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I Have No Heroes In My Family (Memorial Day Thoughts)
FP

Posted on 05/24/2003 3:51:29 PM PDT by Focault's Pendulum

I never served. Given the chance to do it again, I would.

My Father served. He lived on a glacier during much of WWII. He had three stripes on his sleeve. He was one of many nameless military who worked on the Alkan Highway.

My Godfather survived...several first landings in the South Pacific...he would never give me details.

My brother served in Berlin during the sixties...he came back broken from having served on the Wall.

No one in my family were heroes.


TOPICS: Announcements; Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Government; Miscellaneous; Philosophy; Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: allgavesome; memorialday; somegaveall
To every Veteran...Thank You.
1 posted on 05/24/2003 3:51:29 PM PDT by Focault's Pendulum
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To: Focault's Pendulum
The term "hero" has been overused of late, effectively rendering it inconsequential. Your people did their duty; that is the highest honor to which one can aspire. God bless them.
2 posted on 05/24/2003 3:54:22 PM PDT by Junior (Computers make very fast, very accurate mistakes.)
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To: Focault's Pendulum
He was one of many nameless military who worked on the Alkan Highway.

Mine served on that project, too.

My father is my hero but not because of his service to the country. He was a wonderful father and he loved me.

3 posted on 05/24/2003 3:57:13 PM PDT by Aliska
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To: Focault's Pendulum
Sometimes we miss opportunities my friend . On the other hand you are serving now the best that you know how so celebrate that !
4 posted on 05/24/2003 4:01:30 PM PDT by Ben Bolt
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To: Focault's Pendulum
When I was in Vietnam, I was unloading cargo planes that came from the USA, (it takes a whole lotta guys not in uniform to support each one who does), and I used to try to distract myself from where I was by trying to imagine being in the factory where the stuff was made. There is no shame in not being a soldier, only in running away when called to serve in times of crisis.
5 posted on 05/24/2003 4:06:47 PM PDT by rontorr (It's only my opinion, but I am RIGHT)
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To: Focault's Pendulum; Junior
Junior has it absolutely right. What matters is doing one's part. That goes for those at home and those who serve; we are all part of making this country work. No job is too small.


6 posted on 05/24/2003 4:11:59 PM PDT by visualops (This space was intentionally left blank, others aren't so lucky.)
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To: All
My apologies to all. My title did not intend to reflect a personal observation.

There are too many unsung people who lived through times, they would better like to forget.

They did not die for their country...but they would have.

They carry the memory of their fallen comrades...inside them.

7 posted on 05/24/2003 4:19:41 PM PDT by Focault's Pendulum (Living under a rock is looking better every day.)
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To: rontorr
I would agree...I never served. Growing up under the Jimmy Carter failure there was no way I considered serving under his leadership, and now I wish I had.

In many ways I think it makes me appreciate our veterans much more; knowing they were willing to sacrifice what I never did.

In a strange sort of irony I try and make up for it now as best I can(going to the same Memorial Day ceremony in my hometown every Memorial Day, saying "F-U" to Paris in July of 2000 on the last day of my honeymoon and instead of sightseeing in the city on what was our only day in that God-forsaken nation, touring the D-Day Beaches to pay homage to our boys), standing on Broadway in NYC May of 1986 watching a belated ticker tape parade for our Vietnam Vets and as a 22-year about to graduat college doing my best not to cry out loud.

One of the most profound experiences ever was spending Memorial Day weekend back in 1998 in our Nation's capital. It was so emotional for me and my girlfriend (now my wife). Seeing, hearing and feeling Rolling Thunder, taking in the sights, visiting Arlington Cementary on Memorial Day morining and going to the Vietnam Wall on three different occasions.

The highlight, and I knew it would be, was sitting on the lawn of the Capitol for the National Memorial Day Concert. It's on PBS tomorrow at 8PM and highly reccomended; I've yet to miss one but being there live was really special!
8 posted on 05/24/2003 4:22:32 PM PDT by God luvs America
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To: Focault's Pendulum
Everyone who has survived is a hero. What we are and what we will be is based on whatever our forefathers were. If they had given up prior to our births, what would we be today.

