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Thread: Veterans day

  1. #46
    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ARGENT BRICK View Post
    How did it feel?
    It was a bit cathartic and surprised me. It was the bottled water delivery guy (I've known him for a few years) and I said something about having to work on a holiday and asked him if he was a vet. He said no, but he sometimes regretted it. Then he asked me if I was and thanked me. I told him I didn't want to be thanked for enlisting and also told him he was the first one who ever had. We talked a bit more about times then and times now. He has military folks in his extended family and is aware of how some of us were treated 40 years ago even though he's a young guy.
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  2. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by 36654 View Post
    Who are these people that are against the folks in the mlitary? Are there actually hostile actions and comments? Could you describe the interactions?
    It was a different world when Vietnam was going on. Kids were terrified of getting drafted, many friends who did came home dead or crippled, college campuses were the sites of massive demonstrations against the war, national Guard killed 4 students at Kent State in Ohio, ROTC was getting kicked out of colleges, and anybody wearing a uniform was a symbol of the war and an unwilling scapegoat.
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  3. #48
    Registered User argent brick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 36654 View Post
    Who are these people that are against the folks in the mlitary? Are there actually hostile actions and comments? Could you describe the interactions?

    I don't mean to pry, but I work in the DoD world near a very large University.....with lots of academic - uniformed interaction. Yes, it is two different career paths, but I don't see hostility.
    I don't see soldiers being spit on and called baby killers like in the past, if that is what your asking.

    It is more attitude that action. I have seen it mainly from parents. Mothers mostly. When they find out that you are in the service or pro military things can change in the way you are treated. I guess they consider you or what you represent a threat.
    They seem to have a view that the military is evil because it is going to kill their
    son or daughter if they enlist. Maybe that is what I am seeing.

    It makes a big difference if you have the chance to speak with these parents and explain that they should be proud that their son or daughter has a willingness to step up and protect our country when we use a volunteer army. In the past, when speaking to the parents, I tried to make sure they realize their child has been raised to look at something greater than their own life and that parents and offspring, should both be commended.

    Combine these comments with information and proof that their son or daughter normally has a much greater chance of completing their enlistment and returning home than coming home in a body bag and you are over half way complete on changing the attitude of the parents.

    I have found many times the "military is bad" attitude goes hand in hand with a belief
    that there son or daughter is just a child. "Their baby", if you will. More than once I have presented the concept that life will be easier for the parent if they change the personal view they have of their offspring and that their son has become a young, selfless adult in an age of selfishness.

    If you can get the parent to see that they can proudly hold their high because they have raised a warrior or a defender in our society, chances are you have a convert.

