Veteran’s Day Ponderings…

Sometimes short messages are the best way to make a point. This AbBerrations section contains ideas that don’t precisely fit within a present discussion.



Why are so many of America’s best men and women fighting in wars around the world when they could be in the Rocky Mountains hunting and fishing and looking for hidden treasures. Will there ever be a time when we will not need an armed force? Something to think about…f

Beer Commercial Reminds Us To Always Remember The Troops

94 thoughts on “Veteran’s Day Ponderings…

  1. Thank you for for sharing, f. That was my favorite beer before I became gluten-free. We veterans are glad to be of service. Nice commercial too!

  2. Dad was a medic in the Airforce and mom was an RN and received her nurses training in the Airforce. Both were stationed in Anchorage Alaska when they met and got married. Dad didn’t want any of us to join or have anything to do with the Armed Forces . Mom has passed and Dad is as old as Forrest give or take a few. I always wondered why Dad felt that way . Did he have some kind of Bad experience or did he see to many that were shot up and have lifelong disabilities . For what political reason ??? Guess I’ll never really know. Dad and Mom took us hunting and fishing ever since I could remember at about 2 or 3. I remember Mom putting me on the horse when I was so little my legs wouldn’t reach past the saddle skirts. I guess we’ll always have to have some kind of armed force so we can go treasure hunting.

  3. Forrest, I’m thankful for the sacrifices you and all of our brave men and women have given us! Peace is something we all want, but I think they only way we will ever come close, is when We The People stand up to the money people (corporations) and those that manipulate us and our government for their own greedy and selfish profit. I’m an eternal optimist and still hope and pray that someday, WE THE PEOPLE CAN LIVE IN PEACE!

  4. Forrest, from one veteran to another….. I’m glad you made it back from Vietnam, to give the world a small box of hope, and I thank you for your service and defense of our home. And many thanks to other veterans on the board here.

  5. I am grateful for service and yet remorseful as well that we feel the need to go to war. The dichotomy of war and peace causes a personal burden to those with consciousness which can only be temporarily escaped by a pursuit of something real and transformative such as a trip to the mountains or a good dream that feels real as life itself.

    Wouldn’t it be great if everyone at 18 was required to spend a month in the woods without a cell phone or internet?

    • 23 kachinas Thank you so much for your service. Those of us who have never been their really should not cast opinions… I think your idea is brilliant… Just imagine all the strong and wise young men and women that would emerge from the forest…:)

      • Spallies, I have not served in military service but deeply connected to the experience of the Vietnam war in a very personal way. Forrest’s service helped me to see another story of the Vietnam war. I consider him a thriver not just a survivor.

  6. Forrest, thank you for your service and thank you for creating the chase. I hope one day (soon) to meet you in person. I know you don’t agree and you know better than most but maybe you will appreciate an old Indian Proverb; “If you see someone getting bullied and you stand by and do nothing to stop it, you are as guilty as the bully”. Sometimes we have to intervene because we can and we should. Viet Nam may be a different cause for not all the right reasons but I thank all the vets who went and sacrificed so much and still do today in so many places, I think they are making a difference to a lot of people.

    • That’s a comforting way to look at our Vietnam involvement joncal. I hope you are right. When I think of the 57,000 guys who lost their lives there…many of whom were so young that they never even had a chance to fall in love or go camping with a bunch of buddies, or re-tell their moms that they loved them….I am deeply saddened. I like to think they died for some reason other than the opportunity for this country to have a new trade partner a few years later.

      When I think of the 75,000 guys who were severely wounded there who would never again see, hear or feel the world in the same happy way they once did. I am deeply saddened. I like to think they gave up a piece of themselves for some more important reason than so this country could have a new trading partner a few years later.

      When I think of the thousands of guys who years later could not cope or who developed diseases related to their time in combat and exposure to nerve damaging and cancer causing materials I am deeply saddened. I like to think that we as a country use what we took from them in some more important way than just so we could have a new trading partner a few years later.

      • It saddens me to know that many of our young men (and women) died in the service of our country, and they weren’t even old enough to legally purchase alcohol.

        In Memory of Christopher Diaz
        KIA Afghanistan 2011

      • Well said. If only not one more person had to die in the name of war it would be a better world. We think we are the intelligent species in this world of ours, but how can we be when we still kill each other? As a child of a 30 year military veteran I understand protecting ourselves. I just wish we did not have to.

