Fireworks and Veterans

fireworks

 

Ironically, most Veterans would rather pass on the Fireworks aspect of Patriotism.

 

I was only in a life threatening situation once in my military career. My job was to keep Marines and Sailors alive.  But I recall the sound of what I thought was firecrackers.  Then M-80s.  Then I heard a whistle by my ear.  I yelled to my fellow NCO: “Get Down” he was my senior officer but green to bullet fire.  He hadn’t heard the bullet and still thought it was firecrackers.

It’s a natural tendency to evaluate the situation and look for cover. (After you drop to the ground of course.)

Years later when I was into mountain biking; I would ride in the hills above a lake I lived by. It was the second or third trip to the top of the mountain which had a gun range on it. It was the first time I had heard gun fire since my time in the service and it gave me a churning feeling in my stomach that made me want to stop and throw up.  I stopped and just evaluated the situation.  It took a while to recall that a gun club was at the top of the hill along with campgrounds.

Keep in mind, I’ve held someone else’s leg in my hand.  I’ve held their eye (separated from their head) in my hand. These are memories you can’t un-see.  I’ve been bathed in blood and purulent excretions. (Pus). But fire crackers still send chills down my spine.

I’m honored by those who get enjoyment out of watching explosion in the sky aka “The Rockets’ Red glare. Some which sound amazingly like in coming.  Personally, on the night of July 4th, I enjoy turning up the television.  All I can ask is if you have a young returning Veteran in your neighborhood that has seen action, hold your fireworks display someplace else should you wish to be thoughtful.

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