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Old 09-03-2010, 05:50 AM   #1
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A tiny worthless grain of sand

One small grain of sand


This is the second RV chat network I have participated in since I have owned a motor home and I am always surprised at the number of vets on these networks. Coastguard personnel, Sailors, Marines, Army, Air Force and our reservists for all branches of service to this great nation.
Veterans from WW 2, Korea, the forgotten war, Nam, one of our longest wars and the ''little fights'' like Granada, Panama, and a hundred others in which our men and women have gave of themselves in service of this great nation.
Iraq, and Afghanistan and too many others to list in this writing. All gave some. Some gave all and did not get to come home alive. Some came home incomplete, missing an arm or a leg from a road side bomb, God send them a special blessing
I am my fathers son. My father was Navy, WW2 South Pacific theater, combat vet and I am so proud of his service to this nation. As I have stated before, I would not come up to his shoe tops as a sailor or make a good pimple on his butt as a fighting man. I served when this nation was at peace and I consider myself a tiny grain of worthless sand in an ocean of brave men and women that have put it on the line for this great country. Veterans that served in the great Second World War in the Pacific and Europe. Fighting men that stormed the beaches in North Africa and Normandy. Vets that served with Mark Clark and George “Blood and Guts'' Patton. Vets that froze at Bastion and died in the desert of heat stroke. Men that bombed Germany in a B-17 with a life expectancy of four missions. Brave men that are ''still on patrol'' of our sub service in that great war. Brave men that died at their posts when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and the thousands and thousands of men and women on both battle fronts that gave their lives that we might be free. I have seen World War Two vets on these forums but their numbers shrink every day. God bless you WW2 vets for your service.
Brave men that lived to ''tell the tale'' like Audi Murphy, Ira Hayes, and a thousand others that were decorated for bravery and then completely forgotten after the war. In this great flood tide of hero's I am not worthy to be counted as a grain of sand.
I see vets on here that served in Korea. This was our ''police action'', our ''forgotten war'' in which so many died in the freezing cold and on a thousand forgotten battle fields when the enemy came at you in ''waves'' and you would literally melt the barrel of a 30 caliber Browning machine gun to stop the onslaught. You didn't quit and you didn't run and you held your ground. Would that I could have this much courage if called upon. Forgotten men and women from a forgotten war. God bless you Korea Vets and thank you for your service.
Lots of vets on here that served in Vietnam. This was the war that accomplished nothing. This was the ''war'' so we could make a ''people free'' and all these people wanted was a bowl of rice and a place to live. I have talked to vets on here that did three tours in Nam and Vets that left ''parts of themselves'' in Nam. Vets that lost friends from ''friendly fire'' and stupid errors. I have talked to Vets that know people that are still M.I.A and will probably never be heard from or ever be found. Mere words can not express my gratitude to these men and women that served because they were told to serve. You went where you were told to go and you did what you were told to do and you did not run away like so many did ….......
God bless our vets from Nam and I thank them for their service.
God bless our service personnel that have served in the ''tiny wars'' like Panama and Granada and the hundreds of ''stick fights'' we have engaged in concerning the past few years. I think of the personnel on the USS Cole and brave Marines in the Marine barracks that was bombed without warning and their only ''wrong'' was being there when and where they were told. I think of our brave personnel serving in Iraq and how they gave of themselves to insure the freedom of a smaller nation of Kuwait and the great flood tide of all services that saw that Sadam was overthrown and a form of liberty was injected into Iraq. I think of the co-ordination of all our service personnel working together like a well oiled machine to ''get the job done'' with the greatest dispatch.
I have been to Arlington and walked the rows of crosses of military personnel that have given all in the service of this great nation. Many times I would stop and touched a cross and feel the connection with that person that served and gave all for this country. Many times I would stand and feel unworthy to be in the presence of such greatness of fine men and women that made the ultimate sacrifice for this nation. A tiny grain of worthless sand in a mighty ocean of hero's.
I have stood and wept at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier during the changing of the guard and realized that in that tomb is a representative part of every Soldier, Sailor, Marine, Airman, Coastguards man and every Reservist and every person that has ever served in the defense of this great nation from Concord Green to a lonely outpost in Afghanistan. These ''Unknown Soldiers'' represent all of us and we are all a tiny part of them as they sleep in that great tomb in Arlington Cemetery.
I see our young men and women today and I wonder if I was ever that young when I served in the U.S. Navy so long ago. I see them walking proud and it fills my heart with joy and pride to know that I am was tiny grain of sand in the un-ending ocean of service personnel that has kept and are keeping this great nation free.
God bless our troops of every stripe and color and bring them home safe and soon because we miss them.
God bless our vets for without them, we would not be free..........
God bless those who sit and wait as they also serve.....
God bless that ocean of hero's and this tiny worthless grain of sand..


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Old 09-03-2010, 06:27 PM   #2
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Seejay that is most eloquent! I doubt anyone could put their feelings into print any better. Thank you for composing and posting it where it may be read by many others.
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Old 09-03-2010, 06:43 PM   #3
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Thank you Seajay from the bottom of my heart. Like you, I served in the US Navy in the Viet Nam era. I never served close to the fighting, but I am proud to have served and supported all our troops who were in the fighting.
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Old 09-06-2010, 11:27 PM   #4
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SeaJay,

Thank you, well said, I am probably not the first to suggest that the real heroes that defended our country never came home alive, most never left the battlefields.
I served as a combat engineer in Vietnam and I know of 2 personal friends I served with that never came home alive.

In 1970, 3 days after my 18th birthday, I enlisted in the Army. I went to Vietnam in September of 1970; I was assigned to E company 26th engineers in the 23rd infantry division and returned in September the following year. I was discharged from the Army in 1972 on an early out.

During 1972 then President Nixon announced that we would pull the troops. At the time I was sitting in a bar talking to a guy that was a Belly gunner on B-17s during WWII. After Nixon's announcement I turned to my friend and said, "We didn't teach them anything" He said, "what do you mean?" I said, "they can't defend themselves, they will be overrun. I then re-stated, "They can't defend themselves, by 1975 the north will overrun the south and it will all be 1 country".

Toward the end of 1973 the oil embargo hit this country and I had about 7 months seniority in one of the plants in the auto industry making parts for large cars. Seeing that I was about to lose my job through lay off, and I was still young and single I decided to re-enlist in the Army.

When I talked to the recruiter he told me that I might do all or part of basic over again. Deciding that basic was a once in a lifetime event, I then went to the Navy to talk to them, once I was assured I would not have to do boot camp over again I enlisted in the Navy. I was sworn in January 1974, and by June of 1975 I was sitting off the coast of Saigon for 3 months as a crewmember aboard the U.S.S. Meyerkord.

That pretty much accounts for my 15 months in Vietnam. I was shot at by Rocket, mortar and small arms all missed me. And on occasion I had to fire on the Vietnamese, but none of my service made me a hero.
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Old 09-28-2010, 06:31 PM   #5
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SeaJay, Thanks for posting this. I am new to the site and this is my first post. I served in the Air Force from 1987 to 2002 most of it in the Reserves. Your post is what I have felt for many years but just didn't know how to put it in words. I live in Jacksonville NC, home of Camp Lejune, where so many Marines leave never to return. Hopefully things will get better one day, but until that time comes our young men and women will continue to be in harms way. God be with them and their families and from the bottom of my heart THANKS TO ALL WHO HAVE SERVED!!!
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