      • DaL, Your sentiments are deeply appreciated and shared. Not only is this a day to honor our vets but remember our fallen. So much in this world just makes no sense.

        I give a heartfelt thank you to all our wonderful vets out there.

  7. We will have no more wars once we figure out a way to travel to Earth like planets that we can inhabit….
    Whenever I think about Veterans I think about the revolutionary war, the unknown soldiers at Valley Forge that have been forgotten, the bloody battles of the Civil War, the cold winter at the Battle of the Bulge when my Grandfather got shot, to him coming back to fight for equal rights for Black folks during a time in which that was look down upon…
    Than I think of all the stupid stuff I have done in my life, how I wasted my education( a few times) and how I have no life prospects… makes me feel like a waste when I know so many brave men and women that would die and did a lot of times to have the life I did growing up….How I wish I had a ounce of courage of some of the soldiers over the year and not be a self pity mess….

  8. America’s veterans have served their country with the belief that democracy and freedom are ideals to be upheld around the world. – John Doolittle

    Thanks Forrest, Dal, Navyigator and every honorable soldier who has upheld our freedom.

  9. Mr Fenn, with all due respect, nearly all of your friends and heros were veterans of war. From Custer to Sitting Bull to Dabich to Fenn… everyone of them a war hero. If your stories were all I knew, I would believe that war brings out the character in the person and we should all be in awe. War is what makes the person.

    But I believe, as my mother said, America doesn’t know what it is to have war on her doorsteps. If you really believe as you say, that you would change mans penchant for war, why do you place the warrior on such a pedestal?

    I have thought that your call to the wild is a cry for renewed patriotism, that your call for the kids to get off of their electronic devices is a call to reject the conveniences of the products manufactured by the world’s next super power and to get out into the lands of your country and experience her. Am I wrong? If so, it’s a very mixed message.

    • It’s not a mixed message to salute those who protect us but at the same time hate wars and the politicians who send our troops into every petty conflict.
      Forrest Fenn is a national hero, but I’m sure we’d all agree it would have been better for everyone had he stayed at home in Texas because there was no war in Vietnam.

  10. Thank you to all the vets, both alive and gone. I have known many and loved many. I hadn’t seen the commercial before, but love it. The music is from a church song that I used to sing when little. I can’t remember all of the words anymore, just “Oh how wonderful, Oh how marvelous … the everlasting love.” Thank you Forrest and Dal for all that y’all do.

  11. Thank you Guinness & ff, you are both fine & genuine. When that troop entered the watering hole, I’m not ashamed to say, it made me watered up too — “We’re sure to go to Heaven, ’cause we served our time in …” Well, you know how they say it — Did you ever catch a glimpse of “KILROY” in your treks?
    — LEE — (as in LEEROY)

  12. From one Vet to another Thank you for defending liberty.
    All gave, some gave ALL. This nation can never repay the debt of their sacrifices in the name of duty, freedom and democracy.

    Their sacrifices are written in blood upon the battlefields around the world.
    Keep in mind those that come home scared both in mind and body. For it is those brave individuals that represent the high price of liberty.

    Our sons, daughters and neighbors go forth in harms way. That we may enjoy life without fear of attack by foreign forces upon this land we call home.
    May the great creator watch over you all.

    I salute all that answer the call.

    USMC 72-74

    • Thank you Chad and all that answered the call… I can’t even imagine being that brave… Honestly, if I got the call I don’t know what I would do. I was grown so selfish.

  13. When Wars Are Fought
    The Soldiers Go
    To Defend Their Country
    Against Its Foes

    When The War Is Over
    And The Battle Is won
    There Is No “Thank You”
    For Daughter Or Son

    How Can This Be
    The Soldiers Ask
    We Gave It Our Best
    Some Gave It Their Last

    Dave Avery

    Vietnam Vet

  14. Thank you for you service Fenn……The grand prize to the only lottery I ever won was a ticket to Vietnam.

    To answer your question, the answer is no. Someone is always looking for a fight. It just seems to be our natural state to fight. If we should, in some unimaginable way, stop all wars and conflicts on this planet.

    There’s always the Romulans.

