Matamoros, Mexico: Washington, D.C.:

Friday, November 12, 2010

Veterans and Volunteering

Yesterday was Veteran's Day.

I'm very grateful for the service of our American heroes. It's easy to forget that we have military personnel serving all over the world right now. For wars in recent American history, it seems as though people back home in the US were actively engaged in following the war and supporting our troops. But now, when our lives are so hustle and bustle and with hundreds of channels of television entertainment and the internet's social media, there are plenty of distractions that keep us from having to focus on the war. We don't feel the effects of the war here at home, partially because now is different than 50 years ago, and partially because we don't want to let it.

I'm thankful that there are people serving in the military doing what they do. I don't think I would be capable of doing that. Yes, I am a patriot and I wanted to serve my country, but I don't think I have that "something" that people in the military have. Instead, I've chosen to serve my country as a Foreign Service Officer, though the life is admittedly easier this way than if I had joined the army.

Suffice all of that to say: thank you, heroes.

Instead of lying around all day yesterday while enjoying the federal holiday, I decided to join some of my Foreign Service classmates to volunteer at the Capital Area Food Bank. It was a great opportunity to give back to and serve the DC community. There were around 20 of us who showed up, and we ended up sorting over 40,000lbs of food donations that will be delivered to over 700 different partner organizations in DC.

How do you feel? Does the war seem distant and unrelated to you? Have you thought lately about those around you who don't have the luxuries you do? It's worth doing.

Until next time...peace.


  1. The war is always close to me. My dad has been serving in Afghanistan for quite awhile now. Your post about Veteran's Day is quite good :)

  2. the war is close to the people of iraq and afganistan who bear the brunt of it. not to americans whose taxes finance it.

  3. I wish we in New Zealand had a day like this, where we could honor those in the military present and past, and not just those who have died. We don't have many servicemen but I feel that my nation as a whole looks down on the military force, for what they represent, rather than what the servicement endure for New Zealand. Good on you.