- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 9, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The U.S. has been in Afghanistan for so long, a second generation and a third generation of “military brats” have joined the ranks.

How do we count the ways to honor them?

Truthfully, it is practically impossible to enumerate how many children and dependents of the U.S. armed forces are around the globe today.

There is something, however, that we can collectively put our fingers on, and that is that families should be saluted on Veterans Day, too.

Just imagine, even momentarily, what being a military brat must feel like.

When they see or hear people trashing “The Star Spangled Banner” and calling it racist, as the NAACP and some others are doing.

When they witness throngs of people failing to put hand to heart to salute the U.S. flag.

When they learn that their moms, aunts, grandmas and cousins are paying the ultimate price in the name of public service.

When they are told that a parent is serving another tour — another tour — because of a devastating natural disaster or civil strife and war in a far off nation or because the United Nations needs more hands on deck.

And the transgender thing? It matters not one iota when one parent is left to mind a two-parent household.

Mothers can still wear their mom jeans, but for the most part they still have to put on their big girl pants. And dads’ butts might not look as cute, but fathers have little choice to pull on their big boy pants.

And even when a deployment is not to a foreign land but to a place in the Lower 48, children don’t always understand.

They balk at moving again and leaving their best bud and BFF, and having to go to a new school — again.

They whine because they’re used to mom tucking them in at night.

They can’t understand that, although dad is home, his arms are gone and he can no longer wrap them around his best girl.

Grandchildren, great-grands and great-great grands who lost loved ones in the “War to End All Wars” on Thursday got the realization that finally, great recognition will be given to Americans. The recognition was the groundbreaking for the National World War I Memorial in Pershing Park near the White House. The war consumed more than 18 million humans worldwide and wounded another 23 million people (military and civilian).

So, remember the children who lost parents in WWI, WWII, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the wars that led up to our war in Afghanistan, elsewhere in the Mideast, and other countries. And consider the kids and the families who have parents deployed on foreign soils.

See, the kids are serving because their parents are serving. By default, we should honor them, too.

This Veterans Day, tell their parents, “Thank You for your service.”

And if spouses and kids small or not-so-small are with the veterans, tell them the same.

It’s the least we can do to prove America is Veterans Strong.

Deborah Simmons can be contacted at [email protected]

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