    • Good point, Goofy. It never ends, does it. Somebody always has to play the role of the “Romulans” …or the Clingons on Uranus…just when you think you wiped ’em out…they’re back in some other form. It’s always good to be prepared. Forget Preparation H. We need Preparation I or Preparation J! 🙂

  15. Thanks for your service Forrest, Dal, all Vets, those currently serving, and those who have been lost. Everyone, please help support your vets by donating to the charity of your choice that helps the returning service people. Some of more well know ones are the Wounded Warrior Project and Homes for Our Troops ( in your state. You can check out these charities and other charities on Charity Navigator –

  16. Those on all sides who were at the front on November 11, 1918 probably thought it was the greatest day of their lives.

    I’m sure it was the dream of happier adventures to come that kept them going through the horrors and sorrow of their mud-soaked inferno.

    And then a whole lot of promises were made and not too many kept in Paris the following Spring.

    Today the excuses for war are equally as weak as they were back in 1914, and the news media continues beating the drum and twisting the truth to make a case for it.

    Peace and best wishes to the brave veterans of all the conflicts past and present.

  17. Warm wishes to all on Veterans Day as we thank and honor you for selflessly serving us.

    Stay warm all. Time to kindle fires tonight with winter sweeping from Canada to Texas.

  18. To all vets, thanks for caring. You did what you had to and no one needed to see or recognize but your silent sacrifices are felt by all.

  19. The world might not have been intended to be in peace, and only individuals at their own time are to reach that level, like individual flowers, or fruiting bodies of fungi, blossoming in their own time, but not as a whole human race at once. At least not until all are refined. Humanity seems to be a transitional state of existence, since the physical universe is finite in time, and the human race will have to move beyond physical existence or be doomed.

    World is like a furnace for the refiner, who can only refine gold if there is a fire – it is the most efficient machine. The more evil in the world, the greater and hotter the furnace. But to impose peace on a full scale, would be akin to shutting down the furnace, and stoping the refining process – the result would be a fake peace, imposed, without any quality, doomed to failure in fairly short time. Gold would be trapped with crude, humanity would never reach the transition point.

    When we stop imposing peace onto whole societies, ( ironically most often by means of wars ) which is bound to fail to time since there is no true core to that method, and start emphasizing and nurturing the peace on the individual level, then and likely only then we will have a chance for more peace or at least fewer wars. It would be a true peace, qualitatively very different than the imposed peace, which is really a sham and a deceit. To desire peace on a social level, while it seems instinctive , would actually be ignorant of the purpose of our existence.

    An individual who has blossomed and has attained the inner peace, has no more need for conflict and violence. Summary of those individuals will result in peaceful society.

    When the veterans are willing to tell the truth of horrors, fears and brutality of the war to the rest of the society and to their children / grand children, rather then willing to sacrifice them to future wars because of their silence, pride and metals, maybe then there will have fewer wars.

    • White rock, well reasoned and well spoken thoughts on peace. I agree, it has to come from inside each individual, and is authentic when the dross is melted away in a refining fire.

      I have so much to learn from others, and so far to go yet.

  20. To all the veterans everywhere, thank you. We know a small part of your story, realize you gave more than we will ever know.

    Forrest, the answer is no. 🙁
    Life is not fair, peace is not guaranteed.

    Dont make me cry, you really hate that Forrest. Yes, I cry at commercials. lol

  21. Thank God for every soldier,past,present and future.I wish I could give everyone of you a hug and say you are never forgotten,ever by people who love each and everyone of you. you deserve the best of everything in life.I am sorry you had to come back with all kinds of problems that war does to our bodies and minds.once a soldier,always a soldier,even if your not in the military will always be a soldier.I’d gladly be proud to stand beside you In war,if I could.i’m 62.but I would.there will never be peace as long as evil is in the world,thats why I said future.we all know it will keep happening,until jesus comes and puts an end to it all.much love to all of you and your families.

  22. Sorry Forrest,

    It just seems such an appropriate time to share this, I couldn’t resist. I hope I speak for all disabled vets…

    Remember this when your child that you love so dear and want only the best that life has to offer them, asks to enlist.

    PTSD – Visiting the VA Hospital 2 times a week or less, depending on scheduling there. Visiting a Behavioral Health Consultant and Psychiatrist to adjust your meds, based on bouts of anxiety, depression, mood, nightmares, sleeping habits to name a few.

    Be prepared to pass the barber shop a few times to see if it’s empty so you can go in.

    Shop online. The deals are sometimes better and you won’t find youself constantly vigilant and looking for an escape route from danger at the Mall.

    Be prepared to duck everytime you hear a chopper from a nearby military base pass overhead. Oh, don’t forget the 4th of July, that should put you back into the action in no time.

