Happy Veterans Day! Posted by: McQ
on Sunday, November 11, 2007
I’ll say, up front, anyone who doubts all veteran's are heroes need read no further. But for the vast majority of you who do, I'd like to take a little different slant in my tribute to veterans on Veteran’s day than you might read elsewhere.
Most of the time, when you hear tributes to vets, they're filled with the stories of those who've fought and suffered in combat and we see pictures showing the battle-weary combat vets which pointedly make the argument about the sacrifices veterans have made and continue to make.
They’ve fought in such places as Saipan and Guadalcanal in the Pacific, Normandy and St. Mere Eglise in Europe or Pork Chop Hill and the Chosin Reservoir in Korea or the I Drang Valley, Hue and the Ashau Valley in Vietnam. Now new names such as Fallujah, Najaf and Anbar are added to those which tell the tale of all who have paid the price for our freedom over the centuries and deserve the acclaim we give them. They’ve faced circumstances that we hope our children will never have to face and many have paid the full and ultimate price with their service
However, not all sacrifices are made on the field of battle. While infantry, armor and artillery are the combat arms - the tip of the spear - they, better than anyone, know how important the team that makes up the rest of the spear are to their success on the battlefield.
For instance, those F-16s so vital to a close air support mission don't show up on target at the right time unless that young man flying the boom of a KC10 tanker at 30,000 feet in the pitch black of the early morning doesn't do his job. That sabot round from an M1A1 tank fired at a threatening T72 isn't there unless the truck driver hauling ammo day in and day out gets that ammo where it needs to be when it needs to be there.
Veterans are the guys like the cook who gets up every morning at 3:30 am and begins to prepare breakfast for his guys and gals. He’s the young NCO below decks on an aircraft carrier who makes sure the F/A 18 he's responsible for maintaining is in perfect shape and ready to fly. She’s the nurse who holds a dying soldier's hand as he takes his last breath, wipes away the tears, straightens her uniform and heads out to do it all over again.
He's the young guy in the fuel soaked coveralls who hasn't slept in 2 days gassing up yet another Bradley from his fuel tanker. She’s the company clerk who makes sure all of the promotion orders are correct and in on time, or the instructor in basic training who ensures those he trains get his full attention and who puts his all into helping them learn important lessons that will save their lives. He's the recruiter who'd rather be where the action is, but does what is necessary to make sure he gets the best and brightest available for his branch of service. She’s the MP at the gate who shows up every day, on time in a perfect uniform and does her job to the best of her ability and never complains.
He’s the National Guardsman or reservist who gives up weekends with his family to be prepared in case his country calls. Or the Coast Guardsman patrolling our coasts and waterways in weather conditions we would never venture into.
Most vets have never seen combat in the sense we think of it. But every single solitary one of them has contributed in vital ways to the success of our combat efforts. Without those who support the combat troops, success would impossible. Without the wrench turners, truck drivers, fuel handlers, cooks, clerks and all those like them, the greatest military the world has ever seen is an "also ran."
It doesn't matter what a vet did during his or her service, it matters that he or she chose to serve and do whatever vital job they were assigned to the best of their ability. It isn't about medals, it isn't about glory, it isn't about what they did. It is about the fact that when their country called, they stood up and answered that call. They are all, every one of them, heroes.
To all the military veterans of whatever era out there - Happy Veteran's Day, and thank you for your service. For those of you who know a veteran, now you know why he or she is someone you should know.
"I’ll say, up front, anyone who doubts all veteran’s are heroes need read no further. "
And while Norman Mailer’s service qualifies him as a veteran worthy of respect it does not give him a pass on all subsequent actions. Lee Harvey Oswald was a veteran. Thanks for your service Lee but damnation upon you for your assassination.
As a vietnam vet, I would like to take a moment to wish every American vet a heartfelt THANK YOU. On this veterans day I wish to thank Owlgore for inventing the internet. Our heros in Iraq are not getting the recognition they deserve, but thanks to the internet, there are voices of appreciation that they can hear. When we returned from service, the public condemnation for what we did was deafening. I am sure now that most people appreciated our sacrifice, but they had no voice. The media controlled the narrative and the word was that we were baby killers. As long as there is breath in my body, I will never let that happen again to our service heros.
Once again THANK YOU to the service people, who are the best segment of our society.
