Thursday, November 10, 2005

Happy Veteran's Day

Be sure to thank a veteran sometime soon.

In Great Britain and other places in the free world this is known as Armistice Day commemorating the end of World War I. Happy Armistice Day to all of you.

I get the day off so I'm going to thank a vet by riding my motorcycle tomorrow.

Woo hoo!

1 comment:

Robert the Grump said...

This calls for one of those, "My old man..." stories.

My old man spent 31 years in the United States Army. He joined 4 years before our nation entered WWII, and actually got out and went home five months before Pearl Harbor. He was instantly drafted back in, forced to go through basic training again and sent to the desert to train other soldiers to fight and/or die.

Come D-Day even the drill Sergeants were handed rifles and sent to join the invasion force. Six weeks after hitting the beach, he was the only living man from his platoon. He was added to a new platoon that was composed of other sole survivors. He considered that a good omen because they were all luckier than the other 39 members of their former platoons.

Just five years after the war ended, he was sent to fight again in Korea. At the time he was recovering from having a lung removed, but they sent him anyway. It was explained that the Army doesn't make mistakes. Korea was much harder than WWII for him, but he never complained.

25 years later he was training soldiers to fight and/or die in Vietnam. He retired while war was still raging.

The thing is, he stuck it out for 31 years even though the Army treated him like shit and repeatedly tried to get him killed.

He came this close to being assigned to fight in Vietnam despite having one lung and being over 50 years old. He weaseled out of that one due to his poor health. He would have demanded to go, but he never believed in that one war.

I honor my father in my thoughts every day. He was my hero. I visit his grave when I can. But I always remember that this tough as nails soldier questioned Vietnam and refused to blindly back his government on that one.

The lesson is this; support the troops. But when we go to war based on a lie, when the war is wrong, don't be freaking blind. Support them by demanding their return to their home country. Only a half-witted Republican who dodged the Vietnam war would ever call you a coward or traitor for that. My old man would have driven the buttstock of his rifle into their teeth if they dared to say it to his face.