Thursday, November 22, 2018

Wishing You All a Blessed Thanksgiving

Norman Rockwell
That painting is how I remember Thanksgiving growing up. I do believe that my paternal grandmother had that very dress and wore the same apron over it. She's been gone since 1972 but she lives forever in my heart.

Times change, customs change, not everyone had the same kind of wonderful childhood I did, but my memories are mine and mine alone. Sure my brothers were there, no doubt some of their memories duplicate mine, no doubt they also diverge from mine in many ways.

My Mom and my Dad were both the youngest children of their respective families, perhaps that's why I remember my grandparents, both sides, being at our home on Thanksgiving and at Christmas as well. The WSO will tell you, if she's being honest, that the youngest is forever the "baby" of the family and is often just a little bit spoiled. I was the oldest, I got blamed for many things, most of which were indeed my fault as "I should know better, being the oldest."


I've had Thanksgivings in the service where there was no special meal with family. Sure, the chow halls would do their best to prepare something resembling the traditional Thanksgiving meal - turkey, stuffing, and the like - but it was never the same. Perhaps had I been deployed over a holiday it might have seemed special, but I was fortunate in that respect. Never been shot at, hope to maintain that record.

I think about the guys and gals out on the line, somewhere far from home, somewhere where you do get shot at. I think of those folks often, they are one of the things I am thankful for, them and the so-called first responders here at home. Medical personnel, police, fire fighters, you know who I mean.

"First responders" has become a popular term, no doubt because those are the folks who are the first on scene at fires, accidents, crimes, etc. But that's not all they do. They are out there, doing their jobs every single day. It's not just a "first response" kind of thing, it's a ready to respond in the event they are needed. You may gather that it's a term I'm not all that fond of. Makes it sound as if that's all they do. They also train constantly in the event they do have to respond.

For the same reason I abhor the term "warfighter." Corporate types in the defense industry love this term and throw it around constantly. But while the folks at the tip of the spear do all the dirty work, the kids in the rear areas making sure the trigger pullers get fed, get paid, are clothed, and have something come out when they do need to pull the trigger are just as important. They too are a long way from home in a place, while safer, sucks almost as bad.

Some military folks like to whine about civilians, I don't. Every time someone thanks me for being a veteran, I thank them for paying me, feeding me, clothing me, housing me, and training me for all of those years. I like to say it's a team effort, and it is, also, without a civilian population, what need have we of a military to protect them? Both are needed, one supports, one protects, does anyone seriously think that war will end one day?

Sure, right about the time of the Second Coming, certainly no sooner.

So enjoy your Thanksgiving, I'm sure you have something to be thankful for, even in a country where everyone seems at loggerheads over politics. It's never as bad as the meejah likes to paint it. It also looks far worse for you city folk than it does for us folk out here in suburbia. What's on television isn't real, the people you deal with every day are, care about one another. Be thankful for the little blessings as well as the large.

Peace be with you...

Happy Thanksgiving.


  1. For all those who labor in hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living and especially hospices, thank you and God Bless you! To all the Fellow Chanters who contribute here and from whom I've learned so much, thank you, and may your Thanksgiving be a happy one. Bless all of you.

  2. Have a great Thanksgiving. It's even coldish down here in the Old Dominion!

  3. From the Great Litany: " Further we pray for those who bear offerings, those who do good works, in this holy and venerable church, those who labor, those who sing, and all here present who await Your great and abundant mercy."

    One time in a doctor's waiting room I struck up a conversation with an older gentleman. He had served during WWII. I asked him where, and he seemed embarrassed when he said that he spent the whole time in DC in Logistics. "Ah! So you helped make sure that the guys at the sharp end had the food to have strength to fight, the weapons and munitions with which to fight." Which seemed to perk him up a bit. I also made a comment about "the sharp end" just falling to the ground, useless, if the other 95% of the spear wasn't there behind it giving it support. I thought it odd that he was embarrassed.

  4. I had the need of those very folks a week ago. They were here quickly, and worked the issue. It was greatly appreciated.

    My dad was a Texas peace officer. He did multiple little things until the BIG THINGS needed doing. But, I learned from him that the "authorities" usually aren't. That every one is a first responder, with a duty to serve when needed. That has pulled me into situations that needed the closest to respond with aid, not wait for whoever is called. It drives me to learn, to "Be Prepared".

    Back when I was in grade school, an outlaw overpowered a Texas Highway Patrolman, and killed him. A deer hunter was at a roadside picnic park with his young son and saw it go down. He refused to be just a good witness, and plugged that outlaw. He was the first responder. I remember seeing the "thank you" present the Texas DPS gave him. I remember how hugely PROUD I was that he was competent and got involved.

    Maybe that is an antiquated way to view things now. But the frost on my roof probably means I'm rapidly approaching antique status.

    I am very thankful for you and the herd that hangs out here. I really appreciate having a place I feel at home. Take care, keep warm, and enjoy the day with your family of first responders!!

    1. I remember that incident, happened on I 20 close to Big Spring while my Dad was stationed there. Fast forward 40 years, would he receive the same recognition? No, and we're all a little lessened for that. A little less safe also.

