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Old 10-31-2010, 02:06 AM   #1
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HONOR THEM... not me NOV 11

HONOR THEM, not me...

Back in September of 1958 down in Raleigh N.C. I and about twenty five guys wrote Uncle Sam a blank check. We voluntarily ''signed this check'' without an amount in the center line. We all signed the check without hesitation and with the full knowledge that Uncle Sam could fill in the ''amount on the check'' and cash it without our permission or even our knowledge. We knew full well that the check could be made in the amount as seen fit by Uncle Sam up to and including our lives if necessary.
Before and after me, millions of men and women have signed this same check so I was not a brave or a generous person willing to give my life for this country if necessary. I signed up for four years in the U.S. Navy because my father had been a ''Navy man'' and I wanted to see if I could ''measure up'' to the standards he lived by in WWII.

I went thru boot camp up in Great Lakes MI. and I graduated from radio school in Norfolk, Va and served aboard the USS North Hampton, CLC1 for about 30 months. In that time I crossed the ''big pond'' several times and saw a lot of the world. I was stationed outside Washington, DC for my last year in the Navy at a rapid communications relay station in Cheltenham, Md. In my complete service to this great nation Uncle Sam never chose to write much on the amount line of my ''check'' except maybe 30 days at sea, bad milk, no eggs and questionable fruit. In short, I had it easy by most standards. I became a 'veteran'' in September, 1962 and never thought much about my service to this nation.
It is now Veterans Day and this great nation honors the Veterans that have served this great nation.

My first honor to Veterans is to those who did not come home alive. To the Vets that gave the ultimate sacrifice. To the Vets that lost their lives in servitude to this great nation. To the first Vets on Concord Green, Valley Forge and to the thousand times a thousand men that gave their lives to build this nation from a wilderness. I honor all the men and women also that fought in all the wars from the Revolutionary War, the war of 1812, the Civil War when this great nation tried to tear its self apart. These people signed the check and our nation cashed it with their lives on the ''amount line''. These are the true hero's, the true Veterans worth honoring this day. Honor them..... not me.
The first world war when so many young men ''signed the check'' and perished in a gas attack or were killed by machine gun fire. For the ones that were literally blown to pieces by artillery fire and they were buried in pieces in a grave marked ''Known only to God''. These are true Veterans. The ones in Flanders Fields and a hundred other military cemeteries on some distant shore. Most people don't understand the fact that in our world wars the only ground we have ever claimed was enough earth to bury our dead. These are the true hero's, the true Veterans worth honoring …Honor them..not me.

We still have living Veterans from the great Second World War and these men and women are to be honored for their service and sacrifice to this great nation. My father served in the Navy, South Pacific theater during the war. He, like thousands more were combat Veterans that put their lives on the line and were lucky enough to come home after the war. Those men were the true hero's and true Veterans worth honoring....Honor them..not me...

Occasionally I have the great honor and privilege of talking with a World War 2 Veteran. I personally have known men that flew over Germany in a B17 bomber and men that stormed the beach at Normandy on D-Day, June 6th. Brave Marines that fought in the South Pacific and saw the flag raised on Iwo Jima. I have known soldiers that marched from Normandy to the Rhine River. Sailors that have served on the surface fleet in all the ocean seas and sailors under the sea in our submarine forces in World War Two. Brave men that signed the check and waited for Uncle Sam to cash it. The brave men that were killed in action on some far flung shore or buried at sea in an ocean so far from home. The ''missing in action'' that will never be found. God bless them each and every one. These are the true Veterans that have earned our praise and honor this day .... Honor them ….. not me....

We should honor the men and women of the ''Forgotten War''. The ''police action'' that took so many of our bravest and finest in all our services and armed forces. A war of no consequence and no resolve. The blank check was signed by all and many that did not come home again. Korea, the war that accomplished nothing and is still technically being fought because no peace treaty has ever been signed. May God bless all the Veterans of that war for their determination and their bravery against overwhelming odds. These Veterans are the true hero's and they should be honored on this Veterans Day . Honor them........not me..

I have the great privilege of knowing and calling friend men and women that served in Vietnam. Men that slogged the rice paddies and walked the jungle. Women that nursed the wounded and cried when some 19 year old kid didn't make it. Medevac pilots that landed in a hot LZ with no thought of their personal safety. The ''Brown Water Navy'' that served on the Mekong and fought an enemy that was almost never seen. The brave Marines that fought so hard for a hill top that would be abandoned the next day. The Soldiers that spent weeks on patrol fighting endless bugs and boredom only to be ambushed by forces usually ten times their numbers. Brave Air Force and Navy pilots that flew to Hanoi and suffered great restrictions as to where and when they could attack the enemy. They flew the ''slot'' to Hanoi with one hand tied behind them and the enemy knew when and where they would be coming and the enemy made a shooting gallery out of them. Navy men that served at sea in support of our ground troops. Men that worked 24/7 to be sure our men and women on the ground had what they needed and when it was needed. Brave Marine pilots that flew close air support for our Soldiers and Marines and Huey pilots in their thousands doing the job that put them in harms way everyday. Many thousands “signed the check and Uncle Sam cashed over FIFTY THOUSAND for the full amount'' These were the true hero's and the Veterans that should be honored this day...Honor them....not me...