    Prepare for the worse and hope for the best.

    One last thing, hope that the military is not using weapons that can harm you later. Cancer from Agent Orange adds a whole new dimension to your life. Luckily (knock on wood), I’m in remission.

    This is for a lifetime. Other vets may recognize what I’ve posted here.

    Thank you all for your well intended wishes. And to my fellow vets, “Welcome Home Brothers”.

    Funny thing, my Psych told me to “expose myself to more people”. I guess I just did. 🙂

    • so dal ,are you saying you would not fight for you keep evil enemies coming over here to kill your loved ones and other peoples loved ones.and help other people.does it really matter what happens to you ,as long as you can save someone else life,or millions.these men and women knew that they could get killed or something could happen.ask the vetrans if they would do it again,or even the dead ones if you could,i bet they would say yes,more than no.I guess you are saying you would not fight wishes to you.

        • yes,dal.i do know a lot about veterans. from the very first war ,it was not men who fought the war,but some 16 year olds who lied about their age to go fight for their country.they came home men.and war is about being a sniper and having to crawl down gook holes.and seeing a face of a dead gook,as if it was staring at you,and you couldn’t seem to turn away fast enough.and you remember it for the rest of your life and others you had to kill.and yes agent orange was real,even tho the government denied using it.the phantom pain of a leg or arm. will you rub my leg ,it hurts ,make it feel better,because it feels like you still have it you rub thin air and it feels so good to have your leg rubbed even tho its not there.and the stares you get from people who don’t understand.put my boots on and then you’ll understand,is what you want to say to them.get your face burned with a fasfurous grenade and see how it feels and looks like after all the skin grafts and stare from people.but there is someone out there who will still love you and marry you no matter what.because to them .you are beautiful just as you are.and you have a family together.have nightmares and screen out in your sleep about the war.your choking your mate to death,until you finally hear their voice calling you before you acuatlly kill them.scars last a life time,and come back to hurt you from time to time.and you get treated like nothing by the government.your just a number.constantly hearing guns go off and rockets,and the cry of a soldier who has been in the hospital unit.I need the preist ,please get the preist,i want my last rights.tote your buddy on your back who is dead,leave no man or woman behind no matter yes dal I understand a lot.every one has battle scars,weather you are in the military or not.try living day to day,wondering if your loved one will come home and the kids are asking ,when is daddy/ mommy coming home.they suffer too.proud ,yes I am, would I go fight to save another .yes I would.would I step in between a shooter and a teacher or a child and let them shoot me.yes I have to understand my heart and the way I feel.I can’t understand your heart and hurts.but am I proud of you.yes I am dal.

        • Forrest, Dal, German, Goof, Navy…
          I’m broken-hearted for you and every vet: for the horrors you lived through and live with daily because of war. We love you and will not forget your bravery or willingness to lay down your lives for us.

          Just so sad how badly scarred war leaves bodies, minds, hearts.

          Until people are changed individually from inside – to view humanity as brothers – there will be no easy answers.

    • Nights walking point, never will end. The memories there from beginning to end.

      These men that I know are the bravest alive, they gave all even if they kept life.

      They will cry till their death for the people they new, that weren’t quite as lucky and didn’t get through.

      They cry for the enemy that wasn’t their own. They remember the faces at night all alone.

      The heart of a soldier lives on till the end, and remembers the horror of each new lost friend.

      It visits the families of those that were brave, they bring the ghost back with them to take to their grave.

      As children of veterans get up each day the also carry the ghosts in a way.

      War takes something from each of our lives. It leaves many it leaves no dry eyes.

      Thanks to my father and his father too, I have more compassion for the world around but I don’t trust my government that wouldn’t be sound.

      Thanks to these men that did what they could to make the day safer for the girls I have.

      Thanks to you warriors that gave us your all, thank you to those with the name on a wall, and thank you to those who are shopping online!!

  23. I’d like to thank all the real heroes who have served or are currently serving.

    Like many others, I joined the Air Force for other than patriotic reasons. I joined to prove to my dad that I could make it. My dad was very tough, ex-Army, who clawed his way to the top without a college education. He was old school who didn’t think women could be made of anything but sugar, especially hyper-sensitive ones like me, who cried for 3 days when our dog died.

