On Veterans Day, we share this account from one of our veteran members and thank you all for your hard work!
"I don’t often spend much time thinking about my military service. All the messages today did make me reminisce a little bit. Only a year like 2020 could make me look back in fondness at a year like 2003, where I spent most of the year in Iraq as a combat medic.
"That got me to thinking about how people who haven’t been to war often wonder what it’s like. And all kidding aside, now that you’ve lived through 2020, you know. Seriously. War is like this. You have a job to do, and there’s danger involved every time you leave the FOB (forward operating base) to go to work, but you put your body armor on, you prepare yourself as well as you can, and you do it. You avoid risky behaviors. You stay out of crowds. Keep your distance from strangers. Bad things happen, but you have to press on. Every day the news is bad, and it only seems to get worse. There’s no end is sight. Supposedly you’ll be through with your deployment in 12 months, but you’ve seen other troops get extended to 18 months. Some of the people that were with you at the start of the deployment aren’t around anymore.
"Sound familiar? All of you are operating under those same conditions now. The physical consequences in everyday life may be a little less dramatic, but the emotional and mental strain is the same. Many of you are on the front lines, putting on your PPE every day and walking out your front door, and shouldering the burden so that our agency can keep running.
"As I mentioned earlier, when deployed, you’re stationed on a FOB. There were those of us who had to roll out of the gate every day to confront whatever was waiting for us outside. And then there were the admin staff, paper-pushers who drank coffee and sat in air conditioned tents all day. We called those folks “Fobbits”, because you never saw them outside the fob. We liked to give the fobbits a hard time every chance we got. We called them “Chair-borne Rangers” (as opposed to Airborne Rangers). Fast forward to 2020, and now I’m the fobbit, pushing papers and wearing grooves in my floor from my cushy rolly-chair.
"So, as an honorary fobbit, I want to acknowledge you, and salute you, and declare that in my eyes you’re all honorary veterans this year. Do something nice for yourselves [on Veterans Day] because you deserve it."