My life is framed by 2 combat vets of whom I am very proud. This Veterans Day I remember my dad, Frank Dolan, and also my youngest son, Josh. I've blogged about each from time to time: My dad, a WWII vet and Pearl Harbor Survivor, and my son, a veteran of the wars of his own generation—one tour in Iraq and twice in Afghanistan. Today is special for Josh and for our family because, after 8 years of service in the U.S. Marine Corps, this is his first Veterans Day as a newly minted vet himself.
|Josh and his grandparents, 2008|
It's an honor to be connected to both of these men, perhaps even more so because I did not serve (I feel more than a twinge of regret for taking a college deferment instead of serving during the Vietnam era). Instead, these volunteers answered the call of duty knowing that combat service lay ahead for them both. Each saw their own wars up close and were profoundly shaped by what they experienced.
My dad is no longer with us having passed away during Josh's first tour in Afghanistan. Although Dad was Navy all the way, nevertheless he was wholly proud of his Marine grandson! Their mutual experience of military service created a special bond between them that others in the family could not in the same way appreciate.
My deepest gratitude to them and everyone else who served. Happy Veterans Day, Dad and Josh, and all who answered the call of service to our country!