    Of course, some people feel the military is evil, period. Just like some (my sister, for one) think motorcycles, in and of themselves, are bad and should be outlawed. Sometimes, people just don't want to understand.
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  4. #49
    Survivor akbeemer's Avatar
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    36654 compare and contrast. In 1968 when my brother came home from his second tour as an SF officer in Vietnam he had to catch a cab from Travis AFB to a local airport. A man in a business suit saw him sitting in the cab and walked across the street to spit on him through the window. Even when I entered the Army in 1975 and the war was nearly over, I was greeted with shouts of "baby killer" when travelling in in uniform. Move ahead to 1991. I am leading the advance party for my Brigade's return from Iraq. At every stop, including in Sicily, Dublin, Bangor, New York and KC I was greated by crowds of local residents, cheering, providing home made meals and in Dublin my first cold beer in many a long day. My neighborhood held a block party for my family and local kids made small gifts that I still have. The impact of the vial response our vets got back in the 60-70s is hard to understand unless you were exposed to the ignorance that was was so common in those days. Tom and I have a somewhat different response to Veteran's Day largely due to the huge difference in which our efforts were initially recognized. During the Vietnam war the people of our country came to hate the war and revile those they sent, forced to go in many cases, to fight in it even as 300 or more soldiers were dying in-country every week in 1968. Thankfully, today even as support for the current fights has wanned, support for the troops has remained high.
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  5. #50
    Survivor akbeemer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ARGENT BRICK View Post
    It makes a big difference if you have the chance to speak with these parents and explain that they should be proud that their son or daughter has a willingness to step up and protect our country when we use a volunteer army. In the past, when speaking to the parents, I tried to make sure they realize their child has been raised to look at something greater than their own life and that parents and offspring, should both be commended.
    Talked with many a mom and dad as their child was being commissioned. Never met one that felt the nation was worth their child's life. I commissioned my own daughter and I felt the same way. The key point is whether or not parents can bring themselves to believe the nation is worth risking their child's life. Heaven help us if we ever need to raise a truely large military, because the number of those that think the nation is worth the risk seems to be shrinking.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKBeemer View Post
    36654 compare and contrast. In 1968 when my brother came home from his second tour as an SF officer in Vietnam he had to catch a cab from Travis AFB to a local airport. A man in a business suit saw him sitting in the cab and walked across the street to spit on him through the window. Even when I entered the Army in 1975 and the war was nearly over, I was greeted with shouts of "baby killer" when travelling in in uniform. Move ahead to 1991. I am leading the advance party for my Brigade's return from Iraq. At every stop, including in Sicily, Dublin, Bangor, New York and KC I was greated by crowds of local residents, cheering, providing home made meals and in Dublin my first cold beer in many a long day. My neighborhood held a block party for my family and local kids made small gifts that I still have. The impact of the vial response our vets got back in the 60-70s is hard to understand unless you were exposed to the ignorance that was was so common in those days. Tom and I have a somewhat different response to Veteran's Day largely due to the huge difference in which our efforts were initially recognized. During the Vietnam war the people of our country came to hate the war and revile those they sent, forced to go in many cases, to fight in it even as 300 or more soldiers were dying in-country every week in 1968. Thankfully, today even as support for the current fights has wanned, support for the troops has remained high.
    Kevin,

    That was my point. I haven't seen any animosity toward service personnel in decades.
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  7. #52
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    True, thankfully true. My point, though not well made, is that the damage that was done 40 -45 years ago cannot be undone. We lost more men and women in month back then the we have since 2001. People came home badly damaged and were abused again. Some shall be ever suspect of celebrations such as Veterans Day and Memorial Day.
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  8. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKBeemer View Post
    Talked with many a mom and dad as their child was being commissioned. Never met one that felt the nation was worth their child's life. I commissioned my own daughter and I felt the same way. The key point is whether or not parents can bring themselves to believe the nation is worth risking their child's life. Heaven help us if we ever need to raise a truely large military, because the number of those that think the nation is worth the risk seems to be shrinking.
    It's the same as always. If needed a draft would be instituted, just like the Civil War, WW1, WW2, Korea and Vietnam.
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  9. #54
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    I have a somewhat different view of my time in the military. I was enlisted in the U.S. Air Force from April 1966 until December 1972. When I left radar school half of my class of 30 went to Southeast Asia. The other half went to Norad radar sites in North America. I was sent to Iowa, then North Dakota, then Alaska, and eventually North Carolina. In Alaska I was at a remote radar site. In the other locations I was at small radar sites with at most about 100 airmen plus their dependents in communities of a few thousand local folks.

    Not once during those years at the height of the Vietnam War was I ever mistreated or insulted because I was in the armed forces, whether in uniform or not. I certainly was well aware of the anti-war and anti-military feelings elsewhere but never saw it personally.

    I have never been thanked for being a veteran. I suppose this is because most people have no reason to know I am a veteran. I know many people who served 20 or more years and retired from one or the other branches of the armed forces. They are all rightfully proud of their time in the military.

    At the same time, I must also say that I am deeply saddened by a number of people I know who served two years, or maybe four years, forty or more years ago, and that seems to have been the absolute highlight of their lives.

    Being enlisted in the Air Force was something I did once. I'm proud of it. I was very good at what I did. But getting married, having two children, having two grandchildren, riding 800,000 miles on my BMWs, a 32 year career in community development, and a few other things are the highlights of my life; not the few years I was in the Air Force.

