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jasmine

Happy Veteran's Day

I thought I would attach a link of the history of Veteran's Day.  Thanks to all the men and women who have given their lives to protect this Country, and to those still serving in the military.

http://www.va.gov/opa/vetsday/vetdayhistory.asp
bieramar

This is a day that many veterans - who've kept it together for most of the year - indulge ourselves in sorrow, sometimes self-pity, and on occasion despair.

Each year I'm saddened by the simple numbers of cold hard facts.

33,103 U.S. warfighters in Vietnam were eighteen years old; 12 were seventeen, 5 only sixteen, and one Army soldier, Private First Class Dan Bullock, had only celebrated fifteen birthdays.

997 servicemen were killed on their first day in Vietnam ĖĖĖ 1,448 were killed on the last day before scheduled extraction.

During WWII on each Armistice Day I accompanied my mom and big sister in placing American Flags on the tombstones of all the veterans buried in Riverside Cemetery, Algona IA; and at 11:11 a.m. the Spanish-American and WWI veterans Color Guard would limp through the cemetery to the erratic notes of the bugles, fifes and drums.

Today (hopefully for only a week or so) I'm back using my walker due to aggravated residuals of an injury I incurred on the USS Forrestal during the TriPartite War of 1956 (France, England and Israel invaded Egypt) - one of those manifold "engagements" through the years during which American servicemen and servicewomen are injured and/or killed with little notice by the media, or by anyone outside their immediate families.

Thanks for remembering.
auntmartymoo

Your service is sincerely appreciated, Bieramar.  
(Been worried about you this week!  Glad you're back.)

Great thread, Jasmine.  Thanks for starting it.  I posted my thanks in another thread earlier today.  Re-posting them here...

Heartfelt thanks to all our Veterans!    

I appreciate the many sacrifices you, and your families, have made for me.
jasmine

auntmartymoo wrote:
Your service is sincerely appreciated, Bieramar. †
(Been worried about you this week! †Glad you're back.)

Great thread, Jasmine. †Thanks for starting it. †I posted my thanks in another thread earlier today. †Re-posting them here...

Heartfelt thanks to all our Veterans! † †

I appreciate the many sacrifices you, and your families, have made for me.


11/11/11 - God Bless this Country and all of those who made it great.
jasmine

bieramar wrote:
This is a day that many veterans - who've kept it together for most of the year - indulge ourselves in sorrow, sometimes self-pity, and on occasion despair.

Each year I'm saddened by the simple numbers of cold hard facts.

33,103 U.S. warfighters in Vietnam were eighteen years old; 12 were seventeen, 5 only sixteen, and one Army soldier, Private First Class Dan Bullock, had only celebrated fifteen birthdays.

997 servicemen were killed on their first day in Vietnam ĖĖĖ 1,448 were killed on the last day before scheduled extraction.

During WWII on each Armistice Day I accompanied my mom and big sister in placing American Flags on the tombstones of all the veterans buried in Riverside Cemetery, Algona IA; and at 11:11 a.m. the Spanish-American and WWI veterans Color Guard would limp through the cemetery to the erratic notes of the bugles, fifes and drums.

Today (hopefully for only a week or so) I'm back using my walker due to aggravated residuals of an injury I incurred on the USS Forrestal during the TriPartite War of 1956 (France, England and Israel invaded Egypt) - one of those manifold "engagements" through the years during which American servicemen and servicewomen are injured and/or killed with little notice by the media, or by anyone outside their immediate families.

Thanks for remembering.


How can we forget
Phred

We had a wonderful time at the VFW yesterday.  I got there at 10:00 am and, instead of the usual alcoholic beverage, i ordered a hot cup of coffee ... I mean, come on, it was 47 degrees outside.

The coffee turned to bourbon as the crowd began arriving around 10:30 and by 11:00 there were about 35 people there.

I did the countdown and rang the bell at 11:11:11 which prompted the call for a moment of silence which was followed by a nice toast.

Right on cue, the jukebox came alive with Lee Greenwood's "God Bless The U.S.A." and this is when it got interesting.

These 35 or so folks, representing all branches of the service and all wars since WWII, began forming a circle, intermingling with spouses and significant others, while holding hands and singing the words to that great song.

I felt a sense of overwhelming pride as I looked at face after face of all these individuals, all joined for a couple of minutes for one purpose, to honor all Veterans worldwide.

Some of you may remember a "Veterans Day Rant" I did a couple of years ago.  I was told it was good.  Well, I've decided to re-post it again today so take a couple of minutes to read it, if you so desire.

