Who are the NERD fund donors Mr Snyder?
By Kevin Rex Heine, Section News
70% of America's youth (those between the ages of 14 and 26) are or will be disqualified from serving in the military. Of those who are qualified, 97% will choose to not serve. Overall, for one reason or another, 99% of the American population either has never served in the military or never will. This makes those who are active duty, reservists, guardsmen, veterans, and retirees, a very different 1% of the American population.
It not that tough, usually, to figure out who's currently serving in the military, even if that service is in a reserve capacity. Veterans are different. Some veterans bear visible signs of their service: a missing limb, a jagged scar, a certain look in the eye. Others may carry the evidence inside them: a pin holding a bone together, a piece of shrapnel in the leg - or perhaps another sort of inner steel: the soul's alloy forged in the refinery of adversity. Except in parades, however, the men and women who have kept America safe wear no badge or emblem. Generally, you can't tell a veteran just by looking.
Who Is A Veteran?
He - or she - is the cop on the beat who spent six months to a year in the deserts of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Iraq sweating two gallons a day making sure the soldiers in the field never ran out of food and water, and that 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 on the cosmic scales by four hours of conspicuous bravery in the jungles of Vietnam.
She is the nurse who fought against futility and went to sleep sobbing every night for two solid years near the 38th parallel.
He is the Prisoner Of War who went away one person and came back another - or the Missing In Action who didn't come back at all.
He is the Parris Island drill instructor that 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; or he is the career desk jockey who watched the ribbons and medals pass him by.
He is the guy standing in the unemployment line - a little taller and straighter than everyone else - who has enough experience from 20 years of active duty to fill a dozen resumes, and still can't find anyone willing to hire him.
He is the old guy bagging groceries at the supermarket - palsied 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 the anonymous hero at the Tomb Of The Unknowns, whose presence at the Arlington National Cemetery forever preserves the memory of all the anonymous heroes whose valor lies unrecognized with them on the battlefield or in the oceans' sunless deep.
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 this world has ever known.
They are ordinary and yet extraordinary human beings, people who offered some of their lives' most vital years in the service of this country, and who sacrificed their own ambitions so others would not have to sacrifice theirs. They are the people who - at some point in their own lives - wrote a blank check payable to the United States of America for an amount "up to and including my life," knowing that check could be cashed at any time in the next thirty years. That is honor, courage, commitment, sacrifice, and service . . . and it is a concept understood by entirely too few Americans today, assuming that they could even recognize it for what it is.
Remember . . .
. . . It is the Soldier, not the reporter, who maintains our nation's freedom of the press.
. . . It is the Sailor, not the poet, who maintains our nation's freedom of speech.
. . . It is the Airman, not the campus organizer, who maintains our nation's freedom to demonstrate.
. . . It is the Guardsman, not the union steward, who maintains our workers' freedom to organize.
. . . It is the Reservist, not the priest, who maintains our nation's freedom to worship.
. . . It is the Marine, who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who maintains the protester's right to burn the flag.
Each and every right that we have as American citizens - whether the right to vote, to have a fair trial, or any other - is preserved, first and foremost, by the Veterans of this nation, rather than by the politicians and lawyers.
November 11th is Veterans Day. If you happen to meet someone who has served our country, then just take the time to say, "Thank you." That's all most veterans need to hear - "Happy Veterans Day" is completely inappropriate - and in most cases it will mean more than any medals they were ever awarded or passed over for.
~ original author unknown ~
Remember Them | 4 comments (4 topical, 0 hidden)
Remember Them | 4 comments (4 topical, 0 hidden)
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