Listen to Jason:

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

Posts Tagged ‘soldiers’

It was March of 1989.  My grandfather was in the hospital, dying of cancer.

I was sixteen years old–and mad at world.

Mad at what?

Mad at everything.  I was mad at my parents for making up what I thought were ridiculous rules.  I was mad at our government for making what I believed were bad choices.  I was mad at fast food restaurants for using factory-farmed animals.  I was mad at my high school girlfriend for talking to another guy in the hallway.  I was mad at my kid sister for being the youngest and knowing how to win my parents over when I couldn’t.

I was mad.

And I showed it by dressing in black clothes.  From head to toe.

And I wore a peace symbol pendant around my neck.

I was anti-establishment.  I was anti-everything.

(Including myself.)

I remember going to visit my grandfather shortly before he passed away.

Standing in the hospital room beside him, I suddenly became very aware of my anti-establishment, anti-govenrnment, anti-everything attitude with attire to match.  My grandfather–a World War II veteran–had fought to defend this country that I was, essentially, turning my nose up and snubbing.  He was a proud patriot and I was known for talking about running away to live in a different country.

I remember shifting uncomfortably.  Maneuvering my feet to hide anti-everything slogans I’d written all over my canvas hi-top shoes.  I remember trying to look more “respectable” and less “rebellious” at that moment.

I don’t remember how the conversation started that afternoon, but we got to talking about our country and the armed forces.

And I remember him saying, “I fought so that you would have the freedom to disagree.  I fought so that you would have the right to question WHY.  Never stop asking WHY.”

And I’m proud to say I never have stopped asking.

See, I may not always agree with everything.

I may want to protest.

I may speak my mind when I’m asked. (Ok, sometimes even when I haven’t been asked.)

But I have so much respect for those men and women who serve our country in the armed forces.

Because of them, I have the right to disagree. To protest.

And most importantly, to question WHY.

A giant MAHALO, thank you, to our soldiers for serving.