    I proved him wrong. Not only did I make it, but I excelled in the structured environment. I learned responsibility, learned about family, and honor, and friendships. I learned what integrity meant. I was a marksman, to my near-sighted surprise. And most of all, I learned patriotism, even though I never went overseas or saw battle.

    Unfortunately, I also learned that not all who have served learned the same things I did. I learned the hard way that not all servicemen/servicewomen have the integrity or honor we have pledged to uphold.

    I am ashamed to say I was not a patriot when I joined. But I was a patriot when I left.

    And I’m still that hyper-sensitive girl who cries at the drop of a hat. But now, I’ve got the spice to survive.

    A few months before my dad died, we were waiting in the car for my mom to finish shopping. He said, out of the blue, “I never thought you’d make it through basic training.” He paused, then laughed and said, “But, look at you now. I’m the proudest of you (I had two brothers). I should’ve let you race.” Growing up, my dad was big into NASCAR, and so was I, even moreso than my brothers. My dad offered my older brother the chance to get into racing. He didn’t want to, but I did. My dad said I’d never make it around the track.

    Twenty years later, I can hope he was somehow watching as I climbed into my race truck for the first time and tore around that short track at nearly 100 mph.

    When I think about our heroes –the ones who have bravely faced the threats to our freedom (like Mr. Fenn)–I am humbled. And grateful. I hate war and the absolute terror and misery it causes, but I love that God has given us some very special people the ability to stand in the face of that terror and say, “NO.”

  24. Throughout my life I have worked along side of men and women that have been in the military. I would ask what branch of the service, where they have been and what have they done. Then I would ask if they would recommend it to others or do it again. They all said No.
    Once in 1976, fresh out of school, I walked into a post in Salem Oregon. A man in uniform pulled me aside into the hallway and yelled at me. He told me don’t do it. Don’t sign up. It ruined his life.
    I was scared strait.
    So, here’s to all the men and women that put themselves through that .
    I can’t say that my life was any better. But it would have been worse without you working by my side.

    • Michael, it is unfortunate that those you spoke with had those comments. I would suggest the exact opposite, serve.

      Your comment that you can’t say your life is any better is a very sad commentary on this day. Many have died so that you have your freedom. If you don’t feel any respect for your freedom you are lost IMHO.

    • Michael, I liked what you had to say and the different perspective. I get it, that you are thankful for those that serve and for the sacrifices that they’ve made for us. It also sounds like a warning that sometimes we can’t always believe what the government and those leading us into war, are telling us. I hear ya.

  25. To all who served and sacrificed, thank you. Such simple words… can they be received the meaningful way in which they are said?

  26. If we are mark’d to die, we are enow
    To do our country loss; and if to live,
    The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
    God’s will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.
    By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
    Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
    It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
    Such outward things dwell not in my desires.
    But if it be a sin to covet honour,
    I am the most offending soul alive.
    No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England.
    God’s peace! I would not lose so great an honour
    As one man more methinks would share from me
    For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
    Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
    That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
    Let him depart; his passport shall be made,
    And crowns for convoy put into his purse;
    We would not die in that man’s company
    That fears his fellowship to die with us.
    This day is call’d the feast of Crispian.
    He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
    Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam’d,
    And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
    He that shall live this day, and see old age,
    Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
    And say “To-morrow is Saint Crispian.”
    Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
    And say “These wounds I had on Crispian’s day.”
    Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
    But he’ll remember, with advantages,
    What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
    Familiar in his mouth as household words-
    Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,
    Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester-
    Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb’red.
    This story shall the good man teach his son;
    And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
    From this day to the ending of the world,
    But we in it shall be remembered-
    We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
    For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
    Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
    This day shall gentle his condition;
    And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
    Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,
    And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
    That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.

    William Shakespeare’s ~Henry V

  27. My 2 cents

    1) Ironically, Many are joining the military to create for themselves a better life. Whether an to get out of the life of of poverty or to gain an education or to gain experience for an occupation outside the military.
    2) No. the ‘whole’ human race would require a new nature.

    I applaud those who have served in the military no matter where they served or when (Vietnam veterans received undeserved negative reception).
    “Why are so many of America’s best men and women fighting in wars around the world when they could be in the Rocky Mountains hunting and fishing and looking for hidden treasures. Will there ever be a time when we will not need an armed force? Something to think about…f”

  28. All the men in my family that served in different wars are gone now including my dad who was in the Korean War. I love and miss him dearly and I am sure all do who’s loved ones have passed.

