you can relax on both sides of the tracks

I've struggled for most of the morning to come up with some profound and lyrical way to mark the day, but the words I usually find so easy to command just refuse to reveal themselves … so I'm just going to keep this post simple and to the point: Thank you, veterans, for your service.

56 thoughts on “you can relax on both sides of the tracks”

  1. Yeah, I’d say that just about covers it. Sure, inspirational comments are great but sometimes it’s just nice to hear a sincere thank you.
    To all service men and women, one and all, “THANK YOU.”

  2. Nope. Veteran’s Day in the US is what replace Armistice Day. It was originally set up to commemorate the end of World War 1, but later replaced it to celebrate all Veterans. I believe the UK Commonwealths replaced it, similarly, with Remembrance Day.

  3. You have to stop listening to The Final Cut all the time, Wil. It’s one of the saddest albums ever made. Still, though, The Gunner’s Dream is my favorite anti-war song of all time.

  4. I don't think of that song as anti-war, as much as I think of it as pro-honoring the gunner's sacrifice, and the reasons he fought. (Though an end to war is certainly one of his dreams.)

  5. To all of you Men and Women who have and are serving our country, “Courage is fear holding on a minute longer. -George S. Patton”
    Thank you for holding on a minute longer!

  6. My brother Scott is a US Army Desert Storm combat veteran who says that whenever someone thanks him for his service he replies: “You really want to thank me? Send a care package to a soldier in Iraq or Afghanistan.”
    So that’s what I’m doing today.
    If anyone would like to join in, here’s the service I’m using…

  7. About an hour or so after I posted this blog entry, I came across a discount code at Lulu, and shared it on Twitter, with a link to my Lulu store. (If you use THANKSVETS today, you save 11.11% on any Lulu order.) When I mentioned this, a non-zero number of people were offended, and accused me of exploiting Veteran’s Day to promote myself.
    That’s absolutely not what I was doing, but I suppose that it could appear that way to a casual or sensitive observer, so I wanted to make this absolutely clear: I posted that discount code today because I hear from a lot of people who want to get my books from Lulu, but for one reason or another they can’t justify the cost. I’m always on the lookout for coupon codes to share, so those people may find the cost dropping into their budget.
    If the discount code had been GODODGERS or YANKEESSUCK or YAYIMSAVING, I don’t think anyone would care. Hell, if the code was HAPPYNEWYEAR and it was 01/01, I don’t think anyone would even think twice about it. But I think we have to acknowledge that we live in a climate where people are constantly exploiting “The Troops” for personal and political gain (George W. Bush and Karl Rove pretty much provided the definitive example of that over 8 nightmarish years) so it’s entirely understandable that someone could assume that I was doing the same thing.
    To kick this horse in the teeth a few more times: Regardless of my personal feelings about wars and the politicians who send soldiers to fight in them, I have incredible respect for anyone who chooses to serve in the military; it’s not an easy life for them or their families. I did not intend to exploit anyone’s military service, or this day which is set aside to honor them.
    Thanks for listening.

  8. Standing by you Wil. Still listening.
    It’s a sensitive topic and understandable why people can be apt to read too much into things. I guess that says much about the world we live in where so many are always on guard about so many personal topics, ready to call foul for just cause or not.
    Perhaps a Wil Wheaton Day for Shamless Self Promotion where the chance of offending someone is much lower (though by no means 0%, as again… the world we live in….)?

  9. I agree with grimkirk, as a Veteran as well – you’ve always shown the utmost in respect for us, albeit your stance on politics and such, so what you did with the discount in no way would make me think you were offending me, or any Veteran. Thanks, though, for making sure the ones who were offended, aren’t anymore. :) And, Semper Fi to my fellow Marines who are on here, and to the rest of my fellow Veterans today. :)

