[just added this as my 365 photo -- a good one for it, but I had others, but my computer problems have been so overwhelming I'm just going to use this!]
Does this count as Bench Monday? It's not me, it's not my children, but it is my village. And it's not a bench, but I think it's just as much of a bench as I've seen others use.
I grew up feeling pretty negative about the military. I was a liberal in a liberal city, where people around me were still very sour about Vietnam, and my family leaned toward pacificism.
As an adult, however, I watched as my city was attacked on 9/11, and then my own little brother, brought up in the exact same family as me, joined the Marines.
I am not a pacifist anymore, but I believe fighting should always be the last ditch effort. I don't always agree with my country on whether that "last ditch effort" has arrived, but I have learned to respect the men and women who volunteer their lives to protect their home and their families and the rest of us. I am in awe of them, and I thank them from the bottom of my heart.
[I have to "dump and run" -- I'll check photos later!]