    Click here to view my dad’s pic:

    Thank You Mr Fenn for the simple reminder of how we should Honor all the Men and Women who “Serve this Great Nation”. Thank You !!! … to all of you who have in the past and all who still are.

  29. To my Viet Nam Veteran Brothers, Welcome Home. We were not held as returning warriors like those today, we were not applauded when we returned home or offered better seats when aboard the airliners or offered to de-board first. We did wear civilian cloths when on the beach so as to not be identified, we stayed in the background until we once again returned to our brothers and sisters in arms. We served, some of us survived, we all shared the honor.
    You never forget the Oath.

  30. Is there anyone who doesn’t have a few words of gratitude to our troops? I realize that the sentiments expressed on days like today are sincere in the moment they are given but as with most sentiments they are all too fleeting and so often quite shallow. I say this because practically every week legions of men or women who are serving or have served in OUR name are killed or commits suicide or awaiting medical care or homeless or jobless and we fail to give them even a moments notice or acknowledgement or more importantly, a helping hand. How many recognize the name of Corporal Jordan Sparks, age 21 who died last month jumping out of a plane in the Arabian sea for US? Why don’t newscasts start their broadcasts and newspapers publish on the front page, the names of our fallen? I am ashamed when I have walked around the streets of our major cities and see the blank faces of men and women veterans who have been abandoned by us. Where will our sentiment be tomorrow and how long will it take for our attention to fade?

    • Excellent comment Raven.

      When our troops were sent to Afghanistan and Iraq I swore those guys would not be treated as I was when they returned home. I’ve been working with the Wounded Warriors ever since.

      Do not forget about the vets tomorrow. Do not allow the bureaucrats to sweep under the rug what is going on at the Veterans Administration. Your political persuasion doesn’t matter, whether you agree with war or not doesn’t matter. If you allow our vets to be treated this way you will be next, and then there will nothing you can do about it.

      If you don’t think you can help you are wrong. Little things make a big difference in someone’s life. I assure you there is a vet you can help in some way. Sacrifice one hour a week, one hour a month; you will find that sacrifice may be the most rewarding thing you’ve ever experienced.

      • Here is one practical way to express appreciation to those serving, which our family participated in when our sons were younger:
        If you live near a major airport, you can determine when international flights arrive with soldiers. We met the soldiers inside the terminal where they were changing flights or collecting bags to hand out care packages (made ahead of time) and thanked them in person. We usually had several families participate and included trail mix, candy bars, and a handwritten thank you note. It was meaningful to our kids and also to the military personnel.

  31. As we remember those who fought for our freedom and the many who gave the ultimate sacrifice. There are no borders when it comes to remembering our united efforts to protect liberty.

    This is the Canadian War Memorial which has 22 bronze soldiers linked arm in arm going through an arch with a wheeled canon in tow. Below is the remains of the tomb of the unknown soldier who fault in Vimy Ridge in France. The Peace tower is in the background.

  32. I miss you Grandpa….I miss you Father…. Thank you Uncle….Thank you Brother…The United States Navy taught me many lessons, but they pale in comparison to the lessons I learned from you. It’s about a promise. It’s about the courage and responsibility to keep your sworn oath. But mostly it’s about the men and women around you, doing their best to keep their word too. It’s about the ones at home you love, and wish to see again.

    I learned time does not heal all wounds; the healing never comes. I learned the scars on a soul never fade, they serve to remind us of the pain of loss, or of transgressions against humanity. These things I learned, I will NEVER FORGET. Today, and everyday, I salute you!


    Sgt. D.G.B.
    Cpt. R.L.D.
    Sgt. D.G.B. II
    Cprl. K.J.C.
    Colonel F.B.F

  33. To not have an Armed Force for Defense would be the beginning of much suffering.
    I recently watched a video about The Trail Of Tears and it was the fact that the Cherokee had become Too Civilized as there was no mention that they Retained Any Type Of Defense Force.
    The United States Government herded them like Cattle and Stole All the Land and Infrastructure for Their Backers.

    Today is a Good Day to remember Where Warm Waters Halt.

    • I agree with you, Ya-Sha-Wa. Having an armed force for defense is vital. I’d like to believe otherwise, but I don’t believe humans will truly ever have peace. There are too many selfish humans that would stoop at anything to take what belongs to others. I’m thankful for all our veterans and troops.

