I play wargames for fun and to use my brain in moving around little plastic and tin soldiers. There are no “lead widows”, the soldiers may fail morale rolls and fall back but there are no real casualties, no lead and plastic psychological traumas and at the end of the game there’s just jokes and story swapping.
Not at all like real life.
I have friends and relatives who are active duty members in the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps of the United States of America. The least of them is worth more than my pasty white, soft-bellied carcass on my best day. They could run my butt into the ground in just the first hour of their average day. Those that have “seen the elephant” have endured more grief, horror and fear than I will ever know in my life, all because they chose, they VOLUNTEERED, to be part of something bigger than themselves.
I cannot be grateful enough for that. It is not possible for me to pay back the debt I owe all of them. All I can do is respect their sacrifices and pray for their safety and the well-being of them and their families.
And I do that, not as often as I should but perhaps more often than some.
Members of my family, on both my mother’s and my father’s sides have served in the Armed Forces to at least back to the United States Civil War (or the “War of Northern Agression” if you were to ask some of those ancestors – I was born in New Orleans, Lousiana and my mother’s family comes from south Mississippi). Not every one in every generation has served but, I believe, some from every generation. I and my country are here today in part due to their actions.
Thank you all of you who serve, who have served or who will serve to sacrifice valuable time of their lives to stand between my country and its enemies. Please do not ever think that because I have a hobby of playing with toy soldiers that I ignore or scoff at the service of our REAL soldiers.
God Bless you all!
Mark G. – Walworth County Wargamer and generally worthless civilian