VETERANS DAY RANT 2009

(As the lights come up a weary bearded figure walks out on stage, kinda like General Patton in that movie, with the American Flag behind him Ö but, this flag is riddled with bullet holes, blood stains, sweat stains and tear stains and our veteran, instead of a heavily decorated uniform, is wearing jeans and boots carrying a bourbon/seven in one hand with a lit cigarette in the other.

Watch as he reaches over and flips a switch and a red sign lights up that says Ö RANT ON!)

Hello boys and girls, men and women and all those that canít figure out which group they belong to.

Itís another Veteranís day and, like last year and several years before that, Iím not a happy veteran.  I know yíall probably donít care about that but screw it, this is my rant Ö read on or move on, could care less.

You see, our young men and women in uniform are still in harmís way and many of us older veterans that have been there are wondering why.  The reasons are no longer clear.

Yes, America was attacked back in 2001 and I was proud of the Presidentís response.  The responsible group was supposedly identified and we even put a face with a name that every American could now hate.  We, as a Country, responded quickly and, we thought, decisively but the ďdecisivenessĒ proved to be false.

America was attacked once before way back in 1941 and our response was the same Ö immediate retaliation.  God we were good.  Everyone was united with a single purpose, patriotism was high, flags were waving, young men and women were signing up to fight the evil enemy.  We never let up, never looked back and, although the circumstances surrounding the final victory was questionable to some, it worked and that victory was complete.  Those veterans returned home to a heroís welcome, as it should have been.

It is written that someone once said they awoke a sleeping giant and they, whoever they were, were absolutely correct.  That one event in history put fear in the hearts and minds of the world and, from that fear, grew respect.  America grew stronger and stronger.

Then something happened in the years that followed.  First it was Korea then Vietnam.  Something changed.  The politicians at the time thought they could fight a bloody war better than the combat experienced generals and admirals they employed.

Korea was bad enough and some thinkers suggest that the end result was a tie.  We didnít learn from that one so it was on to Vietnam and thereís no doubt about the score there, we came in second Ö we lost.

Wait, the military didnít lose it, they won the battles they were allowed to fight.  The politicians lost that war for us.  The true loss however, was the loss of respect of the world and the loss of respect for our troops.  Did the Vietnam veterans really deserve to be spit on and called baby killers on their way through the airports while heading home?  I donít think so.

Did we learn?  Nah.  Here we are again, sacrificing bodies year after year with no clear objective.  We had one in the beginning when we invaded Afghanistan Ö kill Al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden.  

Then there was that little distraction in Iraq Ö more bodies unnecessarily sacrificed.

Now eight years after the initial invasion, the momentum is back on Afghanistan and they, the powers that be, canít even decide if we need more troops in there.

We have the manpower, the technology, the equipment and the experienced military leaders to pull it off but whatís lacking is the will and/or the stomach to get it done.  The average American doesnít want to hear about it anymore so the news outlets are all but ignoring it.

My main fear is I donít see an end in sight and this ritualistic sacrificing of American fighting men and women will continue indefinitely.

I recently joined the VFW Ö thatís the Veterans of Foreign Wars.  Itís a rather unique little outfit and they do good things.  I like it there.  Itís good being back among those who know.  Some regular veterans canít even join it.  You have to have been in the hostile fire zone in a foreign land, such as in Vietnam, Korea, the WWís and, now, Iraq and Afghanistan.

When you enter the VFWís canteen (bar), thereís a sign on the wall which says Ö

ďItís not the price you paid to join, itís the price you paid to be eligibleĒ.

Think about that for a minute Ö never let your kids pay that price.  You donít want them to be eligible to join a club like the VFW.

So no, Iím not happy today.  I have two bad days a year Ö Memorial Day and Veterans Day.  I may join my friends at the VFW or I may just remain in isolation, but, If you happen to cross paths with a veteran today, go ahead and thank them for their service but also tell them that youíre sorry his comrades in arms are still fighting and dying.

Before I go letís take a minute to remember the dead and wounded from that disgusting massacre at Fort Hood, Texas last week.

Good night and sleep well knowing that my uniformed brothers and sisters are patrolling the coastlines of this great Country to keep you safe.

(Fade to black with the bullet riddled, blood, sweat and tear stained American flag still waving behind him and watch as he performs the famous one finger salute to a picture of LBJís rotting corpse and notice a slight smile on his face as he passes a picture of Jane Fonda being led to the gallows in her North Vietnam costume.  

He hits the button once again and the red neon sign turns to green with Ö RANT OFF!)
scrutney

i don't remember this rant from the past.

i'm glad i got to read it this time around.
godspeed phred.
and thanks.

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