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Saturday, November 11, 2006

Thoughts on Veterans' Day

Today I pray for all the Veterans, especially those who died in the service of our country.
I am also a Veteran. For 13 years, 9 as a reservist and 4 on active duty, I 'wore the Devil's braids,' as Kipling referred to it in one of his stories(On Greenhow Hill).
Some of the service and rank insignia are pictured above, along with my old flight jacket. The flight suit is long gone - probably wouldn't fit around my belly - and the camouflage uniforms were stripped of rank and handed on to my children and nephews. The flying boots are still mine as well.
There is also a braid, or ribbon, which I inexplicably received the week after I separated from the Air Force. I found out it was for service, for a job well done. It seems kind of inappropriate, since my work was to show up every day, and take care of whatever patients I had as my assignment. That could be a premature baby born of some dependent overseas, or an active duty marine, or a retiree, or an esteemed member of the San Antonio 'gun and knife club.' All I did was take care of them. For me, the biggest danger was negotiating traffic to and from work.
It seems like something unworthy of an award, especially seeing what our troops are experiencing in the Middle East, and reading the accounts of much older veterans who served in WW I, WW II, Korea, and Viet Nam. All they did was get up every day and do their assigned duty, just like I did - only some of them did not come back.

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Our Lady of the Mysterious Decapitation

Our Lady of the Mysterious Decapitation
Now restored with the help of some cement!

Prayer to Our Lady of the Mysterious Decapitation

Mary my mother, take my hand today, and all days.
Lead me away from all occasions of sin.
Guide me in fulfilling your last words in the Gospel,
"Do whatever He tells you."

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