Hero, what is a hero? The dictionary defines heroism as the qualities and actions of a hero or heroine. Bravery, nobility or valor. Anyone who can provide progeny for the future is a hero or heroine. Anyone who can maintain the species is a hero.

9 posted on 05/24/2003 4:24:10 PM PDT by fifteendogs
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To: Focault's Pendulum
You are, well, wrong. All your forefathers were heroes.

Look up where the word comes from. It comes from Greek mythology.

In mythology and legend, a man, often of divine ancestry, who is endowed with great courage and strength, celebrated for his bold exploits, and favored by the gods. A person noted for feats of courage or nobility of purpose, especially one who has risked or sacrificed his or her life: soldiers and nurses who were heroes in an unpopular war. A person noted for special achievement in a particular field: the heroes of medicine. The principal male character in a novel, poem, or dramatic presentation.

I think most American's are heroes if they: pay taxes, participate in our democratic republic, defend liberty when given the opportunity.

Some wear uniforms, and we honor them on Armed Forces Day.

Others wore uniforms, and we honor them on Veteran's Day.

Some died wearing uniforms, and that's what Memorial Day is for.

I like to think the broadest definition of heroes are celebrated on the Fourth of July.

10 posted on 05/24/2003 4:27:53 PM PDT by ReaganCowboy
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To: God luvs America
... appreciate our veterans much more; knowing they were willing to sacrifice what I never did. ...

sometimes I find myself feeling guilty about some of the missions I was supposed to be on, but was replaced at the last minute by someone else, it seems like those were the missions where my replacement usually got killed or hurt, then I wake up and realize that God had a different job for me in the future
11 posted on 05/24/2003 4:30:58 PM PDT by rontorr (It's only my opinion, but I am RIGHT)
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To: God luvs America
well my friend, if you truly want to be a hero, as commander of the local DAV chapter here in my hometown, i can offer these words of advice.

What will truly make you a hero, go thru your library and gather all the books you either didn't like or don't want to ever read again.....all your reader's digest condensed volumes and any magazines you don't need in your "throne room" any more and take them all to the nearest V.A. hospital. They will gladly accept them with an adoration of you that even you haven't see from your wife since your honeymoon.

If you have an extra few minutes, just ride the elevator up to the room floors and go room to room and shake hands with a few of the guys and say "thank you"....you will see faces light up brighter than the north star on Christmas eve....you dont have to be a "hero" to be a hero.
12 posted on 05/24/2003 4:32:41 PM PDT by cajun-jack
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To: ReaganCowboy
You are, well, wrong. All your forefathers were heroes.

my friend...those who know me...recognise the irony in my words. Of course you are correct.

13 posted on 05/24/2003 4:34:53 PM PDT by Focault's Pendulum (Living under a rock is looking better every day.)
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To: Focault's Pendulum
You are wrong,Sir, Every man jack of them is a HERO, and so, Sir, are you. Heroism is a chimerical thing. Think how loosely the word it is used by pretty fools .. Sports stars , rock stars,lawyer-politicians, movie stars? Piffle, these are not heros .Your family is a cradle of Heros. Hold your head up, Sir, Proclaim them!! Honor them and yourself.
14 posted on 05/24/2003 4:41:05 PM PDT by gatorbait (Yesterday,today and tomorrow..........The United States Army)
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To: Focault's Pendulum
Anyone who serves their country without thought of self is a hero in my book. Those who give their lives in such service admittedly gain a more exhalted status, but that does not diminish the contributions of others; it adds to it.

I'm reminded of a story of a man who used to walk the beach at low tide, finding stranded starfish and tossing them back into the ocean, essentially saving their lives.

Another man saw what he was doing and scoffed, "What do you mean to accomplish? There are so many starfish stranded, and you're but one man. What you're doing doesn't make any difference at all!"

The first man just smiled, picked up another starfish and tossed it into the ocean. "I made a difference to that one," is all he said.

Something to think about...

-Jay

15 posted on 05/24/2003 4:43:45 PM PDT by Jay D. Dyson (When the smoke cleared, the terrorist was over there...and over there...and over there...)
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To: Focault's Pendulum
99% of all the men and women that ever served in time of war were not Hero's with special medals. But all are Hero's in the true sense.

God bless all the men and women that have spent time serving this great country we call America.

