Wednesday, November 8, 2006

To the Vets

My Uncle Bob -- Lt. Robert L. Hunt, Jr. -- and his P-51 Mustang, part of the 383rd Fighter Squadron, 364th Fighter Group, US Eighth Air Force, during WW II.

The USS Hornet, launching Col. Jimmy Doolittle's B-25 on the Toyko Raid, 1942.

Elements of the 5th and 7th Regiments, 1st Marine Division, during the breakout from Yudam-ni, Chosin Reservoir Campaign, Korean War.

US armored units in Gulf War I during the liberation of Kuwait.

November 11, 2006. Veterans' Day.

Thank a veteran today. Doesn't matter the war or time of peace that he or she served in. Doesn't matter the branch of the service he or she served in.

It only matters that they served. On behalf of all of us. Even those of us who opposed wherever they went, for whatever cause they were sent forth.

We all owe thanks to a veteran this day, for so much of what we have the liberty to take for granted, and sadly shouldn't. It came at such a cost for so many others.

Many more veterans come home than don't; the many more who do come home, tend to insist that the real heroes are still "over there": Belleau Wood. Meuse-Argonne. In the USS Arizona Memorial. At the bottom of Sunda Strait. At Guadalcanal. At the bottom of Iron Bottom Sound. On New Guinea. Tarawa. Guam. Saipan. Pelielu. Iwo Jima. Luzon and Leyte. Okinawa. Kasserine Pass. Sicily. Salerno. Anzio. Omaha Beach. St. Lo. Eindhoven. Nijmegen. Hurtgen Forest. Bastogne. Osan. Taegu. Taejon. The Pusan Perimeter. Inchon. Chosin Reservoir. Chipyong-ni. Heartbreak Ridge. Porkchop Hill. Ia Drang Valley. Hamburger Hill. Hue. Beirut. Grenada. Panama. Kuwait. Bosnia. Afghanistan. Iraq.

It's not always easy to convince a humble, modest veteran that he/she is just as much a hero, and owed thanks for having done their duty.

Thank 'em, anyway.

Thank especially those who've seen the ugly, unremitting face of the monster of war, and have come home with not all their scars on the surface; they carry their wounds deep within. That they have faced the lowest form of human primal instinct, and come home to become useful and productive members of society, speaks volumes about the character and fortitude they took forth into the maelstrom.

Even the hideous, demeaning cretin of war could not strip them of their better qualities. These are heroes, indeed. The "Greatest Generation" is replete with them. So is each following generation of servicemen and women.

I've thanked a fair share of veterans as I know and meet them. I'll add my personal thanks here now, to one Iraq veteran who volunteered to serve in the wake of September 11, 2001; he'd fought and won his own personal war with a serious health issue, and wanted to serve his country in the wake of Islamofascist aggression. He served two combat tours in Iraq, seeing more than his up-close-and-personal share of the monster of war. He brought the scars of that encounter home, and was slow to reveal the pain of those scars; but thanks to his own inner strength, and a well-knit, loving family second to none, he'll not only survive the war; he'll survive the scars he had no choice in bringing home, and go on to a full, productive life.

Thanks, Joshua.

14 Comments:

Blogger deni said...

Joshua has a wonderful support network, his mother, his siblings, and lots of prayer and support from many others.

I believe that he will make it through.

p.s. I hope you don't mind, but I linked you.

08 November, 2006 06:30  
Blogger Monica said...

Thank you for the lovely post, Skunk. I'm showing it to Josh, who I'm pleased to say, called and told me he didn't have nightmares last night. :)

I was good...I didn't mention it could possibly have something to do with Democrats taking over. :)

Seriously, all our veterans deserve a thank you. You wrote a great post.

Take care of you.

08 November, 2006 08:42  
Blogger Karen said...

Amen, to ever word. Thanks to Joshua too and all the men and women serving and those who served. We owe them our heartfelt gratitude and so much more.

08 November, 2006 10:35  
Blogger Ms. Vickie said...

Thank you for a great post, as we approach the day set aside to
recognize all Veterans let us stop and remember as you indicated
both the past and present.

We owe so much to those who have fought for us in the past, those
who gave their life for us, those who gave their innocence for us
returning very different people to us as they fight to allow us to
continue to live our life everyday as we do.

The fine young man you spoke of Joshua has something many lack ----
a wonderful support system, his family, his friends and even unknowns
in the blog world.

08 November, 2006 14:28  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post.

Vets dont get enough credit for what they do or the respect they deserve.
They are remembered when needed and forgotton when they return.
Joshua is an honorable man with a strong supportive family behind him.
We should all remember why freedom exists throughtout the world and those who ensure we keep it.

08 November, 2006 15:47  
Anonymous Becky said...

Skunk

Although we have never met, I am a friend of Monica's here in TX. I just read your post about veterans and have tears in my eyes.

I too am a Veteran, though I served in peacetime. My father, in the end died because of the duty he did in Korea and the testing grounds in NV.

It is men such as my father, and the younger generation...those such as Joshua, that need the thanks for protecting our country and allowing us to take our lives and what we have for granted so often.

Monica is truly blessed with wonderful children and although I don't know them very well...other than through her.... the family as a whole is always in my thoughts and prayers.

09 November, 2006 06:49  
Anonymous Stacy said...

I couldn't say it any better. Great tribute to vets.

09 November, 2006 15:01  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Thanks from an Army vet. Passing this along to my Vietnam veteran dad. I know he'll appreciate it, too.

09 November, 2006 20:25  
Blogger Miss Cellania said...

This is great. You done good.

10 November, 2006 07:36  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Thanks for your visit and your comments. No offense taken on the lack of a 'Nam picture, having 'Nam vets acknowledged in any way makes me happy. As for your position on abortion, it sounds pretty much like mine. Wish those other guys could find the common ground.

10 November, 2006 10:38  
Blogger Sue said...

A beautiful post...better than I could have ever said myself and yet you speak my thoughts entirely.

We need to remember our young veterans, like Josh, and others like him who don't always have the support network he has.

10 November, 2006 12:59  
Blogger header5 said...

Well said.

10 November, 2006 22:40  
Anonymous Jennifer's Mom said...

Thank you on behalf of the three vets in my immediate family - husband, daughter and son - for your writing - amazing what power words have from someone who uses the power so succinctly. Jennifer's Mom

12 November, 2006 10:00  
Blogger Teresa said...

Thank you for this great post. I am Monica's friend, and an Army buddy of Jennifer's. You made me cry. Camochicks are supposed to cry.

13 November, 2006 16:05  

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