As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

Happy Veterans Day

Let’s all take a moment – or several – to honor those who fought to preserve our freedom.

I thought you might like this piece by a veteran in US Defense Watch, which vividly describes what even vets who seem to be coping well face after they come home.

Here’s an excerpt:

Many vets experienced and saw and heard and did things unimaginable to the average person. They also lived a daily camaraderie that cannot be repeated in the civilian world. In fact, many vets spend the rest of their lives seeking the same esprit de corps that simply is absent from their civilian lives and jobs. They long to spend just 15 minutes back with the best friends they ever had, friends that are scattered to every corner of the earth, and some to the afterlife itself.

Vets are haunted by visions of horror and death, by guilt of somehow surviving and living the good life, when some they knew are gone. They strangely wish sometimes that they were back in those dreadful circumstances, not to experience the dirt and horror and terror and noise and violence again, but to be with the only people a vet really knows, other vets.

Civilians must understand that for a vet nothing is ever the same again.

8 Responses to Happy Veterans Day

  1. My Father, a WWII vet, used to write about the other “kids” in his platoon, how they got along, the card games, the suffering in the foxholes, but it all ended after the War. The last letter he wrote was after the Battle of Bastounge. (sp)
    He never talked about his service in eastern Europe or what he saw in Germany. He didn’t want to be with other vets for years.
    As time went by, he joined the local VFW, but he was a changed man then. Quiet, almost a loner (in a family with four rowdy children!), and we all respected him.
    RIP, Dad, I still miss you.

    • edit: Battle of Bastogne, Belgium.
      He wrote of the bitter cold, the snow, running out of food and supplies as they were surrounded by the Nazis who demanded they surrender. Gen Patton saved the day for them, and as I like to remind my younger brothers, allow Dad to come home and father three sons.

  2. OT: the Monday Night Football game on ESPN
    What they didn’t televise:
    All of the seats in the stadium had red, white or blue cardboard under the seat. The fans then presented them as they spelled out “thank you military”, and presented the American flag – all around, every seat was involved!
    Green Bay Wisconsin sponsored this and if you can find a video on u-tube, guarantee you’ll get a lump in your throat.
    I did watch the game, start to finish and didn’t know what had happened before the game; no one said a word about it.

  3. True friends indeed.
    As I look back on those years, I really miss them.
    Funny how all of the lousy things that happen to you fade away and you are left with the friendships that you made during those assignments.

    I can still see all their faces even today, although, some of the names escape me.

  4. Great piece, thank you. I spent 24 yrs in the Marine Corps as an 0321 and the excerpt you quoted above is spot on. Semper Fidelis and Happy 242nd Birthday to our beloved Corps, 10 Nov 1775.