Me? I was in from "73 to "76" I wanted to go to Vietnam (I wasn't too bright) instead I served in Germany and Fort Benning Ga. My M.O.S was 11D10R8 I was a Scout.

>

16 posted on 05/24/2003 4:44:47 PM PDT by OneVike
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To: Focault's Pendulum
I never 'served' because they didn't want me after the medical exam. Before that, they wanted me to go to Kalifornicate to learn Russian because of my record in college of an aptitude for such. HOWEVER,my father, from the time I can remember, had RA and suffered EVERY day of his life more than I ever have. Yeh, I've got a HERO that
I will probably never equal.
17 posted on 05/24/2003 4:46:53 PM PDT by litehaus
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To: Focault's Pendulum
I may have led the most exiting life of anyone in my family in recent history, but I sure aint no hero.

The few times we had any exitement in my Peace-time Marine Corps, there may have been those who moved first, but everyone moved right after.

Some didnt come home, but how we tried to contain any situation, all we did was our job.
18 posted on 05/24/2003 4:52:15 PM PDT by RaceBannon
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To: Focault's Pendulum
My Father served.

So did mine. Tell him thanks - for me...

19 posted on 05/24/2003 4:53:36 PM PDT by Libloather (Proud member of the Vast Right Wing Fatwa...)
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To: Focault's Pendulum; rontorr
I walked point for the Fifth Marines in Viet Nam and I can't tell you how many people it took to keep me alive over the years. From the chopper pilots to the supply clerks to the Fly Boys(air support) to the Dogfaces(artillery), to the Corpsmen who saved my life. They were all my heroes. I may have the medals but I wouldn't have them without the support of many, many, many people. In the eyes of freedom and God we are all heroes! For without us all there is no freedom and without freedom there are no heroes! Semper Fi
20 posted on 05/24/2003 4:55:07 PM PDT by kellynla ("C" 1/5 1st Mar Div VIet Nam '69 & '70 Semper Fi)
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To: Focault's Pendulum
9/11 showed America the truth about hero's. Every man, woman and child who reached out and helped their fellow Americans, without thought of reward. There are many ways to serve our country, not just the military. God Bless our troops and "all" who serve this great country. God Bless Freepers too because they refuse to by silent and will not give up the fight for freedom.
21 posted on 05/24/2003 4:56:16 PM PDT by OREALLY
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To: Focault's Pendulum
My father and I were professional soldiers. He a veteran of WWII and of Vietnam. My combat service was in Vietnam. We were both wounded in action, both decorated for valor and both received the Combat Infantryman's Badge. We were not heros. We both knew a few, but we knew many more who did like us: simply served. They were soldiers and they did their duty as many who served before and after us have done.

But, remember, Memorial Day is not for those who served, it is for those who fell. Remember them, my friends, remember them.
22 posted on 05/24/2003 4:58:00 PM PDT by centurion316
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To: cajun-jack
Thank you for the great suggestion, cajun-jack.
23 posted on 05/24/2003 5:02:38 PM PDT by TEXOKIE
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To: Focault's Pendulum
My dad was drafted in July, 1945. He did his basic training and became an MP, serving in the south.

The Japanese surrendered shortly afterwards.

I always kid him that there was a connection between him becoming a GI and the Japanese saying 'No mas!!!' ;-)

My dad's tenure in the army finished a year later. He says he had fun in the service - made lots of pals, played lots of cards, and got out of the NYC region for a while. When called, he served. Everyone was proud of him then, and we are now.

Oh, and he is a hero to me and all his children! :-)

Not a war hero, but
24 posted on 05/24/2003 5:03:38 PM PDT by HitmanLV
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To: cajun-jack
Outstanding suggestion, Cajun-Jack! And I've been meaning to clear out some of my bookcases of late too (got the spring cleaning bug). Thanks!!

