11-11-11

11-11-11 is a big day in Spain. No, it’s not Veteran’s Day or any kind of remembrance day. It’s a day of far different importance. It’s the drawing of a massive lottery worth somewhere around 66 million Euros.

Lotteries are very popular in Spain; here in Laredo there are kiosks all over where you can buy lottery tickets. It’s really incredible how popular the lotteries are. At Amanda’s school for example, all the teachers were putting in 20 euros to buy tickets for el gordo Christmas lottery. Maybe they think the stars will align and they just might win big. Who knows. I’ll take my 20 euros and we’ll have a nice lunch instead.

Meanwhile, the U.S. celebrates its annual Veteran’s Day. I’m sure there will be the usual calls to “Support our Troops” and reminders that “Freedom isn’t Free.” Flags will be waved and the military will be nearly worshiped for their service. But after thousands of American combat deaths and casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq, I can’t think of any better way to honor veterans than to call for ending the wars and bringing the troops home. There are many reasons for ending the wars, but the human toll itself is reason enough. Children have lost fathers and military families have been split apart, not to mention the many thousands of Iraqis and Afghans that have suffered death and destruction in their own countries.

As America’s military is worn tired and thin around the world, this Veteran’s Day I say let’s support the troops by bringing them home.

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