I was in a South Carolina airport, checking my bags and getting ready to fly to another performance, when I saw people pouring out of the main terminal. A large group was dressed in vintage costumes, Rolling Thunder bikers were everywhere, there seemed to be a dozen color gaurds and a brass band was playing. There were hundreds of people, young and old, gathered together to welcome the returning soldiers. I told Yoni we needed to get more gigs in South Carolina. There was a group of WWII  veterans back from a trip to Washington DC. It was beautiful and wonderful and fun. I was overwhelmed with the commitment the community had to honoring people who protect us every day. When I asked if they did the same thing for veterans returning from current tours of duty, they explained they didn't. It just made me think for a while.

We have men and women who have served 2, 3 4,7 or 10 tours of duty. We have a much smaller force doing a lot more time on the battle field. I have close friends who serve in all branches of the military. Shiloh discovered one of his friends, Orrin Williams died this past week after many tours of duty when a roadside bomb detonated and killed him. Today, much of the work traditionally done by service men and women is done by contractors being paid 4, 5, or 10 times as much as our men and women in uniform. When I realized this glorious display in South Carolina was only something that was done for veterans of previous wars, I was concerned. Whether or not a military engagement is popular, we owe our lives and our country's freedom to the women and men who leave their loved ones and families at very low pay to protect you and me. When they return, there aren't big celebrations. There are few parades and little public fanfare. Veterans' mental health needs are frequently unmet, their healthcare is often deficient, many soldiers families have needed to subsidize their income with welfare while others are going to the war zone to get rich. I have nothing against making money. But let's consider who we're rewarding and for what. My continuous prayers are with our men and women in uniform and the families who patiently wait for them. Here's to peace and prosperity and the people who make it possible. We salute you.