“Do you know any veterans?” my manager asked.

Yes, it is true, not currently a carefree contractor for-hire, but I’m in an engagement where I have a manager. Actually, I am pretty sure I have thirteen or fourteen managers, or that everyone is a manager except me, but that’s pretty much been the story of my full time jobs anywhere.

So I talked to my manager on Friday, a day ahead of the long weekend, and she asked me if I knew any veterans.

Which seems like an odd question to me.

I mean, my parents met in the Marine Corps. My grandfather also served in the Marines. My father in law was Air Force. Let’s be honest: My children’s school canceled the annual Veteran’s Day slide show because it turned pretty much into my boys’ family tree after I asked my grandmother for a picture of my grandfather in uniform, and she sent me pictures of family members going back over a hundred years in uniform.

My brother signed up for the Marines after high school. Jimmy from the trailer park, the other N in the Triple N Enterprises lawn cutting service, signed up for the Army and went Airborne. Dave, who lived two doors down from my father in Milwaukee and with whom I was very good friends my first year at school, signed up for the Army after high school and went Airborne. My friend Brian, the Elvis impersonator, was in the National Guard for a long time. Todd, the thespian I went to school with, was in the Navy and afterwards played Mike in a staged reading of The Courtship of Barbara Holt.

Those are the people from my close circle who served. I have numerous acquaintances from church who served, and I’m Facebook friends with BlackFive and Baldilocks.

So, yeah, I know some veterans.

Is that odd? Is it because I’m the product of neighborhoods, trailer parks, and cohorts where college was not the default option after high school that I know so many veterans? Is it because I’m the product of a more expressively patriotic age?

Perhaps it was just my manager’s way of getting to my plans for Veterans’ Day.

Which only incidentally had an outward demonstration that might tie into the holiday. As I was in the St. Louis area, I visited Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery and put flowers on my mother’s grave.

And I don’t just thank veterans on one day of the year. But I do thank them. And you, gentle reader, if it applies.

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