Fw: The LAFD asks you - What is a Vet?
----- Original Message -----
From: "Brian Humphrey" <beh9593@...>
Sent: Wednesday, November 08, 2000 18:02
Subject: The LAFD asks you - What is a Vet?
> The Los Angeles Fire Department takes pride in its credo:
> "...at all times, service above self".
> There are times however, when our efforts - no matter how valiant - should
> rightfully overshadowed. One such time is this Saturday. Please join me in
> taking time to ponder the following question...
> WHAT IS A VET?
> Some veterans bear visible signs of their service: a missing
> limb, a jagged scar, a certain look in their 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:
> a soul 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
> 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
> run out of fuel.
> He is the barroom loudmouth, dumber than five wooden planks, whose
> frat-boy behavior is outweighed a hundred times in the cosmic scales by
> 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
> back AT ALL.
> He is the Quantico drill instructor that has never seen combat - but has
> countless lives by turning slouchy, no-account rednecks and gang members
> 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
> He is the three anonymous heroes in The Tomb Of The Unknowns, whose
> the Arlington National Cemetery must forever preserve the memory of all
> anonymous heroes whose valor dies unrecognized with them on the
> 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
> day long that his wife were still alive to hold him when the nightmares
> He is an ordinary and yet an extraordinary human being, a person who
> 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
> over and say Thank You. That's all most people need, and in most cases it
> mean more than any medals they could have been awarded or were awarded.
> Two little words that mean a lot, "THANK YOU".
> Remember, November 11th is Veterans Day.
> One fine man probably summarized it best...
> "It is the soldier, not the reporter, Who has given us freedom of the
> is the soldier, not the poet, Who has given us freedom of speech. It is
> soldier, not the campus organizer, Who has given us the freedom to
> It is the soldier, Who salutes the flag, Who serves beneath the flag, and
> coffin is draped by the flag, Who allows the protester to burn the flag."
> Father Denis Edward O'Brien, USMC
> Stay Safe!
> Brian Humphrey
> Public Information Officer
> Los Angeles Fire Department
> LAFD website: http://www.lafd.org