  34. This is for anyone who wishes to glorify war…a reality check from 45 years ago…

    The Man in the Doorway
    By Michael Ryerson

    They came in low and hot, close to the trees and dropped their tail in a flare, rocked forward and we raced for the open doorways. This was always the worst for us, we couldn’t hear anything and our backs were turned to the tree line. The best you could hope for was a sign on the face of the man in the doorway, leaning out waiting to help with a tug or to lay down some lead.

    Sometimes you could glance quickly at his face and pick up a clue as to what was about to happen. We would pitch ourselves in headfirst and tumble against the scuffed riveted aluminum, grab for a handhold and will that son-of-a-bitch into the air.

    Sometimes the deck was slick with blood or worse, sometimes something had been left in the shadows under the web seats, sometimes they landed in a shallow river to wash them out.

    Sometimes they were late, sometimes…they were parked in some other LZ with their rotors turning a lazy arc, a ghost crew strapped in once too often, motionless, waiting for their own lift, their own bags, once too often into the margins.

    The getting on and the getting off were the worst for us but this was all he knew, the man in the doorway, he was always standing there in the noise, watching, urging…swinging out with his gun, grabbing the black plastic and heaving, leaning out and spitting, spitting the taste away, as though it would go away…

    They came in low and hot, close to the trees and dropped their tail in a flare, rocked forward and began to kick the boxes out, bouncing against the skids, piling up on each other, food and water, and bullets…a thousand pounds of C’s, warm water and rounds, 7.62mm, half a ton of life and death.

    And when the deck was clear, we would pile the bags, swing them against their weight and throw them through the doorway,
    his doorway, onto his deck and nod and he’d speak into that little mic and they’d go nose down and lift into their last flight, their last extraction.

    Sometimes he’d raise a thumb or perhaps a fist or sometimes just a sly, knowing smile, knowing we were staying and he was going but also knowing he’d be back, he’d be back in a blink, standing in the swirling noise and the rotor wash, back to let us rush through his door and skid across his deck and will that son-of-a-bitch into the air.

    They came in low and hot, close to the trees and dropped their tail in a flare, rocked forward, kicked out the boxes and slipped the litter across the deck and sometimes he’d lean down and hold the IV and brush the dirt off of a bloodless face, or hold back the flailing arms and the tears, a thumbs-up to the right
    seat and you’re only minutes away from the white sheets and
    the saws and the plasma.

    They came in low and hot, close to the trees and dropped their tail in a flare, rocked forward and we’d never hear that sound again without feeling our stomachs go just a bit weightless, listen just a bit closer for the gunfire and look up for the man in the doorway.

  35. I go incommunicato the day before and til the day after Veteran’s Day cause I can’t stand the phony BS. Drafted, Vietnam ’67/’68, bronze star, purple heart and 100% PTSD disabled. People didn’t say “welcome home” until it became stylish years later and I never believed one of them and still don’t. I represent many, many Veterans in the woodwork who will not give you the time of day because your “thank you” is counterfeit and self-serving. Like your tears at a sad movie. I was an altruistic college student when I went and “stepped behind the curtain”. I was a student of history and particularly the Civil War. I felt lucky when I was hit because I was not at Gettysburg or some other God awful place where wounded survival rate was extremely low. I was dusted off in less than an hour. Today the sound of a helicopter ruins my day. No, you will all go back to your material lives tomorrow and WE will continue the war in our heads. I wished I could have flown a fighter bomber and returned every night to a hot meal, shower and a clean bed or maybe offshore on a ship. Don’t BS me fools, you don’t know squat about combat til you shoot and been shot at eye to eye. I’m on this treasure hunt because it gives me wonderful distraction reading most of the posts and being in the wilderness with no people around. I will not give you the courtesy of civil conversation about “loving and honoring the combat veterans.” Be hones, look in the mirror and know that you’re full of S…T!!! Maybe then you’ll read, study and make decisions by being an informed voter. Challenge your own bias and quit playing with tin soldiers who have real lives.

    • please don’t put your BS on everyone.saying no one understands and don’t care.thats so tastless of you to think you can read everyone minds and know how they feel about Vietnam or any war.blame the draft dogers,hanoi jane.and people like that all you want.we are all not alike.have a good day radcrad.

  36. I found a Haiku I wrote when I was 13 or 14 years old. I know Veteran’s Day has passed, but this is something we need to remember every day:

    A wife cries alone,
    The folded flag in her lap–
    Just wanting him home.

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