“Starry, starry night”

Tonight, as I sat at Starbucks and waited for Aubrey’s dance class to end, I felt warm and cozy. It wasn’t just because I was drinking my exacting and ridiculous personal recipe for the perfect mocha, or that I was snuggled under my New Year’s wrap, or that I was curled up in one of the big, cushy leather chairs. Those are all great reasons for that warm and cozy feeling, but tonight, it was because of the four police officers sitting at the table across from my chair.

I know what I’m about to say will likely piss a few people off, and for once, I really don’t mean to. Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of posts about the military, and how great they are, and how they are the reason we can sleep at night, yada yada yada. Before you get all riled up, let me say that all of my brothers, one ex-husband, and Ron are all ex-military, and they are all my heros (although I’m positive Ron whined through all six years), but while I highly respect the men and women who sacrifice everything out of patriotism to their country and in some cases, their fellow man, they are not the reason I sleep soundly in my bed (or on my sofa).

I feel safe because of the men and women who serve here, for way less money, and a hell of a lot less benefits than our military. They are just as willing to jump on a bomb, throw themselves in front of a bullet, or even kick an ass if necessary (and if no one is looking, because there are laws, after all). Yes, I know that the majority of them are ex-military. I’m not arguing that one is better than the other, just that I feel safe knowing that with the dialing of three little numbers, within minutes someone will be at my door, ready to charge. If I could dial up Fort Sam (which is closer than the local police station) and get that same response from the army guys, it might be a different story.

So while you’re saying thanks to all the people who have died for our country and our rights and our freedom, don’t forget to say thanks to the ones who die keeping us safe, not from some undefined “evil” around the world, but from the evil right here.

“Paint your palette blue and grey…”

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