November 11, 2012 was Veterans Day in the US – “a celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.”*
My life is full of former and current military personnel. My grandfather was locked in the engine room of his mine sweeper as he approached Normandy, France in WWII but managed to survive. He then served a Pacific tour. My father is a retired Lt. Colonel in the Air Force and was active during Vietnam. My husband was a tanker in the Army.
It’s easy to be comfortable in the US and not think about unrest.
Living in Japan, my first thought about political unrest came from a change in leadership in North Korea. Then it became China bickering with Japan over an uninhabited island chock full o’ resources. Compared to some expats in the Middle East, there is little to worry about in Asia.
But being 6,000 miles from home does make you think – I am a lot closer to other countries with long histories.
Military I am Thankful For as An Expat in Japan
Yokosuka Naval Base is an hour train ride away. Ospreys were just allowed into Okinawa, Japan. There is a military base being built-up in Darwin, Australia. Our friends are in Seoul, Korea.
So to the other veterans both in my life and not, thank you.
* Source: US Department of Veterans Affairs http://www1.va.gov/opa/vetsday/vetdayhistory.asp