Tag Archives: commentary

From S. King (U.S. Army Veteran, 8 years)

To my Brothers and Sisters in arms,

I want you to know that I genuinely care about you and think of you daily. We as a nation have been at war for over a decade, and many, if not most of you have pulled combat tours. It is a brave and respectful profession, and I know you don’t always get the individual praise and acknowledgement that you deserve.

The best advice that I can share with you, is that if things are getting mentally hard to handle and you need some of the weight lifted from your shoulders, reach out and talk to someone rather than trying to carry the entire burden alone. This may be hard to do at first, but I promise it will be worth it. The most important thing that I learned is that you cannot take care of anyone else until you take care of yourself first.

I am happy and grateful to be alive today, living a more peaceful life than I ever imagined possible. It has surely been a struggle living with my anger and service injuries, but in recent years, I have quit smoking, am educating myself on healthy food choices, am exercising as much as my body will let me, and have finally learned that happiness is a choice. How I react to situations is a choice. It is a new concept for me, but I am beginning to see things in a whole new light.

The only reason that I am sharing this is that I want you to know that when things feel like they are so broken, so out of alignment, and you think they will never be “right” again, hang in there and reach out and talk to someone. Know that you have choices and that YOU ARE A SURVIVOR. You are not expendable, you truly do matter, and you are not alone.

In my eyes, we are all brothers and sisters…we are family, regardless of branch of service or rank. Every day I think of our country’s veterans, the brothers lost by my side, and those of you who are currently serving, including my nephew and my two boys. I cannot look at Old Glory flying in the wind without thinking of you.

I am grateful and thankful for every one of you.

This We’ll Defend,

S. King

S. King

S. King

 

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From Kip Y. (Salesperson)

Thank you for all of your support and for everything you do.  I know you feel like no one thinks about you but we do.  Thank you for your help and all your sacrifices!

Kip

Kip

From Sandra G. (Grandmother, Age 75)

While waiting for a flight at the airport my friend and I noticed five young men, all wearing prosthesis on both legs, and they were wearing jackets with USA Hockey written on them.  At this same time the Olympics were going on in Sochi and the USA/Russia hockey game was being televised.  We were all watching the game and from their comments it was evident they were very knowledgeable about hockey.

When we were called to board the aircraft I was fortunate enough to be seated beside one of the young men.  We greeted each other and being a curious person, I asked about the jackets they were wearing.  He said they were on the Sledge Hockey team and had been training at the Olympic Center for the past month.  They were on their way to North Carolina for more practice and were then going  traveling to Sochi to participate in the ParaOlympics.

My next question was if he had been in the military and his answer was “yes”.  His face broke into the biggest, brightest smile when I thanked him for fighting for our country.  Such a small gesture brought this beautiful smile.  He proceeded to show and explain the different apparatus the team uses when playing a game.  As the conversation ended, he took a nap and I read my book.  Upon his awakening I asked for the names of the young men he was traveling with and I told him we would be watching for them on TV.

As I deplaned, I thanked him again for his service to our country and with a thumbs up said “Go USA”.  Once again I received his beautiful smile.  I will never forget those young men and Josh certainly left a part of himself in my heart.

Those young man on the plane reminded me yet again of the boundless capacity of human beings to triumph over devastating events.  Josh represented America wearing his military uniform and now represents us wearing his hockey uniform.  I  later found out he had served in the Marine Corps and couldn’t help thinking about their saying, “improvise, adapt and overcome.” What an amazing story of service and devotion to country and what a wonderful example of how to “stay in the fight” for the rest of us.

Sandy G.

Our Mission

To compile letters from American citizens (both with and without a military background) to our veterans which will be published in book form and distributed in the community, thereby providing a unique way to acknowledge and support veterans who might otherwise never know that the work they did on our behalf is appreciated.

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” (William Arthur Ward)

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From Pete T. (Manager, Age 47)

When considering something as profound and noble as sacrifice on the field of battle, I was very pleased to find some familiar quotations from Edmund Burke.  He lived from 1729 to 1797, was born Irish, served in the British parliament, was a supporter of the colonists in the American revolution, and is considered to be a philosophical founder of modern conservative thinking.  He had a number of important things to say about tyranny, liberty, freedom and conflict.  Although he said these things more than 200 years ago, they are just as pertinent today. Here are a few that I think relate to our men and women serving (and who have served) in the armed forces.

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

“It is a general popular error to suppose the loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for its welfare.”

“All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.”

“Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it.”

“Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.”

Pete

From John S. (Lt. USNR, Age 85)

To all of you guys and gals who served in our armed forces,

Thank you for all that you did on our behalf and what you gave for the well being of our country!

