Chiro1Source - November 2019

How My Military Family Shaped My Life A TALE OF TWO HATS

866.318.3251 Chiro1Source.com NOVEMBER 2019

Every year when Veterans Day comes

seized a hat, only to have a bigger kid snatch it out of my hands. As a 5-year-old with my heart set on a silver dollar, I was miserable. My aunt ended up giving all of us kids silver dollars anyway, but it just wasn’t the same, and I mulled over my disappointment for a long time. A few years later, when it came time for my next cousin to graduate, I still remembered that hat incident like it was yesterday. This time, I was one of the bigger kids, and I was ready to right the wrongs of the past and get myself one of those hats. When my friends and I bolted onto the field, I finally got my hat and so did one of them! The littlest kid, though, didn’t get a hat, and he started bawling his eyes out. He was so disappointed, just like I had been a few years ago.

around, the whole country stands up to salute our troops. I

love seeing that wave of patriotism sweeping the nation, but in my family, as in many families across the country, every day feels a bit like Veterans Day.

Most of my relatives either have served or are currently serving in the military, so it has always been a big part of my life. My grandfather was in the Air Force and so were my uncles and one of my cousins. One cousin trained for the Olympics for the army. Another cousin is a colonel in the Army, and my stepbrother serves in the Army as well. I also have a cousin who is retired from the Coast Guard, so we have almost every branch covered!

“Though I’ve never been in the service, I’ve always had the utmost respect for our troops. They make so many sacrifices, and I don’t believe the rest of us can truly understand the toll that the things they’ve seen and done takes ...”

I knewwhat the right thing to do was, but I really, really didn’t want to do it — I’d looked forward to this hat for so long! But looking at the tears running down my friend’s face, I knew I couldn’t keep my prize. I handed it over, and his smile made me feel better than any silver dollar. Along with that lighter side of military life, I was also exposed to the dark, difficult aspects of service. One of my cousins has been deployed seven times, and many of my other relatives have served overseas. Personally, I don’t think most people realize what extreme sacrifices these men and women make. My cousin missed a good part of both of his sons’ lives while he was deployed, and he also was separated from his wife and parents who were constantly worried about his safety. Though I’ve never been in the service, I’ve always had the utmost respect for our troops. They make so many sacrifices, and I don’t believe the rest of us can truly understand the toll that the things they’ve seen and done takes on them and their families. So, this Veterans Day, I’m feeling very humbled. All I can say to any veterans reading this is thank you. I appreciate your service and so does the rest of my team at Chiro1Source. If you ever call us with an order, you’ll be welcomed like the hero you are!

Even when I was young, I was well aware of my family’s military connections. My

grandfather and two of my uncles retired from Shaw Air Force Base, and, as a little kid, I loved it when we took family trips there so I could watch the planes. Even stronger than those memories,

though, are my recollections of my cousins’ graduations fromWest Point — and they both center on hats.

For those of you who’ve never been to a West Point graduation, let me fill you in on a bit of military tradition. During every ceremony, there’s a moment when all of the graduating cadets toss their caps into the air to symbolize leaving their training behind. It’s tradition to tuck a note and some money, often a silver dollar, into the cap before tossing it, and also for kids attending the ceremony to line up on the field to chase down the hats after they hit the air.

-Josh Walker

Well, when I was 5, I got to participate in the mad dash for the first time. I scrambled out onto the field and

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