I know this is way off topic, I just wanted to wish all fellow veterans a Happy veterans. This week end My wife and I visited 'Pamplin Park' which is just short of Petersburg, this is the area where Lee made his breakout in April 1865, but this weekend it was dedicated to all veterans of all wars demonstrations, Sherman tanks the whole nine yards. but what I found really to the point was a sign by the Air-Borne/Specail Forces display, on the sign was a pair of jump wings, framed with the words. " Two thirds of the earth is covered with water, the rest is a drop zone."
And for tomarrow November 10, I wish all Marines past and present Happy Birthday Semper Fi. Tom
I never had to serve in time of war, either too young or too old. But I have friends who are ex-military. My mentor is a retired Marine. We thank all of you for your service. Semper FI. I liked the one about the rest is a drop zone!
Although the current military situation may be debatable, one thing for sure is that I am grateful for all military personnel, past & present. I recently walked in to the local recruiters office and offered to buy lunch in order to express my appreciation. All they would accept was a handshake, which I gratefully offered. Thank you all from me and my children.
This is not meant to be political, so Bill and co. forgive me for posting this, but I wish the government would give all the Veterans their proper dues -- especially improved VA Hopsital access for whatever serious medical conditions they get after they get back from war even if it's not directly "combat related."
These men and women deserve it and we shouldn't be nickel-and-diming them.
I've never been involved with the military either, but my father served in WWII.
Whatever complaints there might be, rest assured that from what I've seen of the vets housing, discounts, etc. in the U.S. that military personnel seem to receive far more recognition for their service than over here these days.
To any and all military folk reading this: We thank you for helping to preserve our liberty.
They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. - Ben Franklin.
[This message has been edited by pauluk (edited 11-11-2003).]
Something I wrote last year, for some friends of mine involved in Somalia, and all veterans...
"I feel compelled to say a few things. Especially now, while the feelings are fresh.
I have to confess, that like most of the non-BTDTs that payed for the movie ticket to see Black Hawk Down, I did so out of the thrill and excitement of seeing this "cool action movie" about some really wild firefight that went down in Somalia.
What a stupid, naive perspective.
After experiencing the book, I feel nothing but guilt and shame at having been one of those people.
I use the term "experience", because one does not just "read" this story. A person can read a Tom Clancy novel, or a history book, but to be exposed to and truly absorb the Mog story is to take a journey that you don't come back the same from. No one can read this, and not be changed by it.
For two days now I haven't been able to sum up what I feel.
I know I have been humbled, wondering how I would hold up under the circumstances those men endured.
What a shame it is that this society teaches children to worship Spiderman, when there are men like Mr.Shughart and Mr.Gordon.
I have trouble leaving my wife and children to go to work in the morning. I can't imagine being half a world away, knowing I will never see them again, and doing it voluntarily.
I am in awe of the bravery, the heroism, the honor, and the un-thinkable sacrifice of it all.
What a shame that the majority of Americans go about their trivial little lives, "expecting" their freedom and safety. Never lifting a finger to have it, nor having any concept of why they have it.
This society pays millions of dollars to men who play basketball, baseball and football. We honor them as gods. US Military gets a medal pinned on, a stripe on the sleeve, and a "Thanks, now go home and pay your bills like everyone else."
If only the men who come home from fighting a war could be given the same respect, money, and accolades as some college kid who kicks a winning field goal.
What an unbelievable injustice.
Gen. George S. Patton said something once, to the effect of "I've always wanted to lead a group of desperate men, in a desperate battle, against overwhelming odds". I believe his intent was, while under duress, to bring out the very best warrior in a man, and bask in the glory of his victory. As a child when I heard it, it impressed me, and I wanted to emulate it. I wanted to be one of those men. Now I'm not so sure I feel that way.
The mission in Mog became such a battle. And Patton was right, the very best was brought out of men, under duress. But there is no glory to be had. There is no real victory. The cost and sacrifice of Patton's romantic notion outweighs all else.
I have a new definition of what a hero is, and a new understanding of the cost of being one.
I wish this nation would do more to educate the non-BTDTs what Memorial Day really means.
So I come away from this with a new perspective on a great many things. For two days I have been carrying around a strange mixture of both sadness and pride.
Sadness for the death and the sorrow and the pain and the sacrifice.
Pride, for being reminded of exactly what makes America great. The men and women who stand tall in the face of unyielding horror. Men who forsake their own fears and needs to save the man next to them. Men who risk their own lives, simply to not leave someone behind.
God Bless you, and Thank you for what you have taught me here."
My sincerest gratitude and respect to all veterans, that because of their sacrifices, my children will sleep peacefully and safely in a free nation tonight.