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Sunday, November 12, 2017

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The List 4587
To All
Happy Veterans Day
Regards,
Skip
 
Today November 11 is Veteran's Day. All best to all our Veterans and those currently serving all over the world.
I hope you all have a great weekend
Thanks to Ed,
To all our fellow veterans ... past and present ... Thanks for serving ... and thanks to the wives and families that stood firmly behind them.
     A veteran - whether active duty, retired, or national guard or reserve  -is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including my life."
     That is honor, and...There are way too many people in this country who no longer understand it.
 
Regards,
Skip
 
A special thanks to all the Bubbas today. Our bonds of friendship over the last 50 years forged in conflict flying from aircraft carriers is as strong today as it was then. To gather together each month with many of you over the last almost30 years at the  Bubba Breakfast has been has been an honor and I salute you all.
skip
 
Much more damaging to the proper celebration of this or any future Veterans Day—is the demographic and socio-cultural division between the less than 1 percent that does the fighting and the 99 percent that enjoy the benefits of peace and prosperity safeguarded by those who protect and serve. Not only do the 99 percent not serve; many among them, particularly among the privileged elite, do not personally know anyone who does."
 
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This Day In Naval History - November 11
1870 - Navy expedition to explore the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, southern Mexico, commanded by CAPT Robert W. Shufeldt, enters the Coatzacoalcos River to begin a survey for possible interoceanic canal. Support provided by USS Kansas and USS Mayflower.
1918 - Armistice ends World War I.
1920 - Lenah S. Higbee becomes the first woman to be awarded the Navy Cross. It was awarded for her World War I service.
1921 - Washington Naval Conference begins.
1943 - Two Carrier Task Forces strike Japanese shipping at Rabaul, sinking one carrier and damaging other ships. Raid was first use of SB2C Curtiss Helldivers in combat.
1954 - November 11 designated as Veterans Day to honor veterans of all U.S.
wars
1966 - Launch of Gemini 12, with CDR James A. Lovell, Jr., USN the command Pilot. Mission lasted 3 days, 22 hours and 34 minutes and included 59 orbits at an altitude of 162.7 nautical miles. Recovery by HS-11 helicopter from USS Wasp (CVS-18).
1981 - Commissioning of first Trident-class Nuclear Powered Fleet Ballistic Missile Submarine, USS Ohio (SSBN-726).
 
This Day In Naval History - November 12
1912 - LT Theodore Ellyson makes first successful launching of an airplane
(A-3) by catapult at the Washington Navy Yard.
1940 - CNO Admiral Stark submits memorandum to Secretary of the Navy on 4 plans if U.S. enters war. He favors the fourth one, Plan Dog, calling for strong offensive in the Atlantic and defense in the Pacific.
1942 - First day of the three days of fighting in the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal.
1943 - President Franklin D. Roosevelt embarks on USS Iowa (BB-61) to go to the Allied conferences at Teheran, Iran, and Cairo, Egypt.
 
 
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Veteran's Day
 
In the early morning hours of November 11, 1918, representatives of France, Britain, and Germany met in a railroad car near Compiègne, France, to sign an armistice ending World War I, or the Great War, as it was known at that time. The cease-fire took effect at 11:00 a.m. that day—the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. Up and down the trenches, after four long years of the most horrific fighting the world had yet known, the guns fell silent. "The roar stopped like a motor car hitting a wall," one U.S. soldier wrote to his family. Soldiers on both sides slowly climbed out of the earthworks. Some danced; some cheered; some cried for joy; some stood numbed. The Great War had left some 9 million soldiers dead and another 21 million wounded. No one knows how many millions of civilians died. Much of Europe lay in ruins. But finally, with the armistice, it was "all quiet on the Western Front."
 
For many years November 11 was known as Armistice Day to honor those who fought in World War I. In 1954 Congress changed the name to Veterans Day to recognize all American veterans.
 
Every November 11 at 11:00 a.m., the nation pays tribute to its war dead with the laying of a presidential wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery outside Washington, D.C.
 
But Veterans Day honors more than the dead. Memorial Day, observed in May, is for remembering soldiers who lost their lives in the service of their country. Veterans Day is set aside to honor and thank all who have served in the U.S. armed forces—particularly our 23 million living veterans.
 
