We all have regrets. One of mine is that I never served in our country's armed forces. Remaining a civilian puts me in vast majority, less than 1 percent of Americans have served in the last decade, and there are countless valid reasons people can't or haven't served in uniform.
But that doesn't make me feel any better about MY decision.
My regret is compounded by the fact that when I was 18, a buddy and I actually went to the Navy recruiting station to inquire about joining the Naval Reserves. He signed up. I didn't.
I said ‘No', not out of fear, remember 1980 was peace time. I said ‘No' because I was concerned it might interfere with college. It wouldn't have, but it might have inconvenienced my plans.
Let me be very clear, I'm not telling anyone to go out and join the military. Each person has to be guided by their own convictions. And now, with the war on terror, the choice to serve requires far greater sacrifice.
But tomorrow at the 4th of July parade when the Soldiers and Sailors, Airmen and Marines and Veterans march by, I will be thinking back 33 years ago, as I stand with my family and honor those who CHOSE to serve.