Veterans Day, No Shave November, are good causes to celebrate

Today is Veterans Day and as the daughter, sister, cousin, niece, and aunt of veterans, let’s take time today and honor those who answered the call to serve our country. When I was growing up my dad and his brother often shared their pride in having served and they loved showing their platoon pictures. They bragged the Veterans Hospitals (The VA) had the best doctors in the world.

They must have done a great sales pitch since three of my four brothers followed them—one stayed 30 years—and now my nephew is on active duty. Another uncle who is 103, is believed to be the oldest living World War II veteran in West Tennessee, but sometimes we forget that soldiers aren’t the only ones who go to their assignments.

Their families go too. The sacrifices are great and with frequent deployments, increased rates of suicide, depression and divorce, life-altering injuries, including Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, our veterans deserve and must have the best care during their service and after they come home.

I had to look up the difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day—Veterans Day honors all veterans. Memorial Day honors those who were killed in action or die during battle, thus making the adage “all gave some, but some gave all” make sense. Either way, those who serve are heroes and on behalf of a grateful nation, please make sure you say thanks, buy an anonymous meal for a veteran, or be extra kind whenever you have a chance.

These amazing men and women probably don’t need or want the pat on the back but we, the people, and our cherished democracy, owe it to them. Whether you’re having a parade or some other kind of safe celebration, make Veterans Day special for the soldiers in your life this year, or make a donation in their memory to the Wounded Warriors Project or some other agency that serves them.

Here’s my confession: I haven’t tried this, but it sounded like a good but scary cause. During our ZOOM worship Sunday, one of our members reminded the men that this was No Shave November and he proudly showed off his new beard. His new rugged look was impressive, and he said this month-long focus is an initiative to raise awareness of prostate cancer and to remind men to get their annual exams.

When I checked it out, No Shave’s partner, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, explained that each year participants forgo shaving and grooming for 30 days to evoke conversation and raise cancer awareness.  They’re then asked to donate the money they would’ve spent to St. Jude.

What a great idea but then he said, “Women can do it too.” I am fortunate enough not to have a beard or a mustache but what men look like after a month of no shaving and what women will look like is the color of another horse. Then he threw in women’s underarms and legs and that’s when it got scary.

The bottom line is here’s a great cause—if you’ve been wanting to try a new mustache, goatee, grow your hair long or not get a haircut, here’s an excellent excuse. There’s no way to know if we’ll know you on December 1 but put your savings in a safe place this month and send it to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105. Yes, you will look different, but more importantly, you will make a difference—and you may save your life through early detection.

Share with me your plans for Veterans Day and No Shave November cause. Give me a shout out at #drbondhopson on Twitter and Facebook!

Looking for inspiration, empowerment, uplift, straight talk, an encouraging word to brighten your day? You’ve arrived! Meet Dr. Cynthia Ann Bond Hopson, best-selling author, educator, inspirational speaker, sistergirl–she’s all that and more. Now listen to her new podcast, “Three Stores, Two Cotton Gins, One Remarkable Life: The Journey from There To Here,” and meet her favorite family and friends as they share laughter and heartwarming life lessons. Look for it on this page or wherever you get your favorite podcasts.

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