I would like to start it off by honoring my wife's brother, John Ramage Barbour who gave his life in Viet Nam. John was 21 years old when he lost his life in the line of duty. He was a medical corpsman. On the net, some have credited John with saving their lives. He died when his vehicle ran over a land-mine. Rest in peace Johnny and thank you for your service for us and for your country.
I've spoken about my Grandfather and his brother Ollie in the forums before.
However, I've a new one to add. My best friend called me from Basic last night. He gets to come home for a couple weeks 'round Christmas, then he goes to Ft. Hood, where he will most likely deploy to Afghanistan.
It's one thing when it's already happened. It's another when you're not sure what's going to happen. Several times I've found myself wanting to pick up the phone and call him, only to realize he won't be able to answer. Knowing that for the next 5-6 years minimum I will only get to see him sporadically is taking some serious adjustment to get used to. I don't think I like it, either.
All manliness aside, growing up really fucking sucks, sometimes.
The Veterans I would like to honor are My Dad, who served in the Coast Guard, my Step Dad who served in the Army during WW2, my Grandfather who also served in the Army during WW2, my Step Grandfather who serived in the Army during WW2, and my other Step Grandfather who served in the Navy during WW2. They are all gone. Lastly, I want to honor myself for serving in the Air Force from 1974 to 1980, when our military was not honored by the US, the people, and the government. I am a in betweener, that is post Vietnam, pre War on Terrorism. Those of us who served during that time, we were not welcomed in the communities that bases were located. In fact, before I left for Basic Training, my "best friend" from high school told me that I would be spared from the revolution. WTF did that mean. Remember those vets as well.....because I often feel, my service did not matter, not like today.
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved..., and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
— Lt.-Col. John McCrae (1872 - 1918)
My dad's great-grandfather who was in WW1 (we still have his helmet. There is a dent in it from a peice of shrapnal or something. I look at it with amazement, that if i wasn't for that helmet my grandpa, my dad and I wouldn't be here.
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That statement puts succinctly what I was trying to say to my friend. Thanks for putting it so nicely.
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