I am enormously proud and thankful to all who have served our Country and all who currently serve our Country in the military. My grandfather is buried in Arlington Cemetary, a decorated WWII hero, and my uncle Dick Crook has more than a fist full of medals for his service in Vietnam. Neither talked much about their service, and I never even knew about their medals and honors until I was an adult. They both saw combat. I think of them on Veteran’s Day and remember that it isn’t a day for shopping and sales, but to reflect upon and thank the men and women who have given (and continue to give) their time, energy, emotions, and too often their lives to protect us and our Country. Thank you!
Here is what Veteran’s Day means to a Vietnam Veteran…
What Vietnam Means….To a Vietnam Vet
by Dick Crook
Veteran’s Day is special special to me again this year. Not just because of some coincidence of the date being 11-11-11… But because it’s a somber time when men & women in uniform representing the USA throughout the world are “in harm’s way” and they ask so little in return. Your respect, and your support are appreciated, but they do it willingly even with or without those…!
I’m thankful that there are those who have served or are currently serving our country in a time of need. They wrote a blank check which they signed as a promise to allow YOU to fill in the amount with “whatever it takes” without restrictions up to and including their lives and made it payable to the USA…!
I turned 20 years old in a bunker on an observation post in Viet Nam. My birthday candles were “incoming” mortars and small arms fire. My cake was a cookie in a box of C-Rations. I’m a 3rd generation combat veteran and I have a LOT for which to be thankful. I’m here today to tell you that it was an HONOR to have served with the men & women of the US Armed Forces. All gave some and some gave all…! AND they keep doing it EVERY DAY…!
Many years ago, for his 8th Grade class trip, my son, Doug, was planning to go to Washington, DC with the rest of his 8th Grade class. The kids were asked to write a paper explaining what it would mean if they were chosen to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns. Many of the girls wrote papers and so did Doug. He explained that he was at Arlington National Cemetery when his Grandfather had been laid to rest and that his Dad is a Viet Nam Veteran. He would be proud to be chosen to lay that wreath because his Grandfather would be proudly watching over him…! As you might imagine, Doug was chosen and fulfilled his wish to participate in that high honor on his 8th grade class trip. After which some of his classmates joined him in some quiet reflection at his Grand Dad’s graveside. It was something that affected his whole class and they will always remember Veterans with respect.
Veteran’s Day means EVERYTHING to those who serve. It’s NOT just another day to put up the flag and salute. It’s the day that our nation can enjoy a REAL Thanksgiving, thanks to veterans throughout the world who CHOOSE to write that blank check AND they make it payable to the USA…! Veteran’s Day is MY real Thanksgiving…! THANK YOU to Veterans near and far from long ago and from this moment forward… Thank YOU for your service and you are always, “Welcome Home…”