Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Veterans on Veterans Day, Remembrance Day and mostly Armistice Day...

    I grew up with a veteran as my father, my uncle was one, too. Seemed that everywhere I looked as I was going to school, that everyone was a veteran. There was still a draft and Elvis was drafted, everyone was a veteran, so it seemed. So with my resolve firm when I figured out I didn't really care to spend more time in college studying my room mates' courses I joined the Army to be a Special Forces member, not knowing I was a year too young, not that the recruiter cared about what I knew as much as he cared that I was whole and breathing. Grand adventures or plenty of time waiting for something to happen and fat paperback books in my cargo pockets. I mentally fought in a hundred battles and wars through reading, movies abound with romantic themes of glory - movies just aren't as real as life is, just as we wish it could be. But seriously, nothing ever happened to me, no wounds, no bayonet charges, and all my fears just in my nimble mind.

  In the Roman Legions of the Roman Republic, in the mass of men and spears of the Greek city states, in Alexander's Macedonians - veterans were the old guys with the scars and slaughtering attitude that firmed up the lines and kept the innocent youth from breaking and running when the opposing ugly showed their fangs and snarls.  Most of George Washington's greatest battles were with his military inexperience and then with fighting the Continental Congress for the men and material to keep an Army in the field... thank goodness he beat both the Congress and the British generals. All he really wanted to do was go back home, to Mount Vernon, which is really what all the veterans want to do, go back home. Not that they wouldn't do it again if needed, but you can get very cynical thinking about how few people understand what you do and why you do it. Always good for a little humor about how bad it could be, but you have been lucky, blest and getting by the best you can.

   Mostly you want to get on with living in peace and plenty, you wish your children to be strong and courageous - but you pray they never have to go, and then realize they always do go, old folks need them and their service almost every generation - so we honor the Veterans today, and next May we will honor the dead lost in our wars. Don't get them confused, but always remember them and the price of peace and plenty.  It is beyond dollars and sense.

Time to remember the 11th hour of the 11th Day of the 11th month, and give thanks like they did when the guns fell silent.


  1. Thank you for your service Earl!

  2. I have mixed feelings about being recognized as a veteran. I think that for some, such as my employer, a major aerospace firm that does most of its work in the northwest, but chooses to be HQ'd elsewhere, it's just a cynical PR exercise.

    As an infantryman, I gave President Reagan four years to find me a war, and while he was good for the nation, he failed me. I never faced combat. And a lot of vets would congratulate me for that. I know, I know.

    So I never self identify as a veteran, peacetime, cold war, or otherwise. I prefer the attention be placed on those who were there when the chips were down. I was just in the field, or in the barracks.

    This includes my firth great grandfather (revolutionary war) My third great grandfather (civil war CSA) My grandfather (WWI) My dad (WWII and Korea), and one brother (Vietnam). Honorable mention to another brother, who as a sailor, was in on the Cuban blockade, a near miss for the end of the world.

    All I can do is stand up for combat vets, every chance I get.

    Thanks guys.