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In Honor of Veterans Day

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  • G E Mayers
    Gang, The following was posted on a List Serv for the Philadelphia PA area that I also belong to, and thought it would be most appropriate for today. I had
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 11, 2005

      The following was posted on a List Serv for the Philadelphia PA area that I
      also belong to, and thought it would be most appropriate for today.

      I had tears in my eyes as I read it. Let's also take a moment today to
      remember all those fellows who did not come home from the greatest war ever
      experienced in our nation's history as well as those who did get to come
      home, but forever changed as a result. I speak of all those who give our two
      discussion groups (CWDG and TalkAntietam) so much to talk about.

      To all the veterans in the CWDG and also in the TalkAntietam discussion
      boards, "Thank YOU!"


      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 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 Unknowns,
      whose presence at 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

      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

      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."

      ---Father Denis Edward O'Brien, USMC

      "The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war,
      no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional as to how they
      perceive the veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their

      ---George Washington

      Very respectfully,
      G E "Gerry" Mayers

      "As an American citizen I prize the Union very highly
      and know of no personal sacrifice that I would not make
      to preserve it, save that of honour."
      --Robt. E. Lee, Letter to Rooney Lee, 3 December 1860
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