Thus I have Spoken

November 4, 2006

Who is a Vet?

Filed under: Life — steamdragon @ 8:18 am

Evidently this has been out a while now.

But It is the first I have seen it,

So I share…

What is a vet?

He is the cop on the beat who spent six months in Saudi Arabia sweating two gallons a day making sure the armored personnel carriers didn’t run out of fuel.

He is the barroom loudmouth, dumber than five wooden planks, whose overgrown frat-boy behavior is outweighed a hundred times in the cosmic scales by four hours of exquisite bravery near the 38th parallel.

She – or he – is the nurse who fought against futility and went to sleep sobbing every night for two solid years in Da Nang.

He is the POW who went away one person and came back another – or didn’t come back AT ALL.

He is the Quantico drill instructor who has never seen combat – but has saved countless lives by turning slouchy, no-account rednecks and gang members into Marines, and teaching them to watch each other’s backs.

He is the parade – riding Legionnaire who pins on his ribbons and medals with a prosthetic hand.

He is the career quartermaster who watches the ribbons and medals pass him by.

He is the three anonymous heroes in The Tomb of the Unknowns, whose presence at the Arlington National Cemetery must forever preserve the memory of all the anonymous heroes whose valor died unrecognized with them on the battlefield or in the ocean’s sunless deep.

He is the old guy bagging groceries at the supermarket – palsied now and aggravatingly slow – who helped liberate a Nazi death camp and who wishes all day long that his wife were still alive to hold him when the nightmares come.

He is an ordinary and yet an extraordinary human being – a person who offered some of his life’s most vital years in the service of his country, and who sacrificed his ambitions so others would not have to sacrifice theirs.

He is a soldier and a savior and a sword against the darkness, and he is nothing more than the finest, greatest testimony on behalf of the finest, greatest nation ever known.

So remember, each time you see someone who has served our country, just lean over and say, “Thank You.” That’s all most people need, and in most cases it will mean more than any medals they could have been awarded or were awarded.

©Father Denis Edward O’Brien
M Tharp, 86-90 US Army

And, when you have said, “Thank You,” don’t be surprized when s/he blushes and turns away, mumbling “It was nuthin’.”

This statement/description was posted to the Patriot Guard forum yesterday.

I’ve said before, I might not be able to write good stuff, but I can read and recognize good stuff to share.

Here is another form the same thread:

The Proud Father of an American Marine

You see me every day going about life as usual – or so it appears. I rub shoulders with you at work. I shop at Home Depot and the grocery store. I fill my car at the corner gas station. You might see me anywhere. Don’t be deceived: My life has not been “normal” for months. I am the Father of an American Marine. Although I continue the routines of life, I do so with a burdened heart and distracted mind. There are some telltale signs of who I am. I’m the one with the blue star pin on my clothing alongside another pin of the Stars and Stripes. It has been there since my son enlisted. Even though the war is supposedly over, my son may end up in a place where bullets and grenades are still killing our Marines. I am determined to wear my blue star until he comes home, because it reminds me to pray for him every minute. When you see me wearing that pin, please stop and whisper a prayer for him and all the others still there. My house is the one with the yellow ribbons in the tree in the yard and one on the mail post. There is an American flag on a pole proudly displayed out front. The car in the drive has a POW/MIA magnet on the rear hatch and a crossed yellow ribbon magnet next to it. When you drive by a house of this description, please pray for the son or daughter overseas and for the parents waiting inside for their child to come home. To those of you who have posted yellow ribbons at your house or in the windows of your schools, thank you. It warms my heart every time I see your expressions of support for our troops. One of the hardest things about being the Father of an American Marine is living 1,500 miles (how bout 2600 miles!) away from the post of my son’s unit. Wives usually live on or near the fort, where they can glean support from others in the same situation. But a Father may live across the nation, so he feels totally alone. Letters rarely make their way home, and if they do, it is weeks after they were written. Every week is like a roller coaster ride that I want to get off but will endure for my son’s future and the future of our country. When I read or hear a Marine has been killed somewhere in the world and his name has not been released pending notification of kin, restlessness, depression and insomnia rule my life until 24 hours have passed and the men in dress uniforms have not appeared at my door. I pray constantly they will never come. You may see the dark circles under my eyes or even tears glistening in them. As a Father I am seen as ‘the strong one’ and the ‘protector of his family’ but deep inside, this Father’s heart is aching for the son so far from home, fighting for the freedom’s so many back here forget. I am there among you, trying to carry on some semblance of a normal life. Like so many others, I am the PROUD Father of an American Marine.


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