As an Ole Guy now, I was one of you, 65 years ago.  I served in the Navy on a “Tin Can” (Destroyer) during our conflict with North Korea.  Our main assignment was anti-submarine duty….we escorted “capital ships” (mostly aircraft carriers for security).  Secondarily, we were deployed to patrol Wonson Harbor (North Korea), communicating with Navy, Marine and Air Force pilots that were injured or had damaged aircraft over North Korea.  We advised them of our position and directed them to head for the ocean where we would pick them up thereby helping them avoid capture which was a strong possibility if they went down in North Korea. We took a couple of hits during this action but sailed on (trying to avoid deadly floating mines).

I hope that you young guardians of America know how much your present endeavors are appreciated and wish you the best.

John S. Lt. USNR

John

Linda L. (Finance Analyst, Age 50)

You are brave. You are my heroes. I’ve never been concerned with politics, because I LIVE IN AMERICA! America has changed. America needs more people like you. Our country is no longer as free, but I thank God that it is still the home of some that are brave. As long as there are brave men and women willing to stand up for what they believe in, this country may stand a chance. I have started to voice my opinion. I may be able to support our country, by fighting for our liberties, after all. You have enlightened me. Thanks for all you do and for showing me the way.

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From Kirk S. (Business Owner, Age 57)

I wish I could find a stronger word that describes the true meaning of “sacrifice”, as it relates to what you gave: most notably the time away from your family and loved ones, watching your kids grow up in front of your eyes, waking up to peaceful serenity and just enjoying some of the small and basic enjoyments in life that many of us take for granted.

Many of you risked your lives every day in areas around the world protecting us from the true evil that still exists. You all define the simple words most of us really don’t deserve to use in comparison to how you use them: words like honor, integrity, leadership, dignity and dedication.

I have a wife and two kids (which are two Huskies). Our lives are comfortable and precious – thanks to you! Your selfless service is greatly appreciated and respected. We owe you our deepest gratitude.

For the very Freedom you provide – Thank you!

Kirk S.

 

Kirk

 

From Barry T. (Retired Toolmaker, age 67)

A salute to all our troops,

Here’s one American who is behind you all the way.

This is a quote from Jeff Cooper of Gunsite fame, that I think may be relevant to those of you who served or are currently serving in hot zones.

“Having been mildly annoyed by the commonplace salutation, “Have a nice day!” for some years now, we were delighted recently when, after filling our tank and taking our money, our local friendly fuel dealer waved at us and said, “Shoot straight!” We intend to adopt that expression, and we hope that our friends will too.”

This ‘Shoot Straight’ may also replace the admonition to ‘Be Careful’.

I offer this in memory of my dad Carl, who had been there and done that in WW II.

Carl in Oran N

With all the respect you deserve,

God bless our troops!

Barry T.

From Tina C. (Nail Technician, age 32)

My parents came to America because of the war.  They had to plan and slip away quietly.  In those days, you weren’t allowed to leave Vietnam.  If the government found out, they would put you in jail so they had to do it in secret.  They left everything.  One night they quietly went down to the river to a boat.  The boat took them to another island and then from there they came to America.  They wanted a better future for themselves and for me and my brother.  Education was important to them.  My father became a citizen and I became a citizen about two years ago.

The day I became a citizen I was very excited.  I wasn’t nervous because I know American history.  Some people were nervous but not me.  I had a lot of knowledge and I studied.  When I was sworn in they played a song, The Star-Spangled Banner.  It made me cry because I was happy and proud.

I think our troops are like heroes.  They protect us and they keep us safe. They work very hard but very quietly.  We thank them for helping us, for everything they do for us.

Who will protect America if we don’t have them?

Photo to come...
Photo to come…

 

From Sage W. (Student, age 16)

To our troops,

“The greatest glory of a free-born people is to pass that freedom on to their children.”  (William Havard)

When the Founding Fathers created our nation they envisioned freedom for American citizens.  Thanks in large part to our troops their vision of a free America has stood the test of time.  It’s endured through the years, allowing the individual liberties Americans are blessed with.

Your hard work has allowed me to inherit a great nation.  I see you as role models for selfless acts, bravery and honor.  Thank you.

Sage

S.W.

From Lynn C. (Academic Editor For A Research University)

Thoughts About Veterans Day

I recently told a friend that I don’t need any sort of special day to remember our veterans.  I told him I carry gratitude in my heart every single day.  I’m delighted that there is a day of national recognition however.  It focuses people’s attention and hopefully the public celebration leaves some lingering appreciation in the hearts of American citizens regarding what it means to serve…what it means to be willing to offer yourself up to something bigger than the preservation/protection of a single life (your own).

It’s that willingness that I so admire and appreciate.  All through American history good men have stepped forward, giving of their time, their comfort, their peace of mind and potentially their lives as payment for the price of freedom.  They are who stands between darkness and our ability to live out the credo “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

In absolute terms they are the treasure of our country.  They are where the wealth of America springs from.  That’s not an exaggeration.  Without them, America is just a lovely idea that could never really be.  From the sailor who stands in the cold scraping and painting the ship for the hundredth time, to the administrative assistant, to the cook, to the pilot, to the special operator – every single one of them is deserving of our thanks and praise.

God bless our troops, our veterans and God bless America!

me