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Happy Viet Nam veteran's day

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To those of you who served during (and before or after the events over there)

https://www.military.com/veterans-day/vietnam-veterans-day

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I find it strange to single out vets from one period apart from the Nov. 11 Veterans Day meant for all of vets. It covers years before and after VN. It smacks of politics.

hat, Army infantry, '68-'70.

 

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1 hour ago, Gene Howe said:

Hat, all wars are/were political.

 

agreed...

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No disrespect intended.

 

Memorial Day, originally Decoration Day, started to honor Civil War Vets

Veteran's Day, originally Armistice Day, started to honor "The Great War" ( WW I) vets -  11th hour of 11th day of 11th month...

VE and VJ Days, Victory in Europe and Victory in Japan, to honor WWII vets.

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If my military brothers and sister from that era accomplished nothing more, they assured that no other generation will come home from conflict without a welcome.

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Yes, I agree all wars are political to some degree. I see the Nov. 11 Veterans Day as the day to recognize all veterans everywhere, alive or dead, and their families and friends,  without any distinction for the war they served in or what they did. The VN war tore the country apart but I never felt unappreciated. Hell, I burned my draft card when I got back!

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The wars were political. So are the days set aside for remembrances. Some politician, or several, had to have a hand in declaring that day a day of solemnity and reverence. That's one of the very few acts of politicians that I find worthy. 

 

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With all due respect Hat...no mention or amendment to Veterans's Day recognizing or honoring anyone beyond Korea.

https://www.va.gov/opa/vetsday/vetdayhistory.asp.

 

Personally, I applaud our government for finally doing the right thing regardless of motivation. Many many others had the same opportunity to act but chose to do nothing.  I've been to and touched The Wall and in all of it's magnificence yet somber solitude recognizes only those who gave all.

 

 

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Got a rubbing of buddy's name. Didn't need to search far. He was one of the first.

As I gazed at all those names, I became angrier and angrier at the thought of the needless waste of our nation's treasure. Not money but those men and women's lives. 

 

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Clausewitz claimed War is a continuation of politics by other means.  I think that goes back to about 1820, but after all he was writing about history, so I suspect Ogg the caveman operated on the same principle.  The problem is that with time we forget the horrors and true expense, and most especially if it's not us/ours that will do the fighting.  The advocates for adventurism usually turn out to be too old to serve on the front line, never served, and their kids won't serve either.  No skin in the game.  It's a lot easier to send someone else's kid out to die, then shed fake tears, etc.  Heinlein was right:  only veterans should get to vote.

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On 3/30/2018 at 4:18 PM, Grandpadave52 said:

With all due respect Hat...no mention or amendment to Veterans's Day recognizing or honoring anyone beyond Korea.

https://www.va.gov/opa/vetsday/vetdayhistory.asp.

 

Hello Grandpa

I read through the article and it said in June, 1954, language was added to honor vets of all wars. That's the way I have always interpreted it. Aside from official wording, I simply honor all vets, alive and dead, active or inactive, their families, and their friends. I was not offended by any lack of recognition when I came home in 1970, and sometimes I get a little tired of the "hero" stuff. We all did our jobs the best we could. I recently talked with a Northern Shoshone who was in the artillery at Khe Sahn during the siege, and he said he and others were darn mad they were fighting against the Vietnamese who were trying to get their freedom and gain independence from the French who brutalized them for a century, and later us when the French left. He explained his ancestors fought the same kind of battles, and they lost everything. We are all brothers in the insanity of war.  

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Being a veteran, is a never ending duty. We did our time, served our nation, and we come home. In many ways our service never ends, and one of those ways our service never ends is our ability to accept the thanks and adulation and home comings that our countrymen and women bestow upon us. 

 

You see, we don't like being the center of attention, we don't like being called heroes, we don't like the parties, we even may have a hard time standing in public venues when called to do so by the MC of the ceremony, "Will all veterans please stand so we can thank you for your service". For the longest time I never stood when called to do so, because I always felt like I was "just doing my job" and I did not deserve that recognition.

