A salute to all Vets from the NG  

Nightguy_1961 55M
3324 posts
11/11/2005 11:48 am

Last Read:
3/5/2006 9:27 pm

A salute to all Vets from the NG


Today is the U.S. holiday Veteran's Day. Some people have the day off and I wish them well. But as a Navy Vet, and the father of a soldier, this day means so much more.

I wish I could say the following was my own, but it is something the the Richmond Times-Dispatch runs every November as a tribute to all veterans. I just wanted to share it with my friends here.

What is a Vet?

War makes strange creatures out of the little routine men who inhabit the earth - WWII Correspondent Ernie Pyle.

Some veterans bear the visible signs of their service: a missing limb, a jagged scar, a 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 alloy 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 Nebraska farmer who worries every year that this time the bank really will forclose.

He is the barrom 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 Parellel.

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 never has seen combat - but who has saved countless lives by turning slouchy no-'counts into soldiers, and teaching them to watch each others' backs.

He is the parade-riding legionaire who 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 anonymous hero in the Tomb of the Unknowns, whose presense at Arlington National Cemetary must forever preserve the memory of all the other anonymous heroes whose valor died recognized with them on the battlefield or in the ocean's sunless deep.

He is 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 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 of the finest, greatest nation ever known.


-from an editorial from the Richmond Times-Dispatch Nov 11, 2005.

NG....taking off his hat...and remembering his fellow vets....here and departed.

rm_bella_ 47F
4030 posts
11/18/2005 11:23 pm

I am a little late here...but a great post and much needed.


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