I am thankful to our veterans, and the men and women in uniform, who risk their lives in defending our freedom and guarding our safety. I have always made a point to salute them, and certainly appreciate the Memorial Day. I have made trips to the DFW Airport to welcome the returning soldiers as well.
It was a joy to see this young man Syed Ghalib with his wife Ashreen Ghalib in the parade (top picture). Ghalib has served in the US Airforce in the mid to late nineties, indeed, he was one of the first Desi Kids (People from south Asia comprising India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka) in the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex to have served, I was proud of him then, and am proud of him now watching him march in the parade. At that time, I was a publisher of Asian News, a weekly magazine in Dallas and wrote about Ghalib on the front page. He is here again on my facebook and my blog, he is the headline picture in the parade for me, and the Immigrants from South Asia. I dedicate this note to all the veterans and Ghalib.
In the first fourteen years in Dallas, I pretty much stayed to myself, my family and business and did not get out and meet any Desi on a social basis. After 14 years of Vanvas (culturally, the number 14 signifies Vanvas; Ram, the Hindu King in epic Ramayana was exiled to forest for 14 years) in the United States, I met Syed Talib, Ghalib’s father, one of the first few Desi’s I met. He invited me to celebrate Ramadan with his family, and finally, I got to eat my favorite Seviyaan (angel hair noodles) after nearly 14 years. So Ghalib and his family remain dear to me, even though I don’t get to see them in years.
I appreciate the veterans all around the world, even if they are enemies of my nation, they are really not our enemies, they are simply serving and doing what is asked of them. We have to admire them for fulfilling their duty. The wars are waged by politicians and not the soldiers, and as a part of civilization we need to put a leash on our politicians, but must continue to honor our veterans. It is not easy to be out on the field, away from their loved ones, and having their back for the fellow soldiers.