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Monday, May 28, 2012

Annual Memorial Day Reflection

It's Memorial Day, and those of you who have followed this pathetic Blog over the years know that I always get sentimental on this day of remembrance... thinking about my father, my grandfather, my father-in-law, friends... all who sacrificed a great deal in the defense of our country.
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I've always regretted that I didn't contribute... was in Army ROTC until I got my draft number and was safely out of the range of being drafted for service in the Vietnam War.  Vietnam was a disastrous policy for the country, and I had no willingness to go at the time, but the mistakes that we made there geared us up and gave us the lessons that we needed for the War on Terrorism.
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Vietnam was a war that we fought while trying to act like we were not at war.   It was a terrible posture.  We sent our guys there for tours of duty.... they would be in firefights one week then shipped back walking the streets of their hometown like nothing was happening.   And the abuse they took from protester's at home was horrendous.  The war was stupid policy, but the veterans who fought were following orders like their brethren did from the Revolutionary War onward.   They should never have been criticized.
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My father was dead against me going to Vietnam as well, and encouraged me to get a 2nd Lieutenant's commission through ROTC in the mistaken notion  that an officer had a better chance of survival.   Ironically, those guys were the first to be casualties in Vietnam... for all sorts of reasons and my high draft number probably saved me.
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But Memorial day is not about politics.   It is about our service men and women, past and present, who have answered the call to put their lives on the line so that we can maintain our freedoms and way of life.  They should have our thanks and admiration.

Bill Hillegas said...
For me, this Memorial Day has brought about a sad awareness of the increasing disappearance of World War II veterans, and the realization of what is really lost when they have all gone. My father was a WWII vet and a large portion of the adult men I grew up around were WWII vets. These were guys whose psyche and values were molded by the Great Depression and the war. From my experience, what we will really lose when they are all gone is their example. I’m talking about the way they looked at life every single morning when they got up to go to work. In general, these were tough, no-nonsense men who valued personal responsibility, hard work and respect for others and their property. The concept of entitlement was a totally foreign idea to this generation. When you shook hands with one of them you knew you were shaking hands with a man. Those of you who lived around these WWII vets during their prime will know what I’m talking about. The rest of you just missed out. It is their on Annual Memorial Day Reflection

BPop said....
My mom and pop were both WW2 vets. Mom was a major in the Army nurse corps, and Dad was a Sgt Maj in the 82nd Airborne. Both were in for the duration, and both are gone now. I miss them always, but today is special. I did my 6 yrs '68 to '74 in USN submarine service,  Did my 6 years '68 to '74. Submarine service. My mom was a Major in the Army (nurse) in Europe and served on the front lines in what were later referred to as Mash units. Dad was a first Sgt in the 82nd airborne in the same theater and didn't like gliders or chutes much. Sure miss them everyday, but especially today. BPop


3 comments:

  1. Anonymous2:00 PM

    For me, this Memorial Day has brought about a sad awareness of the increasing disappearance of World War II veterans, and the realization of what is really lost when they have all gone.

    My father was a WWII vet and a large portion of the adult men I grew up around were WWII vets. These were guys whose psyche and values were molded by the Great Depression and the war. From my experience, what we will really lose when they are all gone is their example. I’m talking about the way they looked at life every single morning when they got up to go to work. In general, these were tough, no-nonsense men who valued personal responsibility, hard work and respect for others and their property. The concept of entitlement was a totally foreign idea to this generation. When you shook hands with one of them you knew you were shaking hands with a man.

    Those of you who lived around these WWII vets during their prime will know what I’m talking about. The rest of you just missed out. It is their example that will be missed most of all.

    Wild Bill

    ReplyDelete
  2. Did my 6 years '68 to '74. Submarine service. My mom was a Major in the Army (nurse) in Europe and served on the front lines in what were later referred to as Mash units. Dad was a first Sgt in the 82nd airborne in the same theater and didn't like gliders or chutes much.
    Sure miss them everyday, but especially today.

    BPop

    ReplyDelete
  3. My mom and pop were both WW2 vets. Mom was a major in the Army nurse corps, and Dad was a Sgt Maj in the 82nd Airborne. Both were in for the duration, and both are gone now. I miss them always, but today is special.
    I did my 6 yrs '68 to '74 in USN submarine service, EM2SS.
    B-Pop

    ReplyDelete

Appreciate if you leave comments under your real name. Except for TL.

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