Saturday, May 21, 2011

Happy Armed Forces Day

   In a slight departure from my usual hideous rantings, I thought I’d play this one straight.  Oh sure, I’ll toss in a few wisecracks here and there (did you hear the one about the priest, the rabbi, and the monkey?), but this is a pretty serious subject.
  Every third Saturday in May, the United States celebrates Armed Forces Day.  Created on August 31, 1949, at the behest of President Harry S Truman, it replaced the separate days observed by the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and the Air Force.  So, instead of Americans ignoring four individual days, they could now blow off only one (seriously, ask your friends how many of them even know it’s Armed Forces Day today).
  That’s okay, though.  Those of us who have worn the uniform, along with our families and friends, see it for the special occasion it is.  We don’t need parades, longwinded “I was there” speeches, or linen sales at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.  It’s enough to honor those who served before us and remember those who continue to serve.
  It just sucks that it’s on the same day that the world is going to end.  Oh, hell, I’ll put my flag up, anyway.  I’ll just need a flesh-eating zombie to take it down.
  Just so those of you with different postal systems and the Royal Family don’t think I’ve ignored your nations, here’s when you honor your military:
Canada:  1st Sunday in June.  Or when the lakes are ice-free and the Stanley Cup playoffs are over (sorry, couldn’t resist).
United Kingdom:  June 27th, which has something to do with Victoria being Cross.  Maybe.  I don’t know.  I got tired of reading Wikapedia.
Australia/New Zealand:  YOU have ANZAC Day on April 25th.  This is the day after AFLAC Day when Aussies and Kiwis (did I get that right?) honor ducks in the military.
Iran:  “Death To America Day” is on April 8th.
Slovenia:  May 15th.  I’m telling you, someone from Slovenia has been reading my blog.
***NOTE: The dates are real.  Well, except AFLAC Day.

On a personal note:  Yesterday, I had the honor of traveling to the Bronx (that wasn’t the honor) and reading the Officer’s Commissioning Oath to one of the most outstanding young ladies who ever worked for me.  An Information Technology Specialist (meaning: wayyyy smarter than I), she is now an Ensign in the Navy and will report to her ship in San Diego next month.
  Not only was I thrilled that my uniform still fit after six years, I was proud, very proud, to have played a small part in her career.  She’s better than I ever was.
  Even though I looked fabulous in my whites. 
  And that’s how I will remember Armed Forces Day, 2011.
Yeah. I'm holding a gun. Scares the hell out of me, too.  


  1. What I want to know is what AFLAC stands for and why we don't get a public holiday for it like ANZAC day lol.
    Ducks have played a very important part in our military and sporting history (cricket)

  2. Congrats and you must be proud. Also Thank You!

  3. @Mynx: I'm not sure what AFLAC means (once again, too lazy to look it up), but it's the insurance company with that duck. It's probably not advertised where you are (thus, the joke falls flat).
    @Bushman: Thanks. And I'm relieved they took that gun away.

  4. thank you, al, for putting in your time & being willing to hold that gun, regardless of how scary that is. we need you scary soldier men.

  5. And the world is supposed to end today. On Armed Forces Day. Hmm sounds like a coincidence to me. lol

  6. I'm sure there are plenty of other days that the younger folks today have no clue about. Flag Day? Armistace(?)Day? Great post Al.

  7. My dad was a Marine so I'm ashamed to have to admit that I had no idea it was Armed Forces Day Saturday while I was out shopping for the perfect bedspread for our bed in preperation for the apocalypse. Even though its late, Im still going to say: "thank you for your service".

  8. Neither did my kids. But, I made sure they did. Coming next week: my annual quizzing of the children about what Memorial Day is all about. It's a Penwasser tradition!