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To all our fellow veterans ... past and present ... Thanks for serving ...
and thanks to the wives and families that stood firmly behind them.
     A veteran - whether active duty, retired, or national guard or reserve  -is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including my life."
     That is honor, and...There are way too many people in this country who no longer understand it.
 
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--------The NFL Will Feel This On Veterans Day!
 
This is one that I can totally get behind, and I hope that you will as well  Let's show the NFL that "We, The People" are the one's in charge!  They perform for us, and we pay them very well for doing so.  All we ask of them is that they practice their little skits all week long, and then on the day of their scheduled performance, they put on their little costumes and perform.  If they insist on having a protest, they are welcome to rent the stadium and host a protest, but don't hold "We, The People" hostage to watch a protest when we only pay them to perform the skit they practiced.  If they don't think "We, The People" pay them, watch what happens when we quit!  Let's do this folks!
 
 
A National total boycott of the NFL is planned for Sunday, November 12th, Veterans Day Weekend..
 
Boycott all football telecasts.  All fans, all ticket holders, are asked to stay away from attending or viewing any NFL games on Sunday, November 12th; let the NFL play in empty stadiums.
 
Pass this post along to all your friends and family. Honor our military, some of whom came home with the American Flag draped over their coffin. Continue with the weekly boycott of televised games, but let's make this a day the owners, coaches, players, and advertisers will notice.
 
They have a right to protest if they want to, but during the National Anthem is NOT the time or venue!  They  show an utter lack of patriotism and total disrespect for our Veterans – living and dead – and everything for which they put their lives on the line!
 
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Thanks to Dave Lovelady "Micro" for sharing this speech. It really does sum up what this day is all about.
 
Veterans Day in Easton 2013
 
Thank you Mayor Willey.  And thank you also to LCDR Hammond, Petty Officer Gardner, Cadet LT Remaniak, and the cadets of the Easton High School NJROTC for putting together this program, with the support of the American Legion Posts 70 and 77, VFW Post 5118, the town of Easton, and the Easton Downtown Partnership.  We veterans greatly appreciate all your hard work and contributions.
 
Veterans, Ladies and Gentlemen:  November 11th is Veterans Day.  In 1918, a cease fire was called to end World War I at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.  In 1938, November 11th was declared a legal holiday, named Armistice Day, to honor the veterans of World War I.  In 1954, President Eisenhower issued a Proclamation stating:  "In the intervening years, the United States has been involved in two other great military conflicts, adding millions of veterans living and dead to the honor rolls of this nation.  In order to expand the significance of that commemoration and in order that a grateful nation might pay appropriate homage to veterans of all its wars who have contributed so much to the preservation of this Nation, the Congress has … changed the name of the holiday to Veterans Day…."
 
So, that's why we're here this evening—to pay appropriate homage to veterans of all our wars.
 
But please bear with me a moment—if you're a veteran of Vietnam, please raise your hand.  You may not have heard it before, but "Welcome Home."  Contrary to what most people have been told, the only battle we ever lost was here at home.
 
It's interesting that 93% of the people in the United States are not veterans.  So, it may behoove us to explain to them—and remind ourselves—what veterans are all about.  I like the following definition, which was written by an unknown author:
 
A veteran is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including my life."
 
I've noted over the past few years that a great many veterans that did not stay in the military for a career still strongly identify with the branch of service that they were in for such a short period.  They participate in veterans organizations.  They may be at an advanced age, yet they still wear a ball cap or have a personalized license plate or sticker on their car that identifies their branch of service.  On one day each year, they are suddenly dedicated football fans, rooting on their favorite, on the day of the Army-Navy Game (Beat Army).  They haven't been in uniform for sixty years, but they still identify with that service.  Why is that?  What was so special about just a couple of years out of a full life of work, family, hobbies, trials and tribulations?
 
Perhaps I can explain some of that.
 
Every veteran went through boot camp or the equivalent.  It wasn't fun for anyone, but we're proud of having done it.  They made us do things that none of us would choose to do, given a choice.  In the doing, we discovered we could do things that we wouldn't have believed possible and wouldn't have ever tried to do, left to our own devices.  We climbed ropes, scaled walls, held our breaths, ran, jumped, crawled, swam, and marched.  We were humbled.  We learned what teamwork meant and what it could achieve, if we just worked together and didn't care who got the credit.  And we learned what pride was really all about.  We learned what it was like to have something worthy of pride, and each time we accomplished something else, that pride increased.  Pride in something bigger than ourselves.
 
