"Celebrating Our Veterans' Service"

Essay by SlvrDrgnHigh School, 11th gradeA+, October 2004

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We follow a boy as he walks home from school. He opens the mailbox, takes out the mail, and finds an envelope from the United States Army. He freezes for a second then rips the envelope open to read the single page inside. It only takes him a moment to read the page but it would be a while yet until he feels the full weight of the message contained therein. He walks like a zombie, still clutching the letter, into the house and sits, heavily, into the kitchen chair, the same chair that his father always sat in for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but would never sit in again. The word "never" echoes resoundingly inside the boy's thoughts like the ringing of bells. His father would never again take him to a football game, never again play football with him, never watch him graduate from college, never see him marry the girl of his dreams, and, never see his grandchildren.

As the boy sits there, lost in the "never"s, his baby sister's cry of "I'm home!" startles him out of the seat and brings on a moment of sheer panic. How would he break the news to his sister? His mother? As his frantic eyes roam over the pile of mail, he sees the envelopes containing the monthly utility bills and mortgage payments. Despair sets in as he wonders if his mother's low-paying bank teller job would pay for all of it. We, the American people, can show our appreciation for our nation's veterans' service by helping families such as the boy's, through those dark times. We should establish a national fund that would help those families pay their bills and provide services, like job seeking, to help those families get back on sound financial footing.

We return to...