The shredding of my letters from Desert Storm still hang with me. I think this is due in part to the fact my dad had served in the military way back in the day. I'm talking late 60's, early 70's.
When I moved, I was leaving a place I had called home for 43 years. I left so many physical items and memories behind, the most painful one was finding my dad collapsed on the floor. I took what I could with me to my new home but there was no way I could take everything my parents owned or the things I owned with me.
I should have been paying more attention to my aunt when she was shredding papers and going through the family safe. It's understandable to shred a quiz from when I was in the first grade, but it belonged to me and she should have asked before shredding, especially the letters.
I guess in some strange, odd way, those letters represented more than just servicemen writing back to a stranger who sent a letter of support to them during a time of war. So many members of my family from great-grandfathers to cousins and then some served - Air Force, Army, Marines and Navy. These members of my family, some of whom I've never met, served their country.
When my aunt shredded the letters that I got from servicemen involved in the Gulf War it was like their service was - erased. I can't explain that thought or the feelings that go with it. It was like these men were thrown away - discarded. I'm sure my aunt had no idea that her shredding of the letters would cause me to feel this way. I don't why she shredded them. I never asked because when I thought about the letters, it was too late. They were long gone.
I guess this is the sticking point of it all. These were letters written to me. She should have asked if I still wanted them. Had she asked, I would have told her that I absolutely wanted to keep them. I would have never thrown those letters away because doing so would have seemed disrespectful to these men who served our country.
I have never been overly patriotic, but my dad raised me well enough to respect members of our military. He ran a small business for years and always hired former military. When he was in the hospital recuperating from cutting his finger off (they tried to reattach it, but it didn't work), he said the only nurse on duty who knew what they were doing, was an older woman who had served in the Army. My dad said she knew how to make a bed the right way and was a hoot.
Writing those letters long ago was my way of showing support. I love writing, so writing a letter makes sense. There are other ways to show support such as supporting a veteran run business. There are memorial walks and donating to organizations that help veterans.
I'm thinking of participating in Mission 22's September 48-mile walk challenge. I don't think I'll officially sign up but silently show my support. Thankfully, you walk 48 miles for the month. I'm debating on whether or not to do this. If I do it, hopefully my bad knees and bad feet won't scream at me too much. Genetics suck! Both of my parents had bad knees and my feet are messed up especially my left one. Trust me when I tell you that dropping a 14 lbs. electric bike battery on your foot followed by two cans of soup two days later will mess up your foot. It's simply never been the same.
Maybe doing this walk will mend the feeling of the lost letters. I have a few more days to decide whether I will commit or channel my energy down another path. I'll let you know.
Okay, time to end this ramble. Your musical treat today will be "Burning Bridges" the theme song to the movie Kelly's Heroes that I remember watching with my dad as a kid. My mom loved Clint Eastwood and my dad liked war movies so this one was watched often.