    Like everybody else in the armed forces, I went where I was sent and did what I was trained to do. In some ways I had it easy. But I leave it to historians and pundits wiser than me to guess whether it was more important to locate, identify, and interfere with Soviet intelligence and jamming flights during the cold war or to fight the North Vietnamese and others in Southeast Asia. I certainly do know which was the more pleasant duty.
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  10. #55
    Survivor akbeemer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    But I leave it to historians and pundits wiser than me to guess whether it was more important to locate, identify, and interfere with Soviet intelligence and jamming flights during the cold war or to fight the North Vietnamese and others in Southeast Asia. I certainly do know which was the more pleasant duty.
    Not to mention tracking Santa's progress every Christmas Eve.
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  11. #56
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKBeemer View Post
    Not to mention tracking Santa's progress every Christmas Eve.
    You bet! Only a few of us ever got to do that!
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
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  12. #57
    Registered User argent brick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKBeemer View Post
    Talked with many a mom and dad as their child was being commissioned. Never met one that felt the nation was worth their child's life. I commissioned my own daughter and I felt the same way. The key point is whether or not parents can bring themselves to believe the nation is worth risking their child's life. Heaven help us if we ever need to raise a truly large military, because the number of those that think the nation is worth the risk seems to be shrinking.
    You enlisted about the same time as I did. Yes, I would agree, times were different then, and the attitude towards our service members is much better now.

    I don't know of any parent that would feel that our country is worth the life of their child. I would question it in the case of my daughter.

    When our politicians decided to eliminate the draft in the mid 70's, I felt that it was going to come back and bite us in the rear end. I still feel that way. It is only a matter of time. The argument that we will have mandatory service reinstated when really needed is a weak one. Every politician knows that bringing back the draft is political suicide.

    I can't help but feel that many parents have emotionally detached themselves and their children from the duty to serve our country because of the choice of our government to remove mandatory service. Maybe that is why I am seeing the types of reactions from parents that I wrote about earlier today.

    If we are truly detaching ourselves from the duties to serve our country, I fear that
    it will get much more difficult to gather a standing army for defense when needed.
    True, we do have the National Guard and the Reserves, but mobilizing them it is a short term solution. Pulling them collectively into service holds the possibility of damaging our society because many that serve also hold jobs that may be critical in our communities. Police officers, firefighters, doctors, and such. Also, many who serve as reserve forces, risk huge financial losses if deployed.

    The idea of defending our country is not in question here, however, the question if we are collectively loosing the will to defend our land, our families and our freedoms is. Is personal safety becoming more important that personal sacrifice?
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  13. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by NavyDad View Post
    A huge THANK YOU from our house to all who served. Have a nice Veterans Day.


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  14. #59
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKBeemer View Post
    True, thankfully true. My point, though not well made, is that the damage that was done 40 -45 years ago cannot be undone. We lost more men and women in month back then the we have since 2001. People came home badly damaged and were abused again. Some shall be ever suspect of celebrations such as Veterans Day and Memorial Day.
    Kevin,

    I understand the anger from those that experienced it, but those guys are now, at least, in their early sixties. However, many younger guys want to claim that experience and it just doesn't jive with what I've seen.

    Relative to those that are suspicious of Memorial and Veterans Day celebrations, I say they are wise. There's always lots of people that want to honor heroes and have a readily available side agenda. But, if you've ever done a memorial service for someone that died in Vietnam, you'll suddenly realize how long ago the late sixties were and how little time a 19~21 year old has to leave a "mark" on a place. Twelve years of school and then to the service........a few school report cards, perhaps a yearbook, an enlistment photograph and, perhaps, a few medals. That's about it.

    So, in my opinion, honoring the service of veterans is a good thing, but our goal should be to have no need of Memorial Day.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 36654 View Post
    I understand the anger from those that experienced it, but those guys are now, at least, in their early sixties.
    I'm not angry, never was. The anger was incoming.
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