When we went home on leave the first time, we found that our friends were still doing the same things, and we had, perhaps, outgrown them.  We were different.  And we were better for it.
 
Then, for many of us, came the day we trained for.  We went into combat.  We learned what it was like to have someone try to kill you.  Make no mistake, that is a profound moment.  But, more important, we learned how we reacted to that.  Many of us learned to run toward the sound of gunfire, rather than away.
 
You know, many of us have been privileged to witness acts of heroism, but I've never known anyone that thought he was a hero.  He was just doing his duty.  He did what his buddies expected him to do—counted on him to do.  He couldn't possibly let them down.  Even if it cost him his life.
 
During lengthy deployments, occasionally someone would have a family crisis and went home on emergency leave, yet they couldn't wait to get back to the action.  Not because they were irrational but because that was where their duty lay; that was where a squadron mate was taking up the slack while he was gone; that was where he was supposed to be, and he felt guilty being away, enjoying a few days of "normal" life, even in the midst of a family crisis, while his buddies might be getting wounded or captured or worse.  He needed to be there.  It was his duty.
 
Were we scared in combat?  Yes, of course.  But not terrified into inaction.  Not frozen at the controls.  Doing our duty.
 
That is reason for pride.  And that lasts the rest of your life.  It is something that no one can possibly know until they've been through it.  You cannot possibly know how you will react when the chips are down until the chips are down.
 
Veterans know something about themselves that very few others know about themselves.  That knowledge makes life more precious and, most often, is reason, even in the toughest of times, to fall back on that justifiable pride and say, "I know what I'm made of."  No one can take that away.
 
We veterans may feel that we love our country more than others do because we've seen the countries of our enemies.  And we never want to be like them.  We've seen our buddies die doing their duty in service to our nation, and we will not permit that to be in vain.  We are serious about patriotism, respecting the flag, honoring our National Anthem, protecting our rights and the Constitution.  We took an oath, "to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic".  And that oath didn't have an expiration date.
 
There are veterans, and then there are warriors.  I'm reminded of a story a friend of mine, another fighter pilot, tells.  I'll preface it with saying that fighter pilots are known for ample self-confidence, and we have a tendency to be, shall we say, colorful.  We're hard chargers, indestructible; we work hard, and we play hard.  As Adolf Galland of the German Luftwaffe said, "Only the spirit of attack, born in a brave heart, will bring success to any fighter aircraft, no matter how highly developed it may be."  My friend says that some of the fighter pilots in the air wing got into some trouble and were called before the air wing commander, who was quite upset.  The commander said, "I don't know what to do with you guys.  If I had my way, I'd put all fighter pilots on an island far from land.  That island would have steep cliffs and only one pier where a boat could be landed, but that pier would be blocked by a huge sheet of glass.  At the edge of the glass would be a sign and a hammer.  The sign would read, 'In case of war, break glass.'"
 
That conundrum of what to do with warriors in peacetime isn't anything new.  For at least a couple of hundred years, the slang term for a British soldier has been "Tommy Atkins" or just "Tommy."  No one seems certain of the origin, but that's what they're called.  In 1892, Rudyard Kipling wrote a poem entitled "Tommy."  Here are some excerpts;
 
O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, go away";
But it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play…
 
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, wait outside";
But it's "Special train for Atkins" when the troopship's on the tide…
 
Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, 'ow's yer soul?"
But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll…
 
While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, fall be'ind",
But it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind…
 
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of 'is country" when the guns begin to shoot;
An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
An' Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool -- you bet that Tommy sees!
 
I've been places with signs in the windows saying, "Dogs and sailors keep out!"  Yet, today, we see yellow ribbon stickers on cars saying "We Support Our Troops," but, all too often, the support stops there.  I maintain that what the troops want, more than anything else, is for us to believe in what they're doing.  If they're going to risk their lives, it better be for something worthwhile.  And, as long as they're in harm's way, we need to believe that what they're doing is worth us cashing that blank check they left behind.
 
