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What Veterans Day Means For Me, A Gold Star Wife
Growing up, I was always was in awe of those who served in the military, even though I wasn’t related to anyone who did. My appreciation grew when I was in high school, when 9/11 happened. I spent much of my free time then volunteering at the local USO, sending letters, and packing care packages for those who volunteered to go to take the fight to enemy, trying in my own way as a high school student to understand the gravity of it all.
Then I met my husband-to-be, Chris, and fell in love with him right away — because he was a man of honor, integrity, and one who loved his country more than anything. He loved it enough to volunteer during war time to serve as a sniper — not because he hated what was in front of him, but because he loved what was behind him. And I loved him for it.
When the two uniformed officers knocked on my door on Sept. 9, 2011, just before his 27th birthday, to tell me Chris had been killed, it was completely devastating.
During Chris’ deployment, there were many nights I couldn’t sleep. It wasn’t just because of Chris, but because of all the American service members “over there” while I was sleeping in my suburban, middle-class, three-bedroom, two-bathroom home on a fluffy down pillow. They were fighting, and volunteered to do so, so I could continue the life I lived, and sleep in peace. Service members continue to fight, over and over again — deploying multiple times or serving at home.
After Chris’ death, the world didn’t know how to interact with me, or understand what he gave, and I watched how my more and more of my country didn’t understand our troops. And I still watch it today. The civilian-military divide is growing, and I can’t imagine what it is like to wade through a “new normal” with a country and population you fought to protect that doesn’t understand you.
Many service members are out of the service now, and going to school and starting new careers — feeling behind compared to those in our generation who chose not to go to war and instead reap the benefits that veterans fought for.
Veterans have come home to families who don’t recognize them, to face their own self in the mirror, to face their own pain, to know that they are not where they feel they should be in a world full of humans who like to dot Is and cross Ts, but don’t necessarily understand what is really important in life.
There is nothing in this world, or in this life more noble, and nothing in my life I am more grateful for than those who served our country — for what they have given, all they have sacrificed, and the years they spent fighting for my life and the lives of all Americans.
To everyone who has served, although this country may not understand you, and it may seem sometimes as if they forget what you gave, I remember.
And I will never forget.
As for my husband, I will spend the rest of my days honoring him, and remembering him. In each and every one service member, I see him, I see his spirit live on, and I see who he would have been. I see the good, the bad, and the hardships they have had to face.
From the deepest parts of my heart, I am grateful.
I will spend the rest of my life honoring our men and women in and out of uniform and engaging in the country they stood up and even bled for. Today, and every day, I remember them and thank them.
And, in my own way, I fight for them.
GENEVA/DUBAI (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said he was prepared to take military action to stop Tehran from getting a nuclear bomb but left open whether he would back the use of force to protect Gulf oil supplies that Washington fears may be under threat by Iran.
Worries about a confrontation between Iran and the United States have mounted since attacks last week on two oil tankers near the strategic Strait of Hormuz shipping lane at the entrance to the Gulf. Washington blamed long-time foe Iran for the incidents.
Tehran denies responsibility but the attacks, and similar ones in May, have further soured relations that have plummeted since Trump pulled the United States out of a landmark international nuclear deal with Iran in May 2018.
Trump has restored and extended U.S. economic sanctions on Iran. That has forced countries around the world to boycott Iranian oil or face sanctions of their own.
But in an interview with Time magazine, Trump, striking a different tone from some Republican lawmakers who have urged a military approach to Iran, said last week's tanker attacks in the Gulf of Oman had only a "very minor" impact so far.
Asked if he would consider military action to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons or to ensure the free flow of oil through the Gulf, Trump said: "I would certainly go over nuclear weapons and I would keep the other a question mark."
Minnesota Democratic Party staffer under fire for calling USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul a 'murder boat'
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said Tuesday he is appalled by a state DFL Party staff member's tweet referring to the recently-launched USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul as a "murder boat."
"Certainly, the disrespect shown is beyond the pale," said Walz, who served in the Army National Guard.
William Davis, who has been the DFL Party's research director and deputy communications director, made the controversial comment in response to a tweet about the launch of a new Navy combat ship in Wisconsin: "But actually, I think it's gross they're using the name of our fine cities for a murder boat," Davis wrote on Twitter over the weekend.
'We are there to deter aggression' — Pompeo addressed CENTCOM on Iran mere moments before Shanahan announced his departure
TAMPA — Minutes before the Acting Secretary of Defense withdrew Tuesday from his confirmation process, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke at MacDill Air Force Base about the need to coordinate "diplomatic and defense efforts'' to address rising tensions with Iran.
Pompeo, who arrived in Tampa on Monday, met with Marine Gen. Kenneth McKenzie Jr. and Army Gen. Richard Clarke, commanders of U.S. Central Command and U.S. Special Operations Command respectively, to align the Government's efforts in the Middle East, according to Central Command.
NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO — The trial of Navy SEAL Chief Eddie Gallagher officially kicked off on Tuesday with the completion of jury selection, opening statements, and witness testimony indicating that drinking alcohol on the front lines of Mosul, Iraq in 2017 seemed to be a common occurrence for members of SEAL Team 7 Alpha Platoon.
Government prosecutors characterized Gallagher as a knife-wielding murderer who not only killed a wounded ISIS fighter but shot indiscriminately at innocent civilians, while the defense argued that those allegations were falsehoods spread by Gallagher's angry subordinates, with attorney Tim Parlatore telling the jury that "this trial is not about murder. It's about mutiny."
President Donald Trump announced on Tuesday that Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan will "not to go forward with his confirmation process."
Trump said that Army Secretary Mark Esper will now serve as acting defense secretary.