Veterans Day 2018

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NES would like to thank all this great Nation's veterans. Happy Veterans Day!

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timbo

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I'll be heading down to my next door neighbor here soon, the NH State Veteran's Cemetery, to visit the thousands of men and women interred there. It's a holier place than any cathedral could possibly hope to be. It's just a short walk for me through the woods. Too bad the politicians show up to pontificate and sully what is otherwise a sacred day.

I have a few friends buried there and I have purchased a plot for my wife and I for when it's our time. I also have two friends names on the Viet Nam KIA/MIA Memorial there. It never fails to bring tears and memories when I see their names etched in that block of granite. It's hard to believe it's been 50 years this year that my friends Kenny and Ben were KIA.

Thank you to all here that gave part of your life to serve your country (and also to those that may still be serving, of course).

Bless you all...
 

minininjer

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Happy Veteran's Day to all of our Veterans, especially the ones I know and love. Yes, you people :cool: Thank all y'all for the sacrifices you have made and continue to make.
 

babygorilla

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Taking a future Marine to the range today to celebrate the freedom secured by our vets. He leaves for boot camp shortly, and out of all his parents friends I'm the only pro-gun conservative, and his parents have a hard time understanding why he ain't more big city liberal like them.
 

timbo

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after standing out there at the Veteran's Cemetery for almost an hour and a half, I think I know why an armistice was called on this day. No one wanted to fight through another northern European winter. Damn it was cold out there.
 
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John McCrae 1872-1918

In Flanders Field

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
 

timbo

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John McCrae 1872-1918

In Flanders Field

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.


I remember having to memorize this when I was in 3rd grade. Of course, I didn't understand the gravity of the words until much later in life while I was in the Navy when I visited several WWI and II European Cemeteries where US soldiers are buried.
 

Paul455

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"All gave some, some gave all"

Thanks and God Bless to all of our veterans.

They are the reason we live the way we do.
 
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Len-2A Training

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Thanks to all our Veterans. We attended our town's Veterans Day event and then went to visit the Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall.
 

KBCraig

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As a friend of mine wrote a few years ago:

Today is Veteran’s Day. I am a Veteran.

I do not need your thanks or appreciation.

I must disclaim up front, I am at this moment up at 6:30am, about to go to the Bob Evan’s Restaurant to take them up of the ‘free hotcakes’ Veteran’s Day offering, because I am a frugal man. Later on today, I’ll be taking advantage of the culinary largesse of another restaurant (or two, or three..). I also do not presume to speak on behalf of any other veteran.

When I say, “I do not need your thanks or appreciation”, I mean this: The symbolism spawned by this federal holiday verges on emptiness. The thanks are as perfunctory and rote as the reflexive “God Bless You” after a sneeze, or the “You Too” we mutter under our breaths after some retail robot sends us off with a overly chipper “Have a nice day.”

I don’t intend to be mean spirited, or to demean those who express truly heartfelt gratitude, but the collective societal action on this day bothers me. It has taken me a while to figure out precisely what it is that bothers me about it all, but I think it is this:

I see a collective sense of guilt dating back to the aftermath of the Vietnam War where members of our society were drafted, and by threat of sanction by the State, forced to go and fight strangers in a strange land and afterwards return to face a significant minority of the populace that treated them as criminals, baby killers, murderers…

And like too many societal reactions to negative trends, attitudes boomeranged too far to the opposite end of the scale to the point where we infantilize our veterans. We infantilize them because we seem to remove from them any responsibility for their choices to sign up and serve. No one born after 1952/3 has been drafted and forced to serve. Our current crop of veterans all volunteered for various reasons. Reasons that span from free education, travel, patriotism, family tradition, economic necessity and other motivations, but none of them forced by the authority of the State.

I knew what I signed up for, and I gambled that the trade of my time and service (and potentially much more) in exchange for education and travel would ultimately end up in my favor. (It was a wash. I was in the Guard during the first Gulf War and volunteered to go, and in a phase of youthful stupidity, I wasted the free educational benefits with too much drinking and endless nights playing Dungeons and Dragons instead of studying). Many of us took the same gamble and most of us came out even or ahead of the game. Some of us lost that gamble, a few in a very big way.

So what’s my point? I signed up for a job. I did that job. I wasn’t duped and I wasn’t used. And, in point of fact, there are firemen, EMT’s, police and even postal carriers that experience more potential danger on a daily basis than I did in a decade+ in federal uniformed service. That many if not most of us veterans (at least in my first hand, anecdotal experience) are doing okay. We made our deals for service, and for good or ill, have reaped the benefits and/or consequences and have continued to move forward in life and overcome the obstacles before us.

There are veterans that *do* need your thanks, and do need it for more than just this day, more than the duration of a parade, or the few moments you open you wallet or mouth. Veterans that do need your thanks also need your help and often need it *daily*. Some, hopefully, just for long enough to get healed or whole, or rebalanced…. Though some will need your help for the rest of their lives.

So, instead of focusing on today, and on those trite well wishes and thank-you’s that will fade and be forgotten tomorrow, do this:

Press your elected officials to keep the promises made to veterans. Make them work to improve VA medical care, to streamline processes that keep veterans away from aid and treatment for PSTD and physical disabilities. Press them to work to shorten what can be year-long waits for help. Help bring down the incredibly high suicide rate for veterans. Hire veterans who need jobs instead of treating them as untouchable PTSD laden balls of explosive rage. There are disabled vets that need help every day, not just thanks today. Find a soldier serving somewhere (anysoldier.com) and write a letter or send a care package.

Do one thing in the preceding paragraph every month for the next decade, if not the rest of your lives.

That would be a meaningful thank you. Otherwise, just save your breath, I won’t mind.

This has been an expression of my personal opinion. I’m sure some of you will disagree, some vehemently…. Have at it. I will not debate it though. Thank vets in the ways you best see fit, and I shall do likewise.
 

MAGG

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spent the morning down in Bourne with my sister and brothers...we peeled back some sod at my dads grave and I dumped in some ashes of his dog Rocky and his cat Big Boy.....now they are all together again....thanks to all the NES vets and vets world wide
 
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fitzknny

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John McCrae 1872-1918

In Flanders Field

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.


As a little kid in the 50's we had to learn this poem . . never meant much till I got older and came home from VN . . . now when I hear it or read it the room always gets awful "dusty" . God Bless Us All. . .
 

timbo

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In response to KBCraig's post above (very well said, by the way), I used to not know what to say when someone thanked me for my service...I now say "Thank you, it was the best job I've ever had". It usually takes people aback where they will ask why I loved serving my country. Many times I'll get a response like "I never thought of it quite that way". It usually opens up interesting conversations.
 
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