009

And I Cry

My wife is embarrassed but I cry. I cry easy and frequently. I often feel like my son when he was small and he would come up to me and just say, “I have to fry”. Even though he had a problem pronouncing the “k” sound I knew what he wanted to do. He would hold it in until he got on his rocking horse in our basement and rock back and forth just frying away until he had it out of his system. Yea, I know how he feels. Sometimes you just need to fry.

I cried at a movie with my wife this week. I cried at a TV show’s sad ending. I cried at Extreme Home Makeover even though I saw it before. And I cried.

The thing that makes me cry the most though is the relationship between my country and the military that fights for it, for me. I attempted to get into the Air Force when I was 18 and just graduated. I don’t remember if I told my parents about it or not. Unfortunately I had had three major knee surgeries by then and he pretty much rejected me outright. “You’ll never pass basic.” I can still hear him saying to me. I have had a love for our military since my dad explained the whole Memorial Day Parade and 4th of July celebration to me in a way it should be explained. He told me that good men died just so that I could sit here, eat hotdogs, and watch a fireworks display.

I am just old enough to remember my mom shielding me from some news reports from Viet Nam that were too graphic for my young mind. I remember a discussion about my oldest brothers and whether they would be drafted or not. Gulf I still is a proud memory filled with flags flying and Whitney Houston bringing the nation to tears with her singing of the National Anthem at Super Bowl XXV. (Catch it on Youtube and see if it doesn’t bring you to tears too). Korean War is usually only remembered in MASH reruns and World War II has been dissected so many times on the History Channel it has become paper thin. Although after the movie “Saving Private Ryan” I wanted to hug the first WWII vet I say.

Even with my little experience I watch troops come home into the waiting arms of family and I cry. I watch flag-draped caskets come home to the tear-stained salutes of fellow soldiers and I cry. At sporting events I still cross my heart and sing the National Anthem facing the flag and if it is well done and not canned music, I still cry. Then I look over at the masses of people, young and old, looking inconvenienced because they have to stand and put their beer or hotdog down for the crazy song. They wait until they hear “land of the free” and start cheering, NOT because they live in the land of the free but because that signifies the song is almost over and they can go back to their beer and hotdogs. And I cry.

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