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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Definition of a Veteran


A veteran - whether active duty, retired, national guard, or reserve - is someone who, at one point in his or her life, wrote a blank check made payable to The 'United States of America', for an amount of 'up to and including my life.' That is Honor, and there are way too many people in this country who no longer understand it.

- Author Unknown

My friend Lew sent this to me Wednesday by email. Thanks Lew!

Those of us who have had the privilege of serving our country in the military understand what these words really mean. I served in the United States Army from 1980 - 1984.

If you check your history books, you will find that Grenada took place during the time I served. I was a Sergeant with the 311th MI Battalion, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).

We were on alert to go to Grenada, but the conflict ended so fast that we never boarded the planes. Therefore, I have never seen combat.

I can never know the feeling that those who have served during war time know about being under attack or losing a friend in combat. I feel fortunate that I will never know what that is like.

However, for those who do, my heart goes out to you in many ways.

For those who served in WW II, thanks for being a part of the "greatest generation". Were it not for you, Europe would all being speaking German, and who knows how far Japan would have pushed.

The those who served in Korea, like members of our congregation - Eugene and Ernie - the sacrifices you made and the stories you have shared with me are priceless.

And what can I say to those who served in Viet Nam other than "Welcome Home" brother and sister! The treatment that you got when you returned home makes my stomach go into knots. You brave people need to know, that as has been the case so many times in the 60's forward, it was the vocal minority who did and said those horrible things! Most of us are proud that you served your country and lived through things that most of us can never imagine.

For those who have served in the first Iraq war, Afghanistan, the current Iraq war and anywhere else around the globe, you are today's heroes! To MJ, Doug, and Pete - thank you so much for your service in the Global War on Terror! Some of us have taken the position that we "WILL NOT" allow what happened to our Viet Nam vets happen on our watch!

And to everyone who served in peace time. As the definition above says, you wrote that blank check, and thank God it was never cashed.

My prayer is for peace, knowing that there never has been and probably never will be. With that in mind thank you to all our VETERANS and their families! God bless you all, and God Bless America.