My thanks to veterans is personal

From the Halls of Montezuma, to the shores of Tripoli.

And from Trenton to Cuba to the Ardennes forest to Tarawa to Leyte Gulf to the Bulge to Inchon to Khe Sanh to Afghanistan to Fallajah to the unknown places fought by our special forces. 

This is a short list of places where Americans in uniform fought and died.

Not for “America.”

For you and for me.

That’s how I see it — for me, and that’s what I tell veterans. I thank them for their service to me. It is personal.

I did not go because I was not called. I was a father by the time I was 21, and that exempted me. There was no war at that time.

I always felt I lost something by missing military service. 

Most of the guys of my generation felt it was a pain in the ass, but had value. Only one guy I knew, a boss of mine before I made it to Philadelphia, said it was a waste of time. Period.

Whether in peacetime, or in time of war, everyone who served gave up something. Those in combat risked their lives. Those who spent their lives we honor on Memorial Day.

But even the pencil pushers, and truck drivers, and cooks, and lawyers, and doctors, and public information officers, and quartermasters, and airplane mechanics, and radar technicians, all spent time, and time away from home and loved ones.

Some delayed the start of careers; some interrupted careers.

It may have been a pain in the ass for some, but it meant the rest of us could sleep at night, in safety.

Thanks to all of you who served.

13 thoughts on “My thanks to veterans is personal”

  1. Thank you for your thoughtful message. My dad served in WWII — captured at the Bulge and sat out the rest of the war in a German POW camp. He made it home and lived to be almost 101. I served (1960 to 1966) and saw duty in Japan for two years and was in the middle of the Cuban Missile Crisis.
    My eldest son, Vincent, served (US Army) for six years, and my second son (of 4) is a major in the Air Force NG. I’m proud of all, but freely admit I thought the chickenshit (silly, petty rules) in the military made it easy to decide to NOT make it a career. But I am proud to wear my USAF Veteran hat, and freely admit the military discipline applied to me straightened me up. To ALL veterans I offer my salute of gratitude for keeping my family (and all other families) safe.

  2. Stu – Thank you for this post. Much appreciated from the grateful daughter, mother, niece and cousin of those who defended America for you and me.

    Since I’ve known you, you have been resilient in your love for our country and the debt we owe to our military, past and present.
    You and Vince are my eldest brothers age. He gallantly fought in Wisconsin. I forget the name of the Air Force base. Prior to him and my cousins of the age group, were my family – on both sides that fought in WW II, then Korea. My generation mostly saw Nam. Not all of us came back and then, there were those that left some of themselves ‘over there’.
    To all of our Veterans. Thank You. Welcome Home.

  4. Thanks Stu. My three bothers served as a fireman in the Navy, a cook in the Army, and a computer programmer, the smart one, in the Airforce. I was an Army medic. We were smart enough to avoid the Marines though.
    All have passed on.
    God bless all Veterans.

    1. I forgot my brother-in-law (like a brother) who will be 90 next year. In the Army, early 50’s, like my oldest brother.

  5. My dad was a Naval mechanic at Iwo Jima in the expeditionary force that came to the island after the battle. I always see him as one of the guys in Mr. Roberts (a truly great war film). He never thought of himself as a patriot. He just went and did his job without complaint, as so many of the Greatest Generation did. That’s true heroism/patriotism, and it has nothing to do with nationalism and flag-waving, which is simply for show. My brother served on a carrier during the 1960s. He went on to become a fire captain in the City of Camden. I am very proud of both of them, and grateful to all who served. Thanks for the article,

    1. Mister Roberts is my favorite movie. You seem — like many of the Left — to shy from the word “patriot” — connecting it with flag-waving nationalism. Why? To me, and the dictionary, is service to country and willingness to defend it.

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