I honor all the Veterans of the ''little wars'' you have fought. Panama and Granada and a hundred other ''stick fights'' too numerous to mention. Little battles that could leave you just as dead or just as wounded and crippled as a battle involving thousands. Tiny ''actions'' with restrictions that tied one hand behind your back and gave the enemy full access to all force needed to eliminate you.
''No Fire Zone'', ''No Shoot Zone'', ''No Air support Zone”,''No Spitting Zone'', ''No Nothing Zone'' ''No Ugly faces Zone '', ''No rude gesturing Zone'', zones of combat where the enemy can do anything and you had to get permission from up the chain of command to ''pee'' in their direction... God bless you for your service. You are the true hero's and the true Veterans to be honored this day......Honor them...not me....

To all the service men and women of the present day Armed Forces and the Veterans of Desert Shield, Desert Storm and the consequence of Iraq and Afghanistan. Gods greatest blessing on you for your service because unlike other conflicts, you guys volunteered to ''Sign the blank Check''. God bless you for your sacrifice in being so far from home for so long and they you volunteer to go back again and again. I have talked to you and you have told me that the reason you ''go back'' is that you feel that it is the right thing to do because you feel are helping people that they need help. It does me proud to see such fine young people volunteering for all our services in a time of war and great danger to yourselves and you keep volunteering for another tour. Would that I could have that courage if called upon. I have fought back tears when I talk to some of you that have lost limbs to I.A.D.'s and firefights over there. Amazingly, you simply say that the real hero's were your friends that you served with over there. The buddy that got killed or maimed really bad. Buddies that gave their life to save yours. You say that they are the hero's and deserve the honors on this Veterans day.......... God bless these service people for their service on this day...... Honor them....not me

I have walked among the crosses at Arlington and cried at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier when a veteran placed a wreath on the grave. He was missing a leg but he was still one hell of a man.
I have read that there are some Three Hundred Thousand graves in Arlington Cemetery and this does not count the cemeteries in Europe from WWI and WWII and in the South Pacific from WWII. Literally millions of our brave service men and women have given their lives over most of this world to insure freedom for someone besides ourselves.
To me these are the ''True Veterans'' that should be honored this day. I have talked to many persons in the military now or that has served in the military and they will tell you that they served with hero's but they are not a hero. They will tell you about brave men that lost their life in service to this country and how they should be honored as hero's. I spoke to soldier with a chest full of ribbons and he told me how brave his friends were. I asked him about the ribbons and he said he wore them to honor fallen friends and he didn't feel like he deserved the ribbons. He said they should have been given to his buddies for their valor, not him. ….Honor him.....not me....

November 11th is Veterans Day. A day we honor our service men and women that have defended this nation and are now defending this nation. We honor the living and most of all we honor the dead that have given the ultimate sacrifice for this nation. This day we will stand and watch parades of marching bands and men and women in uniform from all branches of service. Old men wearing garrison hats with V.F.W. Stitched on the side and men in wheel chairs with the American flag taped to one of the back posts on the chair. Today let us all thank our veterans of all services for their sacrifice and their servitude to this great nation. Thank them for giving us a nation that is the guiding light for the world and a nation where we are free. Thank them for everything we have for without our veterans we would have nothing. All that we now have would have been taken away a long time ago if it were not for the Veterans that willingly ''signed the blank check''. May God bless our veterans and let us honor them this day. Thank them for signing the blank check and handing it to Uncle Sam to cash as he saw fit. Last year I stood at a parade and cheered for our vets and saluted our colors. Someone will ask me was I am a Veteran and I told them yes but the true hero's were marching in front of us. The true hero's are buried in Arlington and a thousand cemeteries around the world. Salute them and honor them for they are hero's........ not me.
If you remember nothing else from this writing please remember this …


Nuff said I guess.... God bless our Vets.....

HONOR THEM, not me

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Old 10-31-2010, 04:44 AM   #2
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Amen Seejay, we are both retired from the USAF and want to thank everyone who has served, whether across the pond or here in the states, all of you supported this great country in one way or another. God Bless.

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Old 10-31-2010, 06:19 AM   #3
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Well put Seejay.
As a former Marine I agree 100%.
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Old 10-31-2010, 01:20 PM   #4
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Old 10-31-2010, 06:55 PM   #5
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God Bless them and God Bless you!
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Old 11-01-2010, 09:12 PM   #6
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Way to go, Seajay> That put a lump in my throat.
I feel the same way, my buddies were the Heros, not me!

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Old 11-01-2010, 09:56 PM   #7
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Nicely put Seajay. I always thank all Veterans and Active Duty for their service to this Great Country.
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Old 11-11-2010, 06:31 AM   #8
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Heading for the bridge

In a couple hours I will be on the bridge over I-40 waving a flag that is longer than I am tall. I will be doing this to honor fellow Veterans of every color and stripe and service. I will do this especially to honor our Fallen Veterans from all the wars and all the actions we have participated in since the founding of this great nation. I do this to honor them, not myself. Yes, i am a veteran of the U.S. NAVY but I will wave these colors to honor the true Veterans that I so admire for their dedication and years of service to this great nation. We all know men and women that have given a large portion of their lives in service to this country. I will wave these colors in honor of those that have been wounded and have shed blood in the service of this great nation and I shall wave the colors very high for those that made the ultimate sacrifice for this great nation. I feel that these are the true veterans and the true hero's that this Veterans day is dedicated to. My great wish is that I can show the colors for most of this day but I fear that the arms and legs and back just ain't what it use to be and so long as the Darvoset holds out, I will be there with the colors flying high in honor of our Veterans. This I would ask of each of you today....
If you see a person in uniform or an old man like me wearing a ball cap with VETERAN on the front, shake their hand and say THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE TO THIS GREAT NATION. GOD BLESS YOU AND MAY HE KEEP YOU SAFE.


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