You know what day it is. A day when we should all be remembering those young men and women that we have repeatedly sent into harm's way, by lying to them, telling them they were fighting for their country, or democracy, or freedom, or some such other bullshit.
A day when we should be weeping over the fact that so many of them come home broken in body and mind to a nation that seems to have forgotten all about them, except when it comes time to buy yellow ribbon magnets from China for a dollar or two. A day when we should be doing something about the fact that SO fucking MANY of our vets are unemployed, or homeless, or struggling to get by.
Today is all those things. If you know a veteran? Give them a hug or a thank you, call them up to say hello, take them to lunch or dinner, offer to help them out with something, anything. It could be something as small as picking up groceries, babysitting their kids, polishing their resume, setting up their computer, taking their damn dog for a walk. Do something. Anything. Just to let them know you appreciate what they went through while they were sweltering in a trench somewhere getting their ass shot off or getting water tainted with decaying corpses and rotting food thanks to George Bush, Dick Cheney, KBR, and/or Halliburton.
These men and women risked their lives and their minds and bodies to do what they saw as their duty to the nation. You don't have to agree with their politics or their service to do them the kindness you would do any other human being. Step up and do your bit for them, and remember, in one month's time, a WHOLE LOTTA them will be coming home from Iraq.
If you're a business owner, you can help by hiring them. If you're working for a big corporation, ask them if they're interested in hiring veterans. If you work at a restaurant or other service/retail business, ask your employers if they will offer vets discounts, then publicize those discounts. Everything you do helps.
And, if you're a voter? Get your ass out there, register to vote, make sure all the vets you know are registered to vote. They don't have to vote for YOUR candidate. Just make sure they vote. Offer to drive them to the polls if they're disabled. Help them register by mail. But make DAMN sure they don't vote for Mittens Romneycare, because that miserable plastic-faced billionaire bastard is talking about PRIVATIZING the VA. After G.W. Bush's disastrous experiment with Walter Reed, I don't EVAH want to hear about veterans lying in pools of their own piss while rats run across the floor and mold spreads from leaky ceilings.
Today is also a very sad day here at La Casa de Los Gatos. It is the anniversary of my father's death. Dad fought in WW II, and was on the losing side, initially, so he spent some time as a POW. He came back from the war deaf in one ear, due to shrapnel, and with an enlarged heart. He lived a long, and mostly healthy, life, but his war stories were enough to give us kids nightmares for weeks. And I know he suffered from PTSD, although he was a gentle man who turned it inward into deep depression rather than outward into beating his wife and kids.
Goodbye, Dad. I still miss you so very much. I think I always will. You loved me and you taught me to love myself, even if the lesson took a long, long time to root itself.
Today is also the anniversary of Zingiber's death. For 14 long years, he was with me every moment, a fat, silly, fearful, neurotic, sweet, affectionate, jealous, possessive, overweight lump of love. I miss him every single day. No one has ever loved me the way that fool did. No matter what I did to him — and here I have to admit, shamefacedly, that there were times when he got on my very last nerve, and I did yell at him and torment him in various small ways — he never, ever held anything against me, not even for a second. I could attribute this to his complete and total brainlessness, I guess, but every night when he put his fat, furry little head on the pillow next to me and breathed softly and warmly into my ear, I realized that he might have been as stupid as the day was long, but that was real love in those big green eyes.
I miss you baby. I wish I could tell you one more time just how much.