Today is my first Veteran's Day without my grandpa and something just feels a little bit off. For you, Veteran's Day might conjure up images of military cemeteries and waving flags. This is what Veteran's Day always feels like for me:
Timing my phone call so that it was late enough for chores to be over, but early enough so that he wouldn't be eating what he called dinner and what I called lunch. The phone would ring six, seven, eight times before he would pick up, his voice thick and gravelly, a complication of his stroke.
"Hi Grandpa, thanks for serving."
He would call me sweet, call me a good girl, and ask me about school. That was the most important phone call I would make each year.
I don't know who to call this year, or what I would say, even if I did have someone else to call. So instead, I'll be thankful for every day of freedom, I'll listen to "Proud to Be an American" and cry my eyes out like I always do, and I will give myself liberty to admit how much I miss my grandpa.
To all the men and women in the United States military: Thank you for serving, from the very bottom of my heart.