Happy Veteran’s Day fellow Vets, all Americans and Allies!
A veteran is an American who at one point or the other served in our armed forces during war or peace. There are 22 million vets in America today, 7% of the US population. Most are volunteers, some were draftees. They all took an oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same”. Some have done so and paid the ultimate price, all served understanding that may be the potential price. We owe much if not all of our way of life to those that have defended it.
After WWI, there was an international effort to commemorate the end of “the war to end all wars” and up to that point had cost the most lives in the world’s history at over four million. In 1938 Congress created Armistice Day to celebrate world peace and primarily honor the Veterans of WWI. After WWII and the mass mobilization of 15 million Americans, Congress decided in 1954 to rename “Armistice Day” to “Veteran’s Day” and change the focus to honor all veterans. Congress in 1967 decided to make a much older holiday called “Decoration Day” the current “Memorial Day”, a day dedicated to honor American dead in all our wars. Decoration Day was a widely celebrated state holiday originating from the Civil War and commemorating its vets and dead. The convoluted history has caused much confusion over the years. In short, Memorial Day commemorates our war dead and Veteran’s Day commemorates our living veterans but as veterans we never forget those that didn’t come back.
So on Veteran’s Day I offer an inadequate thank you to all my brothers and sisters who have worn the uniform and to those that thank me for my service I respond with,
“Appreciate the thanks but personally it isn’t necessary, I feel I must thank America’s citizenry for the privilege to serve in uniform among so many fine Americans. I lack the”eloquence of diction, that poetry of imagination, nor that brilliance of metaphor” to communicate an honor beyond expression. “
So Happy Veteran’s Day to all and as I always do I remember and recite the names of those I personally served with that didn’t come back:
From 1st Sqd, 1st Plt B Co 2-502
SSG Richard L. Alter
PFC Clifford W. Bath III
PFC James Draper Jr
PV2 Andrew J. Franklin III
SPC Samuel A. Hintz
PFC Michael A. Jankowski
PV2 Jeffrey L. Rivas
PFC Timothy S. Sayer
(Killed in an air to air collision with a TF 160 BlackHawk 1988)
HHC 1st BDE 3rd Armored Div
Captain Joseph G. Kime III (Killed when his vehicle drove over a mine in Desert Storm)
HHC 3-5 Cav 3rd AD
Specialist Peter L. Swano (Died shortly before our crossing into Iraq during Desert Storm)
C Co. 3-5 Cav 3rd AD
1LT Jeff Case (Shot himself after returning from Desert Storm)
Until we meet again and God Bless the US of A.