As I mentioned, there are veterans and there are warriors.  We veterans have been in the company of warriors, and we've treasured it.  In 2006, Stephen Pressfield wrote a book about Alexander the Great called The Afghan Campaign.  In it, he quotes a Macedonian requiem:
 
In the company of warriors, I have no need to explain myself.
In the company of warriors, everybody understands.
In the company of warriors, I don't have to pretend to be someone I'm not.
Or strike that pose, however well-intentioned, that is expected by those who have not known me under arms.
In the company of warriors all my crimes are forgiven.
I am safe.
I am known.
I am home.
In the company of warriors.
 
We veterans have ties to warriors throughout history.  We understand them.  We have a bond.  Most people don't know the story behind the most famous such connection.  It actually occurred in the year 1415.  King Henry V of England took an Army to modern-day France to take possession of land that England claimed.  At a famous battle in a muddy, plowed field near Agincourt on October 25th, a holiday known as St. Crispin's Day, King Henry, leading an army estimated to be outnumbered five-to-one soundly defeated the French.  The French lost thousands of men; the English lost 112.
 
In the hours before the battle, Henry was asked about waiting to try to get more men rather than fight against such odds.  Knowing that reinforcements couldn't reach them in time, he knew he needed to inspire his men.  As recorded in 1599 by Shakespeare, King Henry said:
 
The fewer men, the greater share of honour…
But if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive.
 
Even though they were already desperately short of men, he said that, if anyone didn't have the stomach to fight, he wanted them to leave.  In fact, he would give them permission to leave and pay for their passage home because:
 
We would not die in that man's company…
 
Then he said:
 
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam'd …
 
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say "To-morrow is Saint Crispian."
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say "These wounds I had on Crispian's day."
Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember, with advantages,
What feats he did that day…
 
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.
 
So, that is a tiny glimpse of what it means to be a veteran.
 
To my brothers:  thank you for your service, and thank you for honoring all of us with your friendship, your sacrifice, your citizenship, and your presence here tonight.
 
 
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The Significance of Veterans Day
Leon R. Kass
November 11, 2011 12:00 AM
 
What exactly do we celebrate on Veterans Day? To be sure, we mean to honor the brave men and women, living and dead, who have fought America's battles, past and present. But honor them how, and for what? About these matters, we lack a clear national answer.
Source URL:
 
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Thanks to Robert
 
This was sent to me by a fellow Vietnam veteran.......Brought a mist to this old soldier's eye.......
 
"Where there is one brave man in the thickest of the fight, there is the Post of Honor" - Thoreau
"Fortes Fortuna Adiuvat"
 
Happy Veterans Day -- Take time to pause and remember those who served bravely and sacrificed so much.
 
Whether they were a Common Soldier, Sailor, Marine, Coast Guardsman, or Airman.
 
It's the perfect tribute as Veterans Day is tomorrow, November 11th.  The video below is guaranteed to inspire you and may bring a tear (or two, or many) to your eyes.  Hope you enjoy and remember.  A MUST WATCH, ONE OF THE BEST!!!!!!!!
 
Note that the background music is the U.S. Marine Corps Band.   
 
Click on the link to start the video...
 
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Thanks to Al
In addition to recognizing those who served their country in the military, please remember the service of the wives, sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters of those men and women.
 
They also serve who only stand and wait.—
John Milton
Honor to the soldier and sailor everywhere, who bravely bears his country's cause.  Honor, also, to the citizen who cares for his brother in the field and serves, as he best can, the same cause.—
Abraham Lincoln



Submitted by Rob Hansen:

     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 Parris Island 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.
     She is the career Yeoman who watches the ribbons and medals pass her by.
     They are the three anonymous heroes in The Tomb of the Unknowns, whose presence at the Arlington National Cemetery must forever preserve the memory of 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."



