At the grocery store the other day, Tee begged me to pick up some Hickory Farms Summer Sausage. He loves the stuff as a quick and filling snack after school. It reminded me of another young boy with deep affections for the salty, processed goodness that is Summer Sausage.
My brother, Bryan, adores it. Every Christmas, we would undoubtedly be gifted a large collection of sausage and cheeses and Bryan would be in protein heaven.
A couple of Christmases ago, while he was serving our country as a Navy SEAL in Iraq, I remembered his love for this holiday goodness and sent some over for him to enjoy. I was pretty proud of myself for thinking of it and just imagined him getting the package and being taken back to his childhood, Christmas memories, and maybe feeling a little love from home.
I think I sent him like 6 pounds of sausage.
After I placed the order, I talked to my dad who confirmed that great minds really do think alike. He had remembered the same thing about my brother but had, as parents often do, sent an even more generous Hickory Farms package.
We laughed out loud thinking of how much sausage Bryan would be getting in the mail that Christmas. A thought that was confirmed when he called and said. "Hey! I'm sitting on my bed in the middle of the desert, on the other side of the world, surrounded by pounds of Hickory Farms summer sausage and Triscuits. I sure hope I'm not still here at Easter. I can't imagine how many Peeps I'd get."
All this to say, he was away from us and we were doing what we could, albeit overkill, to give him a sense of home, family, and love while he was fighting a war on the other side of the globe.
Today is Veteran's Day and there are men and women around the country, and around the world, who have left the comforts of U.S. soil and volunteered to serve our armed forces.
Many have lost their lives in wars and many have come back to a "normal" they did not know before they left. They have experienced victory and loss with great consequence and have undoubtedly come home to find our preoccupation with things like Hollywood stars and fashion a difficult adjustment.
This Veteran's Day, please take a moment to honor a soldier, past or present, who has stepped away from home to defend the freedoms and principles of our great nation in wars, both foreign and domestic.
And if you send love in the form of food, you just might want to include some Tums just in case someone else had the same idea.