“Opening minds and angravating liberals since 2001”
“I am a guardian of freedom and the American way of life.”
My Dear Friends and Fellow Patriots:
I write something each Veteran’s Day and rather than just resend the last one I always tried to improve on that effort. After I wrote this one a few years ago, I came to the realization that I could not add to it. What impressed me the most is the responses that issue elicited. I received untold emails from Vets, sons and daughters of Vets and even a few guys I knew back in the day. It is heartening that you would all share your stories.
To all those who served, a Bravo Zulu, Whhuuuaaa, a Hoo-Rah and so forth and thanks.
Veteran’s Day evolved from Armistice Day, recalling the end of WWI, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918.
Back then we were too civilized to call it WWI, as we, the world, hoped that the “War to End All Wars” would be the last global conflict.
Silly us, as just over 20 years later a bigger war would start.
Our Country started with war, a war against the British for our Independence and in the 230+ years since then we have been involved in wars for much of our existence.
Up until the middle of the last century we were batting 1000, having not lost a war. We grew from a small, poor and weak country in the late 1700’s to defeating and re-defeating the Brits a few years later. Our Civil War, Spanish-American War and the like ensued until we got involved in WWI in the late innings. WWII saw us emerge as the world power and we became the policeman for the world.
I am not going to go cite the entire long list of other wars, skirmishes, engagements and the like, rather I wish to focus on those who fought the wars. But some introspection is required to show a commonality.
As said ours is a nation born of war and we have spent much of our time as a nation engaged in the business of war. Some of the wars were for our own preservation and, as we grew larger and more powerful, to insure or create the liberty and freedoms of other nations.
Regardless of the reasons why there is one common thread, the American Soldier, Sailor, Marine, Air Force, Coast Guardsmen and the various Reserves pressed into battle.
Some of us volunteered to serve, just like today where it is all volunteers. Other of us received the little note of “Greetings” from our Uncle Sam inviting us to a specific location for a pre-induction physical and other bits of fun. There is also a third group and those are the ones who worked in a military capacity but while in the employ of one of the various governmental agencies.
Bottom line is all who served are owed a tremendous debt of gratitude from each and every American. I suggest that all non-vets find a vet and thank him or her, and brother vets welcome each other home.
Without the bravery and valor of the men in 1776, we might still be under the Crown, ditto 1812. Our involvement in other wars, up until the world became so civilized that we were forced to number the world-wide conflicts, did more to help our allies or those in need.
In WWII, our very existence was in peril on two fronts and without the heroism and sacrifice of The Greatest Generation (a number of whom read this very little rant of mine), we might be eating Sukiyaki-Schnitzel or something to that effect.
Korea saw the first of the proxy wars, with the US taking the point of a coalition of forces aiding the South Koreans fighting against the North Koreans, and by extension the ChiComs. MacArthur was deterred (to put it mildly) from entering in to China and as a result, for better or worse, the Korean War ended in a tie. But 60 years later it is still a divided country with a live wire DMZ separating the two Koreas.
Berlin after WWII was still not a very hospitable place to be and I guess the East was so proud of their little worker’s paradise that they did not want anyone else joining in the fun that they built a wall separating the Russian Sector from the other three. (I don’t know about you, but driving from West Germany to West Berlin was always a treat for me in one way or the other and Checkpoint Charlie was the icing on the cake!)
The Cuban Missile crisis had every one on their toes and before long we were sending “advisors” to a little God-forsaken piece of real estate that few if any of us learned about in school called “Viet Nam.”
This was my war, and what a fun one it was. All the years of devising and perfecting great machines of combat were all for naught in a land for which we were ill-prepared to fight and for which our “leaders” were ill–prepared or reluctant to win.
These cute little folks from the 16th Century took advantage of our strengths and our weaknesses, both militarily and politically. (I have said time and again the loss of Vietnam can be traced to Walter Cronkite and no less a luminary as Senior General Vo Nguyen Giap of the Viet Minh and later the NVA has said as much. I do not want to get into that now and I have covered this before.)
While allegedly the Paris Peace Accords announced a tie and our troops left Saigon, the North Vietnamese reacted to the news of the withdrawal of the American Forces with the same sedate resolve and gentleness as the citizens of Detroit do when they win a basketball championship.
They stormed the joint.
And now, this very second, as we sit in our comfy chairs in our warm homes with all that we need to enjoy life, and while many tens of thousands of our fellow men and woman are being drawn in Afghanistan and are still in over 130 other countries throughout the world keeping us safe, helping others gain their freedom and keeping others safe in one manner or another.
Again, throughout our history, regardless of how one wound up in the service of our Country, irrespective of which branch we were in, we Americans have fought, been wounded, died or came home so that all the people of Our United States can live in freedom with all the wonderful things listed in the Constitution. The same Constitution to which every man and woman who has served our great Country raised their right arm and swore to God that they would support and defend. (Perhaps now some of you will see why some of us take the Constitution a bit more seriously than do others.)
While Veterans Day is not as big of a deal to most as CHRISTmas (can I still say that?) or the 4th of July or Labor Day or Easter or most any other day whose sole purpose is to increase retail sales or to enjoy a day off, I posit that it is one of THE most important holidays.
We, America, did not hire the Hessians or other mercs to wage our wars. (Yes, we did have help hither and yon, but not bought.) Our boys came from the fields, the factories, the cities and the farms and all in between to serve and protect us time and time again.
The idea of dying was always in the warriors mind. He rarely if ever spoke of it, but he knew it was there. If needed, that was part of the job. But on this day, all who served are/were warriors. Without those in support, the ground troops could not operate, even the REMF’s had their duty and for what it was worth, even if not in the sh**, they were still in the range of harm.
Later as we advanced the art of war, we were happy to have the bombers clear paths, have attack aircraft take out the local threats, have the fighters engaging those from the other side that wished to stem our successes.
Those at sea fought their opposites in the deep water or lent their support in peppering the enemy with untold numbers of shells or launching more deck-top sorties to protect those in the trenches, fox holes, elephant grass, rice paddies, sand berms or wherever.
There are far too many examples of jobs, MOS’s, Rate and Grades and so forth to honor each and every person individually. There is hardly a man or woman who has ever donned the uniform of any of the services who did not in some way contribute to the success of all of our endeavors and secure the safety and rights of all at home.
And most, I dare say, are far too modest to say what they did, what they accomplished was heroic or even out of the ordinary. It was the right thing to do at the time.
We are all reading this on our computers, taking for granted how the thoughts of one person can get from his fingers, through the ether and wind up on their computer screen. We turn on our computer and it is just there. We do not think of the technology involved to create this magic, we just take it for granted.
We are all reading this on our computers, taking for granted that we do not have to hide to read this, that there are not skirmishes in the street, that our electricity is on, we have food to eat and a government that was freely elected.
Today and every day but especially today, do not take that for granted. For none of that would be possible without the sacrifice in each and every way of each and every veteran.
If you are a religious person, perhaps this might be a good day to attend a service or at the very least say a prayer for all who have served and are serving this minute. If you are not religious then keep them close to your heart in a positive way.
If you have any vets in your family, neighborhood or work, do something nice for them. After you finish thanking them perhaps you can do something nice. Take him or her out to lunch or dinner, if you are in a bar, buy them a drink and tell them that their sacrifice is appreciated and job well done.
If you can read this, thank a teacher
If you can read this in English, thank a vet.
I am John and I approve this message!
Be strong, keep the faith and pray. (While you can.)
WELCOME HOME, BROTHER!