 

I have attended many of my kids events, from sporting events, to school award ceremonies, and our veterans were called to stand at those ceremonies as well. And I would not, and I was questioned by my wife and even my kids, why don't I stand? My reply was always, "Because I just did my job, it was nothing".

Then one day, before a special performance of patriotic music at the County Hall (last year actually), where my oldest daughter was performing in the Symphony, she came up to me before the performance and thanked me for coming, and gave me a big daughter hug, and she told me that they are going to play the pieces from each branch of service, and she asked me very seriously, "Dad, are you going to stand when we play The Army Goes Rolling Along?" I saw a look in her face that changed the way I think about recognition for ones service to our nation, or service period to any meaningful cause.

 

All the sudden I realized, this is not about me, this isn't even about veterans really. As a matter of fact from the time we parted ways for her to return backstage and me to my seat, I suddenly flash backed to all the years I was not standing at many of my children's events where I was called to stand, and I realized painfully how self-centered I had been to think this was all about recognition of me, and my fellow veterans, (recognition I did not want) and I sadly realized how selfish and robbing I had been of my kids, to deny them their time in the spotlight by dad not standing before them, because this was not about me, it was all about my family, it was all about the crowd and their need to see something good in our crazy world, their need to feel giving and compassionate in that moment, their need to grab onto something good, and their need to feel bonded to one another by cohesively recognizing a group of people that did their time for our country.

 

When we are asked to stand as veterans, before a crowd of people, we are again donning our uniform and serving our nation, and we are giving the crowd a moment in time where they feel together, and as one, because they are in that moment focused on us, and they are clapping, cheering, and feeling good about the world for that moment. And most importantly for my own family, they are feeling good, and they are feeling proud, and my son will go to school the next day and he'll field the questions by his teachers, "I did not know your dad was a veteran, where did he serve, what did he do?" and my son will feel proud, and that is important for a child to have that in their Dad. And if standing before a crowd is that important to my family, then so be it, because it's not about me, it's not about us, it's all about our country,  and the people in that crowd and their need to feel unified if even for that one moment.

 

So, there is nothing wrong with the attention, the days set aside to recognize the men and women who served, because profoundly, it's not about us, it's about them, our people, and for the rest of our lives we will be asked to put that uniform on again, and again, and again, for them, and I will.

 

When my daughter's symphony played the Army song, for the first time since being a veteran, I stood, and it was hard, it felt uncomfortable and I was not too happy about it, but I looked straight at my daughter as I stood, and she looked at me, and she smiled, and she managed between notes to get a one thumbs up as she bowed her violin to The Army Goes Rolling Along. That was the first time I ever stood, after I realized that night, it's not about me, I still have a duty to my nation to stand when requested to do so, just as I stand for the passing of our flag, I'll stand when our people ask it of me. And if our nation wants another day of recognition for the men and women who served our nation, so be it, because it's not about me, it's not about us, it's about them.

 

The Vietnam Veterans Day, again is not truly about the veterans who served our nation during that tumultuous time, but it's more about our people, our nation, who are still trying to come to grips with the war, and if it makes our people feel good to have that day set aside for our Vietnam Veterans, than so be it, because it's not about you, it's about them, our people, they want to do this for you, and you must let them. Because you are still serving our nation.

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John, particularly when I compare 3 years Army with 30 years in Scouting, I know which service meant more to my country, but you got the right of it on ceremony.  The French had a saying that I re-purpose:  Pour encourager les autres* (to encourage the others).   When we consider the "long line" of those who serve, bringing more people to the point of that service continues the line.

 

 

 

*The French, being French, screwed it up, using the saying in a terrible way.  I like my use much better.

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John and Lew, I understand your perspective. I will continue honoring and thanking vets every day when I see them, regardless of their service and regardless of the day. Two days ago at the store, an old Korean war vet (the "forgotten" war) told me I had already thanked him twice before. I said, "Good! now its 3 times." We both laughed.

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