-Jay
25 posted on 05/24/2003 5:04:45 PM PDT by Jay D. Dyson (When the smoke cleared, the terrorist was over there...and over there...and over there...)
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To: OREALLY
Bump to your post 21
26 posted on 05/24/2003 5:10:57 PM PDT by TEXOKIE
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To: Junior
"Duty is the most sublime of words.
No one can ask more,
You should never wish to do less."
Robert E. Lee
Gen CSA
27 posted on 05/24/2003 5:20:06 PM PDT by 75thOVI (Draw the bayonet , and throw away the scabbard!)
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To: Focault's Pendulum
I was a helicopter crew chief in Vietnam flying hueys made of aluminium cheaply. I flew on the left door holding a machine gun and most people in the Army called me a "gunner". The statistics say that 40,000 were trained as crew chiefs and a smaller number made it to Nam.

Fear of a machine that had 12,000 moving parts and flew into danger was constant. Mistakes in maintenace was the greatest danger and I was in charge of maintence.

Medals - really meant nothing!
28 posted on 05/24/2003 5:24:35 PM PDT by BeAllYouCanBe (Maybe this "Army Of One" is a good thing - You Gotta Admire the 3rd Infantry Accomplishments)
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To: Focault's Pendulum
My Godfather survived...several first landings in the South Pacific...he would never give me details.

My friend I believe heroes are made not born.

Having served on an amphibious ship for 2 years and had a hand in landing many a brave Soldier and Marine on hostile beaches in the Pacific from Okinawa Shima, Japan to Leyte, P.I. with Lingayen Gulf, Luzon P.I. campaign in between I saw nothing but heroes scrambling ashore to do a horrible job with nothing between them and the murderous ememy fire but their duty and their desire just to survive!

They were mostly kids and are my heroes whether dead now or alive.

As far as your father's and your brother's service to their country as being insignicant don't you believe it for I believe that any one who became a hero in actual combat would have changed places with your father or your brother in a New York minute when the bullets started flying.

So we come full circle heroes are made not born!

I thank them for their obedience to their oath to our wonderful country, God Bless America and her protectors who are you father, your brother and every other American service person who answered the call to arms without questioning why they serve where they served!

29 posted on 05/24/2003 6:02:22 PM PDT by VOYAGER
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To: Focault's Pendulum
My brother served in 13 months of hard combat as a rifleman in the USMC in Vietnam, was combat wounded and was my hero growing up. Now he is a coach for a HS football team.When he was recovering from his last combat injury with us at the VA near our home in 1969, I learned how much I loved him and how much of a difference he had made in my life.

My father was wounded so badly in WWII he ended up being out of action for 9 months. He started an Electrical contracting company and ran it for 43 years after this happened, in spite of serious disabilities.At age 78, he just kicked cancer, smokes a half dozen cigars a day, and cusses a blue streak. Everyone I know loves him for his humanity and soft heartedness towards children and animals.

My grandfather was wounded in WWI as a Marine in the battle of Belleau Wood. He hated mud for the rest of his life, and he died right before I went into the military. His last words before I joined were "come back with your shield or on it". This spirit was common in the men of that time, who fought a then-unknown enemy and routed them with sheer valor.

One of my best friends volunteered to do one more strategic patrol in 1980 before his EAOS expired. He had a wife and two kids. He died on that patrol at age 26, a man who had given a little over 6 years of his life towards freedom, and never knew the outcome of his selfless courage and determination to preserve our country and way of life.

Those guys are my some of my heros. I served too, and continue to serve. I hope some day I measure up to half of their shoes.
30 posted on 05/24/2003 6:04:31 PM PDT by judicial meanz (Audaces Fortuna Juvat)
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To: cajun-jack
They will gladly accept them with an adoration of you that even you haven't see from your wife since your honeymoon.

You mean they'll point and laugh like my ex did?

Seriously, this is a marvelous idea. Recorded music on cassette is a biggie as well.

31 posted on 05/24/2003 6:15:22 PM PDT by strela (24-26 May 2003 - Its Not Just Another 3-Day Weekend)
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Comment #32 Removed by Moderator

To: cajun-jack
well my friend, if you truly want to be a hero, as commander of the local DAV chapter here in my hometown, i can offer these words of advice. What will truly make you a hero, go thru your library and gather all the books you either didn't like or don't want to ever read again.....all your reader's digest condensed volumes and any magazines you don't need in your "throne room" any more and take them all to the nearest V.A. hospital. They will gladly accept them with an adoration of you that even you haven't see from your wife since your honeymoon. If you have an extra few minutes, just ride the elevator up to the room floors and go room to room and shake hands with a few of the guys and say "thank you"....you will see faces light up brighter than the north star on Christmas eve....you dont have to be a "hero" to be a hero.