Great short videos:
Submitted by Barry Tanner:  "I Fought for You" at https://www.youtube.com/v/AgYLr_LfhLo?version=3&hl=en_US&rel=0
Submitted by Al Anderson:  "Empty Chair" at https://www.youtube.com/embed/rx0MRawkrj4
Submitted by Ed Ewert:  "Salute" at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uoABty_zE00 
Submitted by Norm Rech:  The remarkable story of Father Kaupun at https://www.youtube.com/embed/AZuPrQBSDCs
Submitted by many:  "one Life, One Flag, One Mile" at https://www.youtube.com/embed/GJokaiyJNVA



Author unknown:

     The military experience made us the ethical persons we are and gave us a great sense of understanding of the people around us. Like it or not it gave us an experience we will never forget.
     Occasionally, I venture back to NAS Meridian, where I'm greeted by an imposing security guard who looks carefully at my identification card, hands it back and says, "Have a good day, Senior Chief".
     Every time I go back to any Navy base it feels good to be called by my previous rank, but odd to be in civilian clothes, walking among the servicemen and servicewomen going about their duties as I once did, many years ago.
     The military is a comfort zone for anyone who has ever worn the uniform. It's a place where you know the rules and know they are enforced—a place where everybody is busy, but not too busy to take care of business. Because there exists behind the gates of every military facility an institutional understanding of respect, order, uniformity, accountability and dedication that becomes part of your marrow and never, ever leaves you.
     Personally, I miss the fact that you always knew where you stood in the military, and who you were dealing with. That's because you could read somebody's uniform from 20 feet away and know the score. Service personnel wear their careers on their sleeves, so to speak. When you approach each other, you can read their name tag, examine their rank and, if they are in dress uniform, read their ribbons and know where they've served.
     I miss all those little things you take for granted when you're in the ranks, like breaking starch on a set of fatigues fresh from the laundry and standing in a perfectly straight line military formation that looks like a mirror as it stretches to the endless horizon. I miss the sight of troops marching in the early morning mist, the sound of boot heels thumping in unison on the tarmac, the bark of drill instructors and the sing-song answers from the squads as they pass by in review.
     To romanticize military service is to be far removed from its reality, because it's very serious business—especially in times of war.  But I miss the salutes I'd throw at officers and the crisp returns as we criss-crossed with a "by your leave sir".
     I miss the smell of jet fuel hanging heavily on the night air and the sound of engines roaring down runways and disappearing into the clouds. The same while on carrier duty. I even miss the hurry-up-and-wait mentality that enlisted men gripe about constantly, a masterful invention that bonded people more than they'll ever know or admit. I miss people taking off their hats when they enter a building, speaking directly and clearly to others and never showing disrespect for rank, race, religion or gender.
     Mostly, I miss being a small cog in a machine so complex it constantly circumnavigates the Earth and so simple it feeds everyone on time, three times a day, on the ground, in the air or at sea.
     Mostly, I don't know anyone who has served who regrets it, and doesn't feel a sense of pride when they pass through those gates and re-enter the world they left behind with their youth.


Did you know that when you see a coin on the headstone of a military veteran, it has a special meaning? A coin left on a headstone lets the deceased soldiers family know that somebody stopped by to pay their respect.
Leaving a penny means you visited.
 A nickel means that you and the deceased soldier trained at boot camp together. 
If you served with the soldier, you leave a dime. 
A quarter is very significant because it means that you were there when that soldier died.



Submitted by Bob King:

