Today is Veterans Day. I put a green light out on my porch, in an attempt to show support either for Veterans or some marketing ploy by Walmart to sell green light bulbs. (If it was a ploy, Walmart sure didn’t manage it well – out of three employees I asked about it, only one had even heard of the program, and none of them knew whether their store had any green light bulbs. Just for the record, I did find one green light bulb left.)
While I was never in the service, I did have a sister and a brother who served. I don’t usually believe in military solutions for problems, but I am a firm believer that unless you are totally committed to a non-violent solution, you better have a good military at your back.
I try to show my support for the military by having many of my characters with a military background. Mark MacFarland joined the Marines; Rufus Headley was in the Army. Pierson’s father was military, and her “uncle” is also ex-military. I admire the character that military service often instills in a person: a sense of personal responsibility, camaraderie, a willingness to sacrifice for values greater than oneself, and respect. These are all values that I think true heroes exemplify.
They are values that I try to reflect in the protagonists of my stories.
I will keep the green light on so that we don’t forget the debt all of us have to the men and women of our armed forces; I will also keep the spirit of military service alive in my stories.