All veterans are heros? Even those who are convicted of war crimes, or who commit treason, or shoot officers in the back? Even those who rape local women? ALL veterans?! Yikes. All you have to do is join an organization to become a hero, regardless of what else you might do or not do in your life.
Couldn’t leave the thread alone could you, always like to leave those mental rat droppings don’t you?
Just having fun, Joe. I couldn’t resist McQ’s typical overstatement about "ALL" veterans being heroes. It really sets the bar for herohood low. But at least veterans have their own day to honor their service. What about inner city teachers, defenders of consumers defrauded by powerful corporations,police officers who put their lives on the line every day? I think sometimes people get caught up in this weird mentality that makes it seem like somehow all veterans have done more for society than anyone else. It gets a little over the top sometimes.
What about inner city teachers, defenders of consumers defrauded by powerful corporations,police officers who put their lives on the line every day? I think sometimes people get caught up in this weird mentality that makes it seem like somehow all veterans have done more for society than anyone else. It gets a little over the top sometimes.
Yeah D@mn those pesky veterans, stealing the thunder from all the rest of us...the much more deserving...Yeah I’m sure you really care about those cops...a leftist libertarian???? Here’s an ideer, Doc set up a foundation to thank and reward inner city teachers.
Yeah D@mn those veterans off playing games for the Neo-Cons in a fruitless adventure in the Middle East! Over-the-top...that’s good... over-the-top...the one person that’s over the top is YOU, again just drop those rat T#rds where you care to, eh?
All veterans are heroes? I think not. I’m a veteran (Army 1975-1982) and I’m no hero. It was a peacetime Army, I was a 17 year old high school dropout, and I needed to make a living. It was a way for me to get a start on my own, nothing heroic about it. Sure, I did my job, but if that’s all it takes to be a hero, the term has no meaning.
It was a way for me to get a start on my own, nothing heroic about it. Sure, I did my job, but if that’s all it takes to be a hero, the term has no meaning.
Well did you do your duty? Was it beer and skittles all the time? Ever do your job when you didn’t want to? If you had been called on to go to war would you have gone? Even if your were AG or Finance,you served, your nation...you’re a "hero." Read the Cruel Sea read about heroes, who did very little more than serve, nothing outstanding, no Sink the Bismarck, no U-571, just men who served and suffered. They were heroes.
Wars are won by folks like you and my father. My father never fired a shot in anger. Was a CWO in a logisitics unit, did nothing outstanding, won no medals, and made sure that the people further up the line had the supplies they needed. A nine-to-five job, but take him and millions of others like him away, and like you and ask who would paid, maintained, supported the Audie Murphy’s, the David Hackworths of the US Army?
Heroes aren’t all great humans...I wouldn’t invite every troop in the US Army to my house, trust them with my children, or let them have access to my chequing account, but for their honourable service I give them my thanks.
OK, Joe, I’ll cry uncle. I shouldn’t have commented on this thread, I don’t want to diminish your honor of people like your father on Veteran’s Day. I’ll just let it go at that, and you have my apologies for any offense my tone might have caused.
That such a mental misfit as Erb is teaching our yuts is absolutely horrifying. As he is the majority, it’s no small wonder our yuts have so many problems dealing with reality. As his ilk have been running academia for a couple generations, it’s no small wonder that you see a young fuzzhead and then see his parents in the same mental fog.
Sure, I did my job, and I sure hope I would’ve gone to war if ordered to (although I’ll never really know, will I), but if that’s all it takes to be a hero, then just about everyone and his brother are heroes and the term doesn’t signify very much. I think the guys volunteering now are showing a lot more courage than I was ever called on to demonstrate, and to tell you the truth, I really don’t mind that no one was trying to kill me.
My point is, if you call my service heroic, you’re equating it to what people under fire did, and that’s not right. This isn’t Lake Woebegone, not all the children are above average, and not all of us are heroes. I signed a contract, did a job and got paid for it. The Army and I both lived up to our sides of the contract. I don’t call that heroic, it’s just normal adult life.
I signed a contract, did a job and got paid for it. The Army and I both lived up to our sides of the contract. I don’t call that heroic, it’s just normal adult life.
