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Why Veterans Day is important to me…

There was a time in history when veterans came home to a country that wanted to forget about them. My father did not come home to a ticker tape parade. He came home to a nation of protesters who called him a baby killer, instead of a hero. And what makes my heart ache the most is that none of the soldiers were looking for a thank you. None of them fought for the glory. They fought because they knew protecting America was the right thing to do. They fought for a cause bigger than themselves, without question, and prayed every day that they would make it home to enjoy the same freedoms they were fighting so hard for, thousands of miles away. Some of them didn’t make it back home. They didn’t get the chance to be mothers or fathers, like my dad did. So, I think the best way to honor those who did not make it home is to continue to show our appreciation for those who are still fighting for us. We cannot heal the wounds inflicted on soldiers who returned home to a hostile country, but by giving thanks on Veterans Day, and every day, we can ensure the tradition of gratitude is never broken again.

For Veterans Day I made a batch of maple bacon cupcakes, because I can’t think of anything more American than our love of salted and cured meat. My father isn’t much for sweets, so I bought him a boat load of sausage sticks to thank him for his service. I’m sure he’s enjoying them right now with a cold beer and the latest issue of Hot Rod magazine.

My father in Vietnam, posing like a goof ball with his pistol. Maybe the war wasn’t so bad….

Oh shit, never mind. Look at the size of that gun and all of that ammo! This was the M60 machine gun he was assigned to carry. He said it was nice to have the biggest gun, but also unnerving because the enemy was always looking to kill the guy with the biggest gun.

This is my husband’s co-worker, Jared. He served in the United States Army and fought in Operation Iraq Freedom III from January 2005 to January 2006. He was a crewman on a M1A1 Abrams Tank and had countless missions of route clearance, weapon seizures and raids, along with FOB security. He typically drove a Humvee because the canal roads didn’t support the weight of the tank.  He was too busy eating the cupcake to pay attention to my camera.

This is my father-in-law, Jerry. He served in the United States Marine Corps in Germany. I know he looks like Paul Sr. from American Chopper, but he’s one of the sweetest, most genuine people I know…and my Little Guy’s best friend.

Christine from FoodThoughtsofaChefWannabe

Christine made her husband a batch of peanut butter chocolate brownies. George was a security forces and bioterrorism specialist in the United States Air Force.

She made her brother-in-law Don banana pudding. Don was a MP (military police) for the United States Marine Corps.

She made her other brother-in-law Greg a batch of banana pudding too! Greg retired 5 years ago from the United States Air Force. Christine says he was a weatherman and worked on something major with the space shuttle but he didn’t provide details – hush hush!!


My friend Lisa also participated in the project. She does not have a food blog (although she should!), but I’m hoping she’ll share her cupcake recipe with me soon!

Lisa’s first official cupcake drop off was to the Utah National Guard near Salt Lake City. Over the past two years since she’s moved to Utah, the National Guard has been active in flooding recovery, fire fighting, community relations, training and many more activities that help the citizens of Utah.

Her official home taste tester was her husband Tim. He sampled one for “quality control”. Tim served in the Army as a medic and she is proud of him every day for his service!

Lisa works for the State of Utah, and has had the pleasure of working alongside many military veterans. She also took her cupcake delivery to the office where she works and was able to honor Andre Sanchez – Utah Air National Guard 1978 – 1984, and Jeff Miller – Airman, United States Air Force 1998 – 2002 and Utah National Guard 2003 – 2007.

Jennifer from Not Your Momma’s Cookie

On the right is Jennifer’s step-father. He had to get his parents’ permission to enlist at 17, determined to serve during Vietnam. He contracted malaria in Africa, which still prevents him from donating blood today. He won over $10,000 dollars playing roulette at a casino in South Africa and after several days of good ‘ol debauchery with his fellow sailors, left with a couple dollars to his name.

This is Jennifer’s husband. He enlisted right after high school, putting his college education on hold to serve his country for 9 1/2 years. He spent countless days at sea, including two deployments. He was spat on and called “a white devil” in Bahrain for simply being an American.

Thank you to FoodThoughtsofaChefWannabe, Not Your Momma’s Cookie and my friend Lisa for participating in this blog project. Thank you to those who shared this project with their friends and fans. And thank you to everyone who is reading this and took time out of their day to thank a veteran for their service.