37. Exercising the Option…

photo by KAR

Ed says, “Happy Veteran’s Day!”  It’s his favorite day of the year.  Little known Ed fact:  He is very proud to have served in the Korean War.  I’m completely serious.  One movie he and Frank did notice onscreen in between all the concessions was War Horse.  Ed was like, “That’s like me – I’m a war horse.”
I can’t remember why I formed the part of Ed’s backstory that made him a Veteran, but I’m glad I did since I think it’s pretty funny and it also shows my respect for those who have served our country.  A former Marine once told me that he’d rather sign up for a third tour in Iraq than retake our 1st year of Business School again.  I was like, Yeah – I’d retake our 1st year any number of times to avoid going to Iraq, but to each his own.  Maybe the flavor had faded with time for him.  Or maybe we had just taken a really awful Econ test.  Either way, I don’t think he was serious.
Meanwhile, at this moment in history military service is not required in our country.  This is/was not true for other folks who live(d) in other times/places where enlistment is/was either required or highly encouraged.  P, my internship manager, was a medic in the Israeli army.  My “adopted” grandpa was in the fire brigade during the bombing of London.  Okay, maybe that wasn’t formal military service, but he was still doing his duty for his country.
When another B-school friend, E, told me that her little brother K had enlisted I was a little floored.  He was not looking for college tuition help, or world culture exposure through travel (both good reasons to enlist, in my book) – he just wanted to serve his country.  So he left whatever he was doing (I forget if it was school or work), and went to Iraq.  What floored me was that he had no obligation to serve but he chose to exercise the option to do so.  I wrote him while he was overseas and told him it reminded me of Someone else who chose to do something He didn’t have to.  That K is a good egg.
So for all you Veterans out there, and those of you who serve them – thank you.