As we honor our veterans this month, I would like to take a moment to reflect on how I spent my Veteran’s Day this year. Many of our readers may know or may be a retired veteran, or an active member of the military. I would bet each and every current or past member of the military has many stories to share.
This Veteran’s Day, I had the great privilege of spending time with my grandpa, a retired veteran, and my uncle, an active member of the military. Although many of us will never know what it is truly like to serve in the military, many veterans have shared their stories in the news, on blogs, through social media channels, and through many other forms of communication.
My family likes to communicate and get together quite frequently; we also have a strong belief in tradition. Staying in touch with all twelve of his grandchildren and sharing stories of the past is a tradition my grandpa finds very important. This tradition takes place almost always during family gatherings. It may be through pictures, home videos, or stories, but my family always makes sure to capture our family memories.
During family occasions, my grandpa is the type that believes in talking and engaging with one another rather than watching TV. So, this Veteran’s Day, he shared stories of his time in the military. He talked about what he did every day, who he met, what he ate, and more. Every story was fascinating, and as my grandpa talked, my uncle would share memories from his time in the military now.
As the stories continued, I began to think about how important being able to communicate with loved ones during their time overseas was and still is today. As my grandpa shared stories from the past, I wondered how much of that same story had changed over time. Many of the stories my uncle shared, my aunt and other members of the family had heard before. As we all know, how we communicate, even with someone sitting in the next room, has changed quite a bit. This change made my uncle’s visit to Afghanistan quite different from my grandpa’s time overseas.
During my uncle’s time in Afghanistan, he had regular Skype dates with family and friends, phone calls once a day, text messages, Facebook, and email. He was able to watch football games live, including games his sons played in and, being a huge Ohio State fan, those games as well. As you can imagine, my grandpa’s experience was quite different, his communication was much more limited. He wrote long letters to family and friends during his time away. These letters captured the stories he shares today, although not in real time as my uncle’s stories had.
I am very proud to say, my grandpa is embracing technology with open arms. He is happy my uncle was able to stay connected to his family and friends during his time away. Although, being deep rooted in tradition he also wants his grandchildren and those of us from a more recent generation to truly appreciate how lucky we are to have the ability to communicate with our loved ones every day, no matter where they are.
Throughout November, Red Roof would like to honor our veterans. This month only, all veterans stay at any Red Roof Inn for 15% off. Also, Red Roof continues to thank our veterans offering 10% off year round.