I never served in the military. My default laziness and inability/unwillingness to follow directions made me a poor fit for the armed forces. This upset my father (Air Force) and grandfather (Navy during World War II) but they loved me anyway. And I loved them, and respected them for doing something I could not do.

My grandfather died when I was in college. He's buried here in Waterloo; he grew up here and owned a toy store in town back in the 40s and 50s. His brother (my great uncle Roy) owned a funeral home in Cedar Falls until the 80s and my dad worked there after he got out of the Air Force.

My dad is still alive but in poor health in a nursing home in Florida.

Don't just honor and celebrate the people in your family who served today, though. There are people close to you, people who were in Iraq and Afghanistan, maybe they don't advertise it all the time.

It's also not just about past tense. Write a letter to someone overseas right now (there's so many of these and it's easy). Getting a new phone? There's a program where you can donate your old phone to a veteran.

Waterloo Broadcasting is also glad to be a part of Townsquare Cares For Veteran Families, a non-profit helping the families of people currently serving. Sometimes they feel the financial crunch when the person earning the money is half a world away. It's not easy for them emotionally either.

HyVee is giving free breakfast to veterans today.

Thank you.