I might have thought to put this thread up with sarcasm tags....that those who lived through hell are indeed heroes. You...my friend.have given it a perspective, I failed to take into account. Thank you, for reminding us of others who should not be foregotten.

33 posted on 05/25/2003 3:20:04 AM PDT by Focault's Pendulum (Living under a rock is looking better every day.)
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To: rontorr
Cam Rhan Bay, perhaps?
34 posted on 05/25/2003 3:27:13 AM PDT by js1138
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To: Focault's Pendulum
"To every Veteran...Thank You."

Your thanks are accepted. Don't ever call me a Hero it is not all it is cracked up to be, I dispise that term. Jessica Lynch has been called a hero, the truth is that she is just a broken girl and may never speak about the exploits that she was a part of.

35 posted on 05/25/2003 4:32:15 AM PDT by SSN558 (Be on the lookout for Black White-Supremists)
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To: SSN558
For Hilda Blum, (nee Kopp), WAC with SHAEF in England and France in WW II; Leo Blum, infantryman in France in WW II; John J. Koller, 1st Sgt. USMC, WW II, Korea, Vietnam.

The honor roll is always personal. For the pain you have endured, for the suffering you have witnessed, for the courage you have shown, Peace.
36 posted on 05/25/2003 8:24:36 AM PDT by overlord ((Let Peace in the Future be our Memorial to the Past.))
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To: Focault's Pendulum
All my family were heroes

37 posted on 05/25/2003 10:20:17 AM PDT by RedBloodedAmerican
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To: Focault's Pendulum
No, last name is not Dalmer.
38 posted on 05/25/2003 10:20:33 AM PDT by RedBloodedAmerican
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To: Focault's Pendulum
My family is a relatively small one and it's service to our nation can be readily (but painstakingly!) traced on the net. We have served from the days of the Colonial Army to the present, with members from one branch of the family or another leaving a continual, almost unbroken, record of military service to our present times. Some were decorated heros and advisors to those in D.C., one was even a General, most of the rest of us were 'plain' riflemen and grunts. Many who serve in the Armed Forces of the United States can say the same or more. My story is not all that unusual.

We have participated in nearly every major historical event in our nation's history, from our immigration in 1710 to becoming pioneering plainsmen and partaking in both gold rushes to becoming city founders and serving as local politicians.

In my direct family, I have two brothers who served in the Army and one besides myself who served in the Marine Corps, an uncle who fought with the Army in Europe during WWII, two cousins who served with the Air Force during VietNam, and my father served with the Air Force during the Korean War. We have members of the family buried in National Cemeteries from coast to coast, including a few in Arlington. As long as there is a United States to serve, there will be members of my family to serve it. We are generally a family of patriots and believers in freedom.

Having said that, looking back upon my own run of the mill service in a 'peace time' Marine Corps, I have to say that anyone who served in the military in any capacity, whether burning shitters, swabbing the deck, or charging the beach is someone to be shown respect and given our gratitude.The sacrifices are incredible and cannot be truly understood without having BTDT.

To those civilians who appreciate that sacrifice, I thank you. Your thanks mean more than can be said or told.

To those who wish to become more actively involved in 'service'to, or attempts to help Veterans, there is political activism on behalf of Veterans as well as service locally, as has been suggested in an earlier post. But, mostly, just a 'Thank you." and a "Welcome Home." is enough to bring tears to the eyes of many who have served.
39 posted on 05/25/2003 12:33:22 PM PDT by wrbones (Bones)
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To: kellynla
some things that I have done that make me feel real proud was to help a few guys that I became friends with in the late 70s, 80's and until even now get rid of, with the help of our Lord,(my Buddist wife hates it when I talk like that) the, lets just call them demons for lack of a better word, that have been haunting them since the fight they were in, a lot of them are still living in places like Thailand, and some are still(or were) officially MIA. What a hero really is , is a person who does things for others with out thinking of themself first
40 posted on 05/25/2003 1:08:50 PM PDT by rontorr (It's only my opinion, but I am RIGHT)
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To: Jay D. Dyson
there you hit on the true reality of this thread, the difference beween a war hero and a HERO, congrats
41 posted on 05/25/2003 1:12:02 PM PDT by rontorr (It's only my opinion, but I am RIGHT)
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To: BeAllYouCanBe
"Medals - really meant nothing!"

