Thursday, November 12, 2009

Happy Veteran's Day

My Daddy was a Veteran of World War II. I honor him today. A Marine, he was in 5 major battles and missing in action for 15 months. He was only 18 years old.He served for 3 years. He survived and made it home and passed away at the age of 34 from heart failure caused by meningitis he contacted during his time overseas

What is a Veteran?

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 or a piece of shrapnel in the leg .

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.

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-accounts and gang members into Marines, and teaching them to watch each other's backs.

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 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".


slommler said...

What a beautiful tribute Patti!! My daddy was a Vet too! He never spoke of his time over there. Thank you!

readingsully2 said...

It is nice that you honored your Dad. I am sorry he died so young. That must have really been hard for you. But, he was a great man for serving his country and I feel that way about each and every man and woman today who are risking their lives to protect our country. :)