Yes and no, when you’re working at Mickey Dee’s did you get the opportunity to be crushed and cut in half when you improperly "slave started your MBT?" From what little cadet training I did, did you get, when being an adult, to be wet, mud-covered, and watch the steam rise off your body, thinking that you had to stay in this position for some indeterminate amount of time? Ever get to burn 80 hectares of German forest land after someone said, "Sir what wuld happen if we AIR BURST a WP round?"-that never happened and my friends all swear they don’t don’t know what really started that fire! My point being that it wasn’t just a job...and you did it.
My point is, if you call my service heroic, you’re equating it to what people under fire did,
You held the line, against the Soviet Union and the WTO. You and millions like you. The people of the BRD and Poland who you a huge debt, that simply ignores the debt we in the US owe you. You stood and deterred one of the most EVILLL regimes known to man. Had you not gone, had you not been willing, you and millions others, there would have been no German Miracle, no longest period of European Peace, no Velvet Revolution, no Polish Big Bang. Instead, ALL of Europe would have looked like East Germany. You and yours did more than a job, you saved millions, by serving and doing your duty.
It’s akin to Achilleus isn’t it? The Illiad focuses on Hector and Achilleus and the "heroic fight" between them. Ask yourself this, if there hadn’t been all those other Trojans and Mycenean warriors there, the "Spear carrirs" seldom mnetioned, never noticed by Homer, accept to set the "scene or swell the progress" how long would the Trojan War have lasted? Not long, Hector wouldn’t have lasted a day or Achilleus would have starved or been buried by overwhelming numbers. Those faceless myrmidons performed their duty and won the war for Agememnon, just as much as did Achilleus.
Mayhap you didn’t get to or want to or ever imagined yourself being Audie Murphy, holding the little ’burg of Bonnland aginst overwhelming odds, defeating the "Rogachev Guards". Doesn’t mean your service was any less important. Just as McQ points out, duty, honour, service are what you did, not whether the NYT writes about it or if you get a medal for it. Everyone remembers the reef at Betio, but watch Henrry Fonda in Mr Roberts and see something of the men who ALSO won the War in the Pacific
Hey . . . no mention of the MI guys?
You know of course, the line on the tip of everyone’s tongue about "Military" and "Intelligence" don’t you?
OK, Joe, I’ll cry uncle. I shouldn’t have commented on this thread
Yeah Doc, mayhap you ought NOT....McQ raises the point that not everyone who is a veteran is a COMBAT veteran or a combatant, but that there service is no less honourable for that. And having made that decision to serve honourably, we can call them "heroes"....That has nothing to do with Jimmuh, also a veteran and a hero, or Iraq or foreign adventurism. All you had to do was pass on by, even say, "Yeah I see your point." But no, you had to give us some more of your wisdom.
"I couldn’t resist McQ’s typical overstatement about "ALL" veterans being heroes"
Your idea of fun always seems to involve insulting or provoking people, and making pointless nitpicking corrections for no reason other than your own amusement. Sort of like an obnoxious 12 year old. "Attention must be paid!"
I confess I feel similarly to Joe about my peace-time military service. I’m proud of what I did. I served honorably and I’m confident I did my job and my duty relatively well, as far as that I went. I recognize that the fact I served at all sets me apart from most of my generation and demographic (middle-class, urban, white collar professional, college degree), and I’m proud of that, too. I make no apologies for being an elitist about my military service with folks who haven’t served. If nK had crossed the DMZ when I was with 2ID or 1-52 Avn in Korea, I’m sure I would have done the best I could, maybe even earned hero status. But they didn’t, and I didn’t. After 9/11, as a recent veteran, I was justified to represent my peers in uniform when I advocated for the military as a new student on campus. Now, we have a new and different generation of war veterans whose service happened at a much higher level than mine. That’s due more to circumstance than choice, but it is what it is. They’re the heroes and I don’t belong in that class of honor. An analogy would be like an ex-pro ball player who’s justifiably proud of a career that reached AAA. At the same time, he didn’t get to play in the big leagues.
As far as what Scott Erb said, I agree with him as far as differentiating between military service that is honorable and dishonorable. It’s better to have served than not, but at the same time, it’s worse to be a traitor who betrays the uniform through dishonorable actions (although I’m still ethically undecided about actions that may be defined as dishonorable but may also be necessary to accomplish mission and take care of soldiers on the battlefield).