To the editor,

Veteran’s Day has come and gone for this year, and as a veteran, I do appreciate the expressions of thanks I often receive if I am recognized as a veteran, and also the parades and programs from area schools. But there is someone besides the veteran who also deserves your thanks, and that is the one who stays behind to keep the home fires burning as they used to say.

My 20 year career was not “normal” and consisted of two 10 year periods, and the second 10 years I was overseas five times at various places for various amounts of time. But regrettably, I have come to understand that sometimes when I returned home, I didn’t always behave as I should. So not only did my wife, and I suspect many other wives and/or husbands, have to take care of things at home, but then had to deal with a somewhat out of sorts returning spouse. I still feel ashamed today knowing that.

Indiana has it right though. When I had my official retirement from the Air National Guard, the State presented me with a Legion of Hoosier Heroes certificate and letter. But my wife was also recognized with her own Legion of Hoosier Heroines certificate and letter, as the State of Indiana recognizes that the spouses also serve and also make many sacrifices. This is a wonderful thing and entirely appropriate. I have them both framed and hung proudly side by side.

No one serves 20 years in the military just so they can be thanked for their service, but you should know that your thanks is gratefully received. Just remember to sometimes thank the spouse too, because those who stay at home also serve in an important way.

Ken Selking

Decatur, IN