What Veteran’s Day Means to Me

Friday, Scott’s school had a breakfast honoring veterans. I wasn’t really certain what to expect with it. I just assumed that we would go with Scott to eat breakfast as his class does every morning. However, when we walked into the school, with Gregg in his ACU uniform, we were greeted at a table at the entrance by two teachers who thanked Gregg for his service. On the table next to them was a big plaque of an American flag that read, “God Bless America.” We were given stickers name tags (to signify us as guests who had signed in) that said:

Because Gregg was in uniform, he put his on his coffee cup.

For some reason, at that moment, I started feeling very emotional. I’m not a hugely emotional person, but a very definite trigger point for me is this amazing country in which we live and the veterans who have such an amazing courage and heart for it.

We were directed not to the cafeteria, but to the gymnasium, where they had tables set up with table clothes. In the center of each table was a fire cracker centerpiece with red, white, and blue balloons and some butter mints wrapped in flag wrappers. At each place setting, there was a hand-made place mat with a handprint American flag and a poem, an American flag pin, and a program.

While I read the poem on the place mat and I thought of the love and care that went into this program, tears filled my eyes. The gymnasium was filled with men in uniform, and men and women in some form of dress that signified their service. At our table sat a retired Navy sailor and his wife who had two grandchildren at the school, a Vietnam Air Force veteran whose grandson was at our school, a former Navy sailor who had three nieces and nephews at the school.

After 2-5 grades came into the gym, they brought Scott to us (who is in Kindergarten, but the K-1 grades did not come to the program). Scott was so proud of Gregg being there in uniform. He crawled into his lap and didn’t budge out of it.

There was the presenting of the colors by a Boy Scout Troop, as as they presented them, we said the Pledge of Allegiance, then someone sang (beautifully) the National Anthem.

Five kindergarteners came and read the poem on the placemats. A teacher sang the song, “What Did He Die For?”. Then, a Girl Scout troop came and read a poem. It was announced that one of the members of that troop’s father just deployed to Iraq.

A teacher came and sang a beautiful rendition of “God Bless America”, and then another teacher gave the most beautiful prayer (I wanted to get a copy of it to post for you, but I forgot to email her when I got home on Friday.)

After the program was over, they served a breakfast that had been created with love and care.

I love this country. It is truly the greatest country on earth, with so much promise and potential. I get annoyed a lot of times at gluttony, greed, laziness, entitlement, etc., and I sometimes forget and let those feelings overshadow the fact that there is so much good here, so much hard work that built this land — that we live in a land that people actually die trying to get to.

I am so proud of the military legacy of my family. I pray that my sons continue it, and continue to fight for and stand for America. Here is my annual “What Veteran’ Day Means to Me” posting of the honor of my family’s service to our country:

My Great-Grandfather, WWI

my great-grandfather, WWI

my maternal grandfather, WWII

my maternal grandfather, WWII

my paternal grandfather, WWII

my paternal grandfather, WWII

my father-in-law, Vietnam

My father-in-law, Vietnam

My dad, 2nd Ranger Battallion, 1980

My father, 2nd Ranger Battallion, 1980

My father-in-law and sister-in-law, Jump School Graduation, 1989

My father-in-law and sister-in-law, Jump School Graduation, 1986

My dad, Ranger School Instructor, 1986

My dad, Ranger School Instructor, 1986

My husband, his dad, his sister, Kuwait, 1991

My husband, his dad, his sister, Dharhan, Saudi Arabia, Easter Sunday 1991

my mom and dad, 1998

my mom and dad, 1998

my husband, Afghanistan, 2002

My husband, Afghanistan, 2002

my husband and me, 2003

my husband and me, 2003

my husband & daughter – 2003

my sister-in-law, promotion to LTC, 2006

my sister-in-law, promotion to LTC (O-5), 2006 – who is currently COL (O-6)

Gregg and Scott, 2007

my husband and son, 2007

my husband, daughter & son – 2008

my children, 2008

my husband and me, 2009

My sister-in-law and my father-in-law during her promotion to COL (O-6) 2011

My husband teaching my sons the parachute landing fall (PLF) 2012

The valor and sacrifice of all Veterans can never be honored enough. I am so very proud of every one of you, and I pray daily for those of you currently serving. I hope you will accept my humble thanks.

Happy Veterans’ Day.
Hallee Bridgeman Precious Signature


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