Look a hat!
I watched a football game over the weekend with my daughter in the deer stand. Probably not the best example for her, but...hey I stayed awake. It was an awesome time with technology and something I love my family. She asked me to go out and I actually struggled for about a minute to see if I wanted to go sit in the rain and have cold frozen finger and toes or make up an excuse. Its any easy thing to do we get busy and priorities take us in different directions. Take the time an put in the effort, even if we have to adapt and overcome. We didn’t see any deer but had an amazing time with each other.
At half time I saw several WWII veterans being honored and there was something else I saw that stood out they were wearing a hat. A veteran is more than the guy you see wearing that distinct hat at the mall or out to dinner. The one he or she is so proud to have on. There is so much more under that hat civilians can’t see. The old tattered hat is so faded from wearing it over the years that its a new shade of color Crayola can’t even match. The hat is a symbol a common denominator of what we have been through as Brothers. It does not even matter the color or style of hat we all wore it. It could be “ Ranger rolled”, cover, cap, lid, bucket, shell, helmet, or what ever that thing is the Marines do, doesn’t matter. What matters is we wore it. And some guys still wear it. As you look across the heads of a crowded Applebee’s or where ever you go thats not an angry chow hall with a table full of Drill Instructors judging even the way you walk with your tray, no doubt most times you will see the hat. To a Veteran it is like a beacon to a ship trapped at sea. There are so many waves around us we often feel like no one sees us. Hey there’s someone else who has been through some crap too. Not sure that I know what they have been through or they know what I have. But what I do know is if something went down I could rely on them. They are someone who has made sacrifices that others will never know anything about. Missing out on a few months or a few years of relationships while sitting in the Desert, mountains or some secret base thats not on a map is nothing to be overlooked. The smell of diesel fuel and the shake of a Duce an half tugging along as it takes you wherever they decide to put you for the day. Waking up at the crack of dawn and running until your feet fall off, or losing a pound of sweat before most people are out of bed takes a special person.
The next time you see “the hat” know that is a special person, a Brother, a real live relatable person who knows what sacrifices are. Give him or her a smile, or a nod cause I know they have earned it. And wonder at what age will you start wearing your hat again.