My Heart on the Line by Frank Schaeffer of the Washington Post
     Before my son became a Marine, I never thought much about who was defending me. Now when I read of the war on terrorism or the coming conflict in Iraq, it cuts to my heart. When I see a picture of a member of our military who has been killed, I read his or her name very carefully. Sometimes I cry.
     In 1999, when the barrel-chested Marine recruiter showed up in dress blues and bedazzled my son John, I did not stand in the way. John was headstrong, and he seemed to understand these stern, clean men with straight backs and flawless uniforms. I did not. I live in the Volvo-driving, higher education-worshiping North Shore of Boston. I write novels for a living. I have never served in the military.
     It had been hard enough sending my two older children off to Georgetown and New York University. John's enlisting was unexpected, so deeply unsettling. I did not relish the prospect of answering the question, "So where is John going to college?" from the parents who were itching to tell me all about how their son or daughter was going to Harvard. At the private high school John attended, no other students were going into the military.
     "But aren't the Marines terribly Southern?" asked one perplexed mother while standing next to me at the brunch following graduation. "What a waste, he was such a good student," said another parent. One parent (a professor at a nearby and rather famous university) spoke up at a school meeting and suggested that the school should "carefully evaluate what went wrong."
     When John graduated from three months of boot camp on Parris Island, 3000 parents and friends were on the parade deck stands. We parents and our Marines not only were of many races but also were representative of many economic classes. Many were poor. Some arrived crammed in the backs of pickups, others by bus. John told me that a lot of parents could not afford the trip.
     We in the audience were white and Native American. We were Hispanic, Arab, and African American, and Asian. We were former Marines wearing the scars of battle, or at least baseball caps emblazoned with battles' names. We were Southern whites from Nashville and skinheads from New Jersey, black kids from Cleveland wearing ghetto rags and white ex-cons with ham-hock forearms defaced by jailhouse tattoos. We would not have been mistaken for the educated and well-heeled parents gathered on the lawns of John's private school a half-year before.
     After graduation one new Marine told John, "Before I was a Marine, if I had ever seen you on my block I would've probably killed you just because you were standing there." This was a serious statement from one of John's good friends, a black ex-gang member from Detroit who, as John said, "would die for me now, just like I'd die for him."
     My son has connected me to my country in a way that I was too selfish and insular to experience before. I feel closer to the waitress at our local diner than to some of my oldest friends. She has two sons in the Corps. They are facing the same dangers as my boy. When the guy who fixes my car asks me how John is doing, I know he means it. His younger brother is in the Navy.
     Why were I and the other parents at my son's private school so surprised by his choice? During World War II, the sons and daughters of the most powerful and educated families did their bit. If the idea of the immorality of the Vietnam War was the only reason those lucky enough to go to college dodged the draft, why did we not encourage our children to volunteer for military service once that war was done?
     Have we wealthy and educated Americans all become pacifists? Is the world a safe place? Or have we just gotten used to having somebody else defend us? What is the future of our democracy when the sons and daughters of the janitors at our elite universities are far more likely to be put in harm's way than are any of the students whose dorms their parents clean?
     I feel shame because it took my son's joining the Marine Corps to make me take notice of who is defending me. I feel hope because perhaps my son is part of a future "greatest generation."As the storm clouds of war gather, at least I know that I can look the men and women in uniform in the eye. My son is one of them. He is the best I have to offer. He is my heart.



A Tribute to Veteran Aviators by Captain E. Hamilton Lee
I hope there's a place, way up in the sky,
Where pilots can go, when they have to die.
A place where a guy can buy a cold beer,
For a friend and a comrade, whose memory is dear;
A place where no doctor or lawyer can tread,
Nor a management type would ere be caught dead;
Just a quaint little place, kind of dark, full of smoke,
Where they like to sing loud, and love a good joke;
The kind of a place where a lady could go
And feel safe and protected, by the men she would know.
 
There must be a place where old pilots go,
When their paining is finished, and their airspeed gets low,
Where the whiskey is old, and the women are young,
And songs about flying and dying are sung,
Where you'd see all the fellows who'd flown west before,
And they'd call out your name, as you came through the door.
Who would buy you a drink, if your thirst should be bad,
And relate to the others, "He was quite a good lad!"
And then through the mist, you'd spot an old guy
You had not seen in years, though he taught you to fly.
 
He'd nod his old head, and grin ear to ear,
And say, "Welcome, my son, I'm pleased that you're here."
"For this is the place where true flyers come,"
"When their journey is over, and the war has been won."
"They've come here at last to be safe and alone"
"From the government clerks and the management clone,"
"Politicians and lawyers, the Feds and the noise,"
"Where all hours are happy, and these good ole boys"
"Can relax with a cool one, and a well deserved rest,"
"This is heaven, my son....You've passed you last test!"

           
Veterans…I salute you!!! 
Al

Liberty must at all hazards be supported. We have a right to it, derived from our Maker. But if we had not, our fathers have earned and bought it for us, at the expense of their ease, their estates, their pleasure, and their blood. —John Adams, 1765
Courage is almost a contradiction in terms.  It means a strong desire to live taking the form of readiness to die.
—G.K. Chesterton
Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.—Billy Graham
In the beginning of a change, the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot. —Mark Twain
This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.—Elmer Davis
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terry-kelly.com/special-projects/a-pittance-of-time
Video embedded · Français Digital: Song / Instrumental / Video / Music Lead Sheet eCD / DVD Set Lyrics & Audio Clip About A Pittance of Time Written by Terry Kelly .
 
 
 
 
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