Friday, November 7, 2014

Recognition From the President for Doing My Duty

I received a letter from the president.

"James, the hardest thing in politics is changing the status quo. The easiest thing is to get cynical. The Republicans had a good night on Tuesday, James -- but believe me when I tell you that our results were better because you stepped up, talked to your family and friends, and cast your ballot.

I want you to remember that we're making progress. There are workers who have jobs today who didn't have them before. There are millions of families who have health insurance today who didn't have it before. There are kids going to college today who didn't have the opportunity to go to college before.

So don't get cynical, James. Cynicism didn't put a man on the moon. Cynicism has never won a war, or cured a disease, or built a business, or fed a young mind. Cynicism is a choice. And hope will always be a better choice. I have hope for the next few years, and I have hope for what we're going to accomplish together.

Thank you so much, James.

Barack Obama"

For me it is an honor to receive a letter from our president, even if it is a form letter. I don't know if this is a form letter or not. I've written him several times. Believe me when I say, it wasn't always a letter praising his performance. I don't follow person, or party. I follow my heart. That heart continues to beat today because the American public didn't give up on this veteran.

I remember when I was really sick, and went to the VA Hospital for help. They jumped forward and took me by the hand. They took care of me and cured me of disease that was trying to kill me. The people there as they helped me told me something over and over again. They thanked me for my service to my country. Imagine that, them thanking me. Our family came from a long line of service to our country. When I was young and joined the US Navy, it was just something that needed to be done. There was no wars, or conflict. Not once did an enemy bullet or blade threaten me. But I did my part. I worked on them aircraft. Some weapons of war. I merely did my duty. I did what I thought was expected of me, but these people at the Veterans Administration, and even at the polls when I vote thank me anyway. That's why I am the one who feels honored. Honored and lucky enough to be born here to serve the greatest nation that has ever graced the surface of the Earth.

My only regret is in my youth, I really didn't realize how lucky I am. It took me 40 years to finally come to that realization. It was the people at the VA Hospital who helped me come to that realization. I profoundly thank them for that, and their service to our Veterans.

Now that I'm older and frail, I can still find ways to serve. That is why I go on and on to the point of annoyance about politics. My fingers and mind still work, so if I can't work on aircraft any more, I'm going to use that brain to think,.and them fingers to type what I think. If I am going to go to all that effort, I want to use that effort for something that matters. I know everyone isn't going to agree with my thoughts. I certainly don't agree with all of their thoughts. I do think we can all agree we do it because we all love America. That's good enough reason for me.

My country didn't abandon me in my time of adversity and need. I'll not abandon her while I can still draw a breath. All of these are extra breaths as far as I'm concerned. So I've given myself to the task of writing my discontent, and praise. When I see what I think is a crooked politician or a bought person trying to use our nation as their own personal tool, I'm sure as hell going to speak up. I'll also be just as quick to give praise to them who I see as good patriots who serve selflessly. I just have to. It is my duty to you and them. I might die tomorrow, or the next day. I may not die in battle, so I'll die still doing my duty to my country. This is the way I choose to do that. It is indeed my pleasure and honor to serve our people and nation.

Thank you to a special friend who mentioned it, saying it was cool that I had received the letter. These thoughts had been in my mind, but they were vague to me. I didn't know how to put them together. Her few words opened a flood gate, and helped me to understand myself, and exactly why I do this thing I do. She had inspired me tonight. For that I am in your debt.