True....the only thing that I truly am proud of is my CMB.

I earned it....

redrock

42 posted on 05/25/2003 2:16:12 PM PDT by redrock (Tell every Veteran you see--"Welcome Home")
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To: Focault's Pendulum
"To every Veteran...Thank You."

NO...Thank YOU for caring enough to say it.

redrock

p.s....MEMORIAL DAY 2003--#1--"My Daddy's Finally Home..." HERE

MEMORIAL DAY 2003-#2--"The Lesson's of Danny Flynn, Corey DePooter, Billy Scott & Earl Brown" HERE

MEMORIAL DAY 2003--#3--"I Came to See My Son's Name" HERE

MEMORIAL DAY 2003-#4--"WELCOME HOME!!!!" HERE

43 posted on 05/25/2003 2:21:17 PM PDT by redrock (Tell every Veteran you see--"Welcome Home")
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To: Focault's Pendulum
Well, if you have no one to grieve, you can say a brief prayer for two of my former friends. Ed McHenry was one of my best friends in High School; he was shot in the head and died near Phu Bai in Vietnam in 1966. Another friend, Randy, one of my friends at my dorm at the Univ. of Illinois was a helicopter pilot who didn't make that last landing in 1967 or so.

Be well, stay well.
44 posted on 05/25/2003 7:22:38 PM PDT by Chu Gary
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To: rontorr
Dear Sir:

Why do you think that you didn't serve? My father was a United States Merchant Marine, an oiler/wiper whose Liberty Ship, Geo. S Wasson, was mined and sunk off the coast of Wales on Jan 31, 1944. My father was 17 yrs. old on that day. The USMM has never been acknowledged for it's service.
To clarify, I will tell you that when he died in 1976 there was no flag allowed on his casket. That changed in 1991, I believe. The KIA ratio for a USMM was double that for a GI. The first and last deaths of WWII were Merchant Marines. The Academy at Kingspoint, NY, is the only service academy to carry a battle standard.

Please don't think that you didn't "really" serve, I think of the Murmansk Run when I hear that phrase...
45 posted on 05/26/2003 12:32:44 PM PDT by ishabibble
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To: cajun-jack
"the nearest V.A. hospital"...."If you have an extra few minutes, just ride the elevator up to the room floors and go room to room and shake hands with a few of the guys and say "thank you"....you will see faces light up brighter than the north star on Christmas eve....you dont have to be a "hero" to be a hero."

so very true...

46 posted on 05/26/2003 2:27:04 PM PDT by thasea ("Liberty is always the achievement of courage", Pres G.W. Bush.)
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To: ishabibble
maybe you only read my last post, I really did serve, over there I was in air freight, loading and unloading aircraft, and understood my job and value, I was discussing what a hero is, not just a combatant, who is a war hero, but the support people who are sust doing their part, and the things that are done in everyday life without thinking of what you can gain from it. I have some friends who were, or their fathers were, in the Merchant Marine, I was glad to hear when they finally got some recognition, one of my friend's father is currently recieving a VA Pension due to his Merchant Marine service.
47 posted on 05/26/2003 5:22:19 PM PDT by rontorr (It's only my opinion, but I am RIGHT)
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To: BeAllYouCanBe
Medals - really meant nothing!


yeah buddy, metal, namely some steel under your feet was what mattered
48 posted on 05/26/2003 5:24:16 PM PDT by rontorr (It's only my opinion, but I am RIGHT)
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To: js1138
71-72 14th Arial Port Squadron, Line Loading, barracks nest to the Weapons Room, Cleaned the sand out of mine every couple of days, was very fortunate never having to fire it.
49 posted on 05/26/2003 5:31:55 PM PDT by rontorr (It's only my opinion, but I am RIGHT)
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To: Jay D. Dyson
The first man just smiled, picked up another starfish and tossed it into the ocean. "I made a difference to that one," is all he said.

I love that story.
50 posted on 05/27/2003 1:16:47 PM PDT by jjm2111
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