  10. I agree with you 100% on that, Wil. I can’t say I’m familiar enough with the background behind Canada’s mission in Afghanistan to speak up on the mission itself, but I have to admit that for someone to believe in their cause so strongly that they would gladly risk their lives to further it… that kind of dedication deserves an enormous amount of respect. Military personnel, police officers, firefighters, paramedics, S&R teams.. these people put their lives on the line every single day because they’re absolutely certain that what they’re doing is right. It’s a dedication that I can’t fathom, and probably most people couldn’t. Because, when it comes down to it.. for whose sake, and for what purpose, would you (and not just you, Hwil Hwheaton, but anybody) be willing to die, so that that person might live, or that cause might be furthered?
    For most people, I expect the answer to go as far as “my family”, and no farther. So before someone decides to shit on a serviceman (or woman; there are plenty of women who do the highly dangerous jobs I mentioned above) for being in the military, they need to remember, that if push came to shove.. that person would die so that you might live.
    I don’t always agree with military decisions.. but I respect the sacrifice the job requires. To everyone who serves, has served, and has given their lives (or knew someone who did).. I salute you.

  11. As the spouse of a veteran I can tell you he’d be pleased about that discount and not offended in the least. Thank you for respecting everyone who chooses to wear the uniform and serve our country.

  12. Damn well said. For the record, I wouldn’t have thought that of you. I think you feel much the same way as I do and did a damn good job of articulating it.
    My dad flew in WWII, which makes me all the more aware of service and sacrifice – my dad is still around and has AWESOME war stories to tell, but he did it to protect the nation in which we live.
    Thank you vets and servicefolk, wherever you are stationed now.

  13. Sometimes, simplicity is more eloquent than any poetic turn of phrase. As the wife of an active duty Naval Aviator, I know that your expression of gratitude means a lot. Thank you for your support of those who serve.

  14. Yet another way to send care packages to deployed soldiers:
    Books for Soldiers — Care Packages for the Mind
    Because you will be getting personal requests and personal information (names and addresses) from soldiers, you do need to do a bit more paperwork than for some other sites, but I think it’s well worth it to connect a bit with someone who likes the sort of books (and movies) you do and share that with them.

  15. It’s one of the saddest best albums ever made.
    Fixed that for you. “Gunner’s Dream” is one of my favorite songs of all time. (So button your lip, and don’t let the shield slip…)
    (Tangentially, can we agree to blame Roger Waters for bringing together Clapton, Sandborn and Kamen (between Final Cut and Pros & Cons), thus leading us to four Lethal Weapon soundtracks!?!?!?)


  17. Warning: This post has nothing to do with this thread. Please carry on.
    Wil: I recently discovered that I am blocked from following your Twitter account. I was following you until a few months ago. I hope the block was the result of an accident and not something that seemed to be coming from my account.
    Hope all is well. Getting myself a copy of the Memories book very soon.

  18. Not sure I understand blank-check patriotism – always just sounds like fascism to me. Are you thanking the Nazi veterans for exterminating people? Or only all US veterans regardless of what they do, why they do it, what interests they’re really serving, etc.? Service to whom, and for what?
    I’ll send out a thank you to all those who don’t serve in the military – thank you for your service to humanity and our planet.
    “The pioneers of a warless world are the young men (and women) who refuse military service.”
    –Albert Einstein
    What if they held a war and no one came? You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. 😉
    Peace out.

  19. Amen to your original post.
    As to those who had a negative reaction to the sale, one wonders if they are going to complain to all the retail stores that are having a Veteran’s Day sale.

  20. I would have much preferred you left politics out of your explanation completely, but don’t worry about those that are giving you a hard time. As an active duty Marine, I greatly appreciate your honoring the service of myself and my brothers in sisters in arms by letting us know Lulu is offering a discount.
    I’m going to take a look at your Lulu store and see exactly how much I am about to save on Christmas presents to myself. Thank you, Wil.

  21. For the non zero number people who were offended by wil’s post about the coupon code..think about this.If he had not posted the coupon code,some of us might not have thought to buy his book to send in a care package to soldiers who are still overseas.The $2.20 saved was used to buy some hot hands instant hand/glove warmers to throw in the care package as well.Just a thought.

  22. My son and another soldier were having dinner at a nice seafood restaurant. When they went up to pay for their meal, the hostess told them another patron had already paid for them, as a way of saying thank you.
    I thought that was a very nice and thoughtful gesture.

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