      Descending Soap Box now.

      Happy Thanksgiving all!

    2. I kinda disagree with you, juvat. Some places a citizen doing their citizenship using their 2nd Amendment rights would and still do get thanks and a commendation.

      Maybe not the $5,000 bounty and a plastic head mockup as a warning to the next dude or dudette, as described by Heinlein in one of the short story segments in "Time Enough for Love," but still.

      Now, a citizen being a citizen in Austin, Houston or Dallas (actual)? Maybe not so much. Though even today the Texas Rangers tend to not be as politically correct as the police agencies in those three cities.

      Other than that, thanks for thanking us, STxAR and juvat. Y'all have a great turkey day and keep the comments coming.

    3. May his memory be a blessing. Bless you all for being a part of this blogging thing.

    4. He was never publicly named. DPS officer Bert Sinclair engraved him a Colt 1911 as a thank you. Bert knew dad, and I met him a couple times. He was a nice guy. Spokesman for the Panhandle section of the DPS on tv.

      I doubt theynews would honor the request to keep the hero's name dark nowadays.

      Merry Thanksgiving to all. You guys are the bean's knees! heh heh....

  5. I was in the Coast Guard at small aviation unit, maybe 6 of us (total) having Thanksgiving dinner with our families. At a large unit with 20 people in the duty section and a galley that made Thanksgiving dinner for us and any of the single members who wanted.

    I don't recall ever getting launched during the holiday meal.

    Enjoy your Thanksgiving with your family and thanks for the memory reminder!

  6. Happy Thanksgiving to all who peruse “the Sarge’s Truth”! A family day, perhaps the last ‘til after Christmas time! Enjoy, relax, consider what we’ve got here thanks to so many who’ve given their all.
    I can remember standing alert on these kinds of days so the married guys could be at home in base housing with kids. Sometimes they’d launch us just to “check something” 😉Then, Friday, relieved for 24, leftovers at my flight commander’s house. Jess and Eva, oh, and Johnny Walker, too, in those days!

    1. Amen! (Answering comments in front of a real fireplace at an inn in Vermont.)

  7. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your fine family.

  8. "Some military folks like to whine about civilians, I don't. Every time someone thanks me for being a veteran, I thank them for paying me, feeding me, clothing me, housing me, and training me for all of those years. I like to say it's a team effort, and it is, also, without a civilian population, what need have we of a military to protect them? Both are needed, one supports, one protects, does anyone seriously think that war will end one day?"

    Thank you for slapping me upside the head about this. I have tended to be one of those people. Yet another thing that I shall work on rectifying. That list does grow.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all who gather here and to our host and his co-bloggers.

    Thanks for the post.
    Paul L. Quandt

    1. Glad you're one of us Paul. Blessings to you and yours.

    2. Dude, you served.

      At times like this I remember one of the Regimental Bands belonging to some US regiment during the Battle of the Bulge. Instead of standing around or doing parades, they were quickly issued weapons and tossed into the fray. They died well.

      People in the rear have the unfortunate tendency to, when the front suddenly rolls over them, dying in large amounts, but often doing yeoman service and turning the tides.

      Also, regarding chair-born forces, I must bring up my dad. After losing his pilot wings from bad eye problems he went on to do all sorts of weird and interesting things, many quite boring to normal people. Like the poor schmucks responsible for cleaning the mess hall, or cleaning the hospital. Sounds boring, but...

    3. Yup, someone's gotta do those jobs.

  9. Happy Thanksgiving to all here! We just got back from a lovely day with the whole tribe up in Cheyenne. Great to see the little ones get bigger and more interactive every year, and catch up with the extended family we don't see very often.

    I've spent many, many holidays and weekends out in the field getting critical equipment back on-line, or "In Transit" to some remote site. Never served in our Military (thank you all!), but some of the stuff I waved my hands over and got going again was pretty...uh..."interesting".

    Some of the big places had spreads set up for their people, and the poor, single, "Factory Engineer Guy" was always made to feel welcome.

    Other places I was happy to have some extra dry socks along.....

  10. As with you, that picture resonates with me. Same deal. My grandfather ruled and my grandmother told him what to do. He was an MD and she met him while a nurse in Newfoundland during the depression. Our family gatherings at their table usually included at least one set of cousins, sometimes two but never all of us. We all finally came together when she died at 102 while still living in the house she retired to. She knew the name and image of every single one of us, plus our children. Same dress, bigger table which I ate at last night with my sister, her family and another family of friends they have known for about 20 years.
    The Army always made a big deal of Thanksgiving. We ate at the messhall when my dad had a battalion and the army at Camp Doha flew out the full Thanksgiving feast to Failaka Island when we were out there for a couple of months doing the maritime sanctions against Iraq. They really make an effort for Thanksgiving. I have no idea what they do for Christmas or other holidays.
    Excellent point on those who serve. Warheads on foreheads, to use a term staff pukes used to death and made me sick of, is the name of the game but it doesn't happen without a pretty sizeable contingent of people who make it happen.


Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)
Can't be nice, go somewhere else...

NOTE: Comments on posts over 5 days old go into moderation, automatically.