What Is a Vet?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by SouthernMoss, Nov 11, 2004.

  1. SouthernMoss

    SouthernMoss *Admin Tech Staff*

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    WHAT IS A VET?

    Some veterans bear visible signs of their service:
    a missing limb, a Jagged scar, a certain 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 ally 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 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 Quantico 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 the 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".
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    Thanks to all our Veterans, from the bottom of my heart, for your service. It is because of you that I am able to live in freedom, and for that I am deeply humbled and forever grateful.
    SoMo


    (I've been asked if I wrote this essay. Unfortunately, no, I'm not that eloquent. However, it touches me so deeply that I just had to share it.)

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  2. Carl S

    Carl S New Member

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    Outstanding and thank you.
  3. Marlin

    Marlin *TFF Admin Staff Chief Counselor*

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    Terrific.

    A great reminder. Thanks.

    :) :) :)
  4. inplanotx

    inplanotx New Member

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    Great post SoMo, many thanks.
  5. Roughrdr

    Roughrdr New Member

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    One of the lradio stations I was listening to this morning had a DJ read that. I had to C&P onto my laptop.
  6. Neil

    Neil New Member

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    My boss told me today just because a person was on a boat protecting the Homeland the're not a vet. I dissagree with him. You serve you're a vet and I thank you.
  7. offeror

    offeror New Member

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    This is a vet. Dad entered the Army and did physical training of troops stateside while the service paid for surgery on a perforated eardrum, then went to Fort Benning and got his Airborne wings. He was about to ship out for the Pacific when the atom bombs were dropped. He will celebrate his 80th birthday, I believe, in December.

    The first photos were taken on leave at his parents' home; he borrowed his dad's .22 squirrel rifle for the poses. He trained on the M1 Garand, which he described as devastating. (Marksman medal is visible on his chest in pic in lower right -- at least I think that's what it is.) He's in excellent physical shape for his age and still counts his sit-ups by the hundred (!)

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    Last edited: Nov 11, 2004
  8. ironsight65

    ironsight65 New Member

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    Great pics Offeror. Thanks to you and your Dad.
  9. dcd_enterprises

    dcd_enterprises New Member

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    Great thread SoMo, needs to be remembered.
  10. There were more of those than John Q. Public has any idea about, SoMo. They cared! In many ways that had it far worse than those in direct combat with Victor Charlie. Excellent post.
  11. Texman

    Texman New Member

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    Every time I hear the National Anthem, I get a little chocked up..
    We buried my daddy a year ago today.

    WWII B-24 navigator.. Went yesterday and put fresh flowers and a US flag on his grave.. He is my hero as are all of you service men and women
  12. cohoskip

    cohoskip New Member

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    Excellent. Thank you...
  13. neophyte

    neophyte New Member

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    SouthernMoss; Ma'am; your eloquence of an era that some of us lived through.
    Ma'am; should you have authored this many many years ago; some that returned from another 'conflict' would have enjoyed you. Most have forgotten about South East Asia; the age of Aquarius; the enlightenment of the 'generation' that has created most here. Freedom isn't 'free'; Freedom isn't a 'right'; Freedom is an 'American' who cares.
    Ma'am you've done good:)
  14. berto64

    berto64 Active Member

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    Thank you, SoMo.

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