WHAT IS A VET?
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 the POW who went away one person and came back
another... or didn't come back at all.
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, 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 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.
He is the career quartermaster who watches the ribbons and
medals pass him by.
He is the three anonymous heroes in The Tomb Of The Unknowns,
whose presence at the Arlington National Cemetery must forever
preserve the memory of all anonymous heroes whose valor dies
unrecognized with them on the battlefield or in the ocean's
He is the old guy bagging groceries at the supermarket... palsied
now and aggravatingly slow... who helped liberate a Nazi death
camp & who wishes all day long that his wife were still alive to
hold him when the nightmares come.
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:
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.
It's the soldier, not the reporter, who gave us our freedom of the press.
It's the soldier, not the poet, who gave us our freedom of speech.
It's the soldier, not the campus organizer, who gave us our
freedom to demonstrate.
It's the soldier, who salutes the flag,
Who serves others with respect for the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester
to burn the flag.
Prayer for our Servicemen.
Lord, hold our troops in Your loving hands.
Protect them as they protect us.
Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform
for us in our time of need.
Do You Have a Story to Tell?
Contact me, Joe Richard and I can help.
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World War II Stories -- In Their Own Words
All Rights Reserved
Updated on 30 April 2003...0817:05 CST