Some veterans bear visible signs of their service. A missing limb. A jagged scar. A certain look in the eye. Others may carry the evidence inside them. A pin holding a bone together. A piece of shrapnel in the leg or perhaps another sort of inner steel, the soul’s ally forged in the refinery of adversity.
Except in parades however the men and women that have kept America safe, wear no badge or emblem. You can’t tell a vet just by looking.
But, what is a vet?
He is the cop on the beat who spent six months in Saudi Arabia, sweating two gallons a day, making sure the armored personnel carriers didn’t run out of fuel.
He is the bar room loudmouth dumber than five wooden planks, whose overgrown frat boy behavior is outweighed a hundred times in the cosmic scales by four hours of exquisite bravery near the 38th parallel.
She or he is the nurse who fought against futility, and went to sleep sobbing every night for two solid years in Da Nang.
He is the POW who went away one person, and came back another, or didn’t come back at all.
He is the Quantico drill instructor who has never seen combat, but has saved countless lives by turning slouchy no account rednecks and gang members into marines, and teaching them to watch each other’s backs.
He is the parade riding legionnaire who pins on his ribbons and metals with a prosthetic hand.
He is the career quartermaster who watches the ribbons and metals pass him by.
He is the three anonymous heroes in the tomb of the unknowns who’s presence at the Arlington National Cemetery must forever preserve the memory of all the anonymous heroes whose valor dies with them unrecognized on the battlefield, or in the ocean’s sunless deep.
He is the old guy bagging groceries at the supermarket, palsied now and aggravatingly slow, who helped liberate a Nazi death camp and who wishes all day long that his wife was still alive to hold him when the nightmares come.
He is the ordinary, and yet extraordinary human being. The person who offered some of his life’s most vital years in service to his country, and who sacrifices ambitions so that others would not have to sacrifice theirs.
He is a soldier, and a savior, and a sword against the darkness. He is nothing more than the finest, greatest testimony on behalf of the finest greatest nation ever known.
So remember each time you see somebody who has served our country, just lean over and say “Thank You.” That’s all most people need, and in most cases it will mean more than any metals they could have been awarded, or were awarded.
Two little words that can mean so much. Thank You.
It is the soldier, not the reporter who has given us freedom of the press. It is the soldier not the poet who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the campus organizer who has given us the freedom to demonstrate. It is the soldier who salutes the flag. Who serves beneath the flag. Whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag.
-Father Dennis Edward O’Brian- USMC
It is an honor to me every year to think back to my father and his contribution for this country in World War II. He fought in the Philipenes and in Japan, and got his training at Camp Roberts in California.
Most of the things that I found out about his service to this country were told to me, after grilling him about it. He was part of the greatest generation and they didn’t talk about their experiences in that horrible war much. And if they did, it was about the buddies that they fought along side and the heroism that they all saw.
Watching the military channel the other night, as I have this whole week, as they have had their Veterans Day Week, they gave some statistics that was amazing to see. It was that the average American soldier saw combat about 1 week a year during World War II. In Vietnam, that time was moved up to 243 days a year. No wonder the Vietnam Vet came home so tired.
The sacrifices that those men, in all wars gave would astound most, especially the idiots who are protesting Wall Street now. The do not even have an agenda, and they don’t even realize that they are only allowed there because of the sacrifices of the military and those brave men and women who have fought, and died for the cause that these young people are out there for now, which would make most of the dead roll over in their graves. A lot of these young people are mad because they have to pay back their school loans. To which I get out my little fiddle and play taps for them. Oh boo hoo.
Our brave veterans deserve better. Remember the words written above this post, because it is not the protester, or the politician or the community organizer who gives us the freedoms we enjoy and have allowed the politicians to get rid of them. It is the soldiers. The soldiers that we honor today are the ones that have given the anti Wall Street protesters the right to act like the fools they are acting like. Their sacrifices were so razor sharp and incalculable that these gaggle of morons who are out there acting silly can never equal…..for without the soldiers who sacrificed the Wall Street movement would never have existed. At least the Tea Party realizes this…..and we will get past the silly season and the Wall Street morons protesting will go home, and still not realize why they were allowed to do what they did.
God Bless the veterans who have fought for America through out her history. God Bless them all.
May God Bless our efforts to help get America back, and put God back into our country
God Bless America, Bless all Americans, and bless us to start using more common sense.