Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veterans Day 2008

"[L]et us solemnly remember the sacrifices of all those who fought so valiantly, on the seas, in the air, and on foreign shores, to preserve our heritage of freedom, and let us re-consecrate ourselves to the task of promoting an enduring peace so that their efforts shall not have been in vain." ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower


I found this at Poison Pero's blog, The Right is Right. It says what I want to say much more eloquently than I could:

WHAT IS A VET?
By: Father Dennis Edward O'Brien, Lt. Col., USMC
Originally Posted @ http://mrmom.amaonline.com/special/whatisavet.htm

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 who have kept America safe wear no badge or emblem. You can't tell a vet just by looking.

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 barroom 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 medals with a prosthetic hand.

He is the career quartermaster who watches the ribbons and medals pass him by.

He is the three anonymous heroes in The Tomb Of The Unknowns, whose presence at the Arlington National Cemetery must forever preserve the memory of all the anonymous heroes whose valor dies unrecognized with them 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 were still alive to hold him when the nightmares come.

He is an ordinary and yet an extraordinary human being - a person who offered some of his life's most vital years in the service of his country, and who sacrificed his ambitions so others would not have to sacrifice theirs.

He is a soldier and a savior and a sword against the darkness, and he is nothing more than the finest, greatest testimony on behalf of the finest, greatest nation ever known.

So remember, each time you see someone 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 medals they could have been awarded or were awarded.

Two little words that mean a lot, "THANK YOU."

9 comments:

DD2 aka Debonair Dude said...

That was a great tribute, thank you for it.

DD2 aka Debonair Dude said...

That was a great tribute, thank you for it

Mark said...

It isn't mine, DD, but thanks anyway. I printed it and added "Happy Veterans Day and Thanks for your service" and gave it to my father-in-law, who was blown off a ship at Guadacanal. He was only one of about 12 sailors who survived the sinking of his ship.

Joe said...

As an Air Force Brat, I have a high regard for the armed services, and I thank them for their service past, present and future.

Poison Pero said...

Great stuff, Mark....And "it is yours", because it is of your heart, even if not your words.

blamin said...

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all those that have so thanklessly done the right thing.

We have not and will not forget your sacrifice.

Trader Rick said...

To All Vietnam Vets: "Welcome Home!"

Poison Pero said...

Adding on to "Trader Rick": Thank you to all the vets who never made it home as well.

Anonymous said...

Every day should be Veteran's Day.