Archive for November, 2011

I Am A Veteran by Doug Lund

I Am A Veteran

For over two centuries we have kept our nation safe.
Purchasing freedom with our blood. To tyrants, we are
the day of reckoning; to the oppressed, the hope for the
future. Where we were needed, we were there…We are
Veterans!

Whether we were Eagles guarding the Heavens …
grunts being King of our Hill or Seawolves stalking our
prey under the waves … we all were and are Veterans
…. Sworn Defenders of our Constitution. We built our
Fortress of Liberty …. We guarded the Gates of Freedom
… We signed the Blank Check … payable in blood.

We had not yet even begun to fight but we were there
from the beginning, meeting the enemy face to face,
will to will. Hardship and glory we have known. Our
bleeding feet stained the snow at Valley Forge; our
frozen hands pulled Washington across the Delaware.
At Yorktown, while the sunlight glinted from the sword,
we, begrimed… saw our Nation born.

At New Orleans, we fought beyond the hostile hour,
showed the fury of our long rifle… and came of age.

We were with Scott at Vera Cruz… hunted the guerilla
in the mountain passes… and scaled the high plateau.
The fighting was done when we ended our march many
miles from the old Alamo.

From Bull Run to Appomattox, we fought and bled.
Both Blue and Gray were our colors then. Two masters
we served and united them strong… proved that this
nation could right a wrong… and long endure.

We led the charge up San Juan Hill … scaled the walls
of old Tientsin… and stalked the Moro in the steaming
jungle … still always the vanguard.

At Chateau-Thierry, first over the top, then we stood
like a rock on the Marne. We cracked the Hindenburg
Line… We broke the Kaiser’s spine… and didn’t come
back home ’till it was “over, over there.”

A generation older we briefly bowed at Pearl Harbor
and Bataan, but then vowed to return. We fought and
won the greatest naval battles in history, from Midway
to Guadalcanal to Okinawa. Our foe fought to the death
and we set the Rising Sun.

We Assaulted the African shore… learned our lessons
the hard way in the desert sands… we pressed our
buttons into the beach at Anzio… and bounced into
Rome with determination and resolve.

We cleared the skies over Europe with wild Mustangs,
Lightnings and Thunderbolts.

We crossed the English channel… Breached Hitler’s
Atlantic Wall… We broke out at St. Lo… Unbent the
Bulge… Vaulted the Rhine… and swarmed the
Heartland. Hitler’s dream and the Third Reich died. We
won the Greatest War in History.

At birth our Air Force won its first victory… by feeding
freedom from the jaws of an evil dictator and proved
that All Freemen are Berliners

In Korea, we gathered our strength around Pusan…
swept across the frozen Han… outflanked the Reds at
Inchon… marched to the Yalu, and kept a nation free.

At the brink of World War … We caused our enemy to
blink.

In Vietnam, while others turned aside, We fought the
long fight, from the Central Highlands to the South
China Sea. We patrolled the jungle, the paddies, the
rivers and owned the skies in the bitter test that belongs
to the betrayed. While WE never lost a battle, we came
home to be spit on.

Around the world, we stand… ever forward. At Berlin’s
gates, we scorned the Wall of Shame. We spanned the
Caribbean in freedom’s cause, answering humanity’s
cry. In Santo Domingo we patrolled the streets to
protect the innocent. In Grenada, we jumped at Salinas
rescued our fellow citizens and proclaimed freedom for
all. Our arms set a Panamanian dictator to flight and
once more raised freedom’s flag. In the Persian Gulf,
we drew the line in the desert and won the Mother of
all Battles.

When cowards attacked women and child on 9-11,
we planted the seeds of freedom in the cradle of
civilization. We will not submit… we will not convert…
the cowards can run… but they will only die tired.

Where brave men fight… there I fought and stood. In
freedom’s cause… I live and I kill. From Concord Bridge
to Heartbreak Ridge, from the Arctic to the Mekong,
from the Caribbean to Kabul…Always ready… then, now,
and forevermore.

My bayonet…on the wings of power… keeps freedom
worldwide. And despots, falsely garbed in freedom’s
mantle, falter… hide…. And die.

I Follow… I Teach… I Aid… I Lead… I am a Veteran!  FOLLOW ME!
Adapted from “I Am the Infantry” by Doug Lund, USMA ‘85

Many thanks Doug! From your “brothers”!

SparkChaser4

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Veteran’s Day Outing

On Veteran’s Day of this year, my wife and I attended the Free Lunch for Veteran’s given annually at the local Applebee’s Restaurant as we did last year. I wrote this following letter on returning home later that evening to my family.

 

Hi all;

I had to say something about what happen to me, November 11, 2011. Nida (my wife) and I went to the 185th Avenue Applebee’s Restaurant for lunch. I knew beforehand about the nice spread they put on free for Veterans as we attended it last year also. Only this time was a little different.

While seated at our table, waiting for our order to be delivered, I happen to spot several children moving amongst the crowds. And believe me, the place was packed with additional people outside in the cold waiting for their name on the list to be called. Anyway, after seeing the children, I absently thought they were just with their parents as I noticed a few women and men following behind them.

I then saw two young boys that stopped at the table next to us and spoke with the five Veterans seated there. Dismissing it from my mind, I went back to scanning a drink menu for a bit when I felt a small hand rest upon my arm. I looked up to see a young boy of about eight years of age, look me in the eyes and was saying something. Due to the din in the restaurant, I asked him to repeat what he had said and so he did.

“Are you a Veteran?”, he asked. I said that I was, whereupon he handed me an obviously hand-made card and then, offered his hand. I took it in mine and shook it gently. I told him of my appreciation for such a kind gesture and thanked him again. He took the half-step to close on me and leaned forward toward my ear. I leaned toward him waiting to hear what he wanted to tell me. He told me just three words, three words that brought tears to my eyes.

He said, “You’re my hero.” It was like a punch in the stomach. The tears started a little just then, as I watched him move on to the next table past Nida and I. Now admittedly in the past I have had many individuals walked up to me, grab my hand, my arm or shoulder, even one that gave me a peck on the cheek, all thanking me for my service. I’ve been thanked by men, women, boys and girls from around thirteen and up. But this male was the youngest and a proper gentleman at that.

After meeting this young man and thinking if this is what our youngest generation is like, it has allayed my mind of any fears or doubts whatsoever in knowing we are leaving this world in good hands.

May He bless them all,

Love, Denny & Nida

 

Now here are scans of both sides of that card he gave me.

 

Your My Heroscan0002

 

For those that have trouble reading the small print, here is what it says:

 

Heroes

In war, there are lives taken and lives risked

Men and women giving there best to defend what they love

They defend their country

Their honor

Their people

 

Some call them soldiers

Others call them heroes

 

Our veterans have risked their lives for us

They have lived through difficulty and fought with honor

 

Many have killed

And regret doing so

 

For every life, there is a soul

For every soul, there is a life

 

For those who have died, we show great appreciation

For those who live, along with them live the horrific memories of battle

 

Some, memories of defeat

Some, memories of victory.

 

Our veterans were more than soldiers

They were, and still are heroes

Indeed!  Bless them all!

SparkChaser4