General Commentary (May be military related) email: Kudzuacres1@juno.com
Friday, November 08, 2002
A friend sent this today:
WHAT IS A VET?
Some veterans bear visible signs of their service: a missing limb, a jagged scar, a certain look in the eye. Others may carry the evidence inside them: a pin holding a bone together, a piece of shrapnel in the leg or perhaps another sort of inner steel: the soul’s ally forged in the refinery of adversity. Except in parades, however, the men and women who have kept America safe wear no badge or emblem.
You can’t tell a vet just by looking.
What is a vet?
He is the cop on the beat who spent six months in Saudi Arabia sweating two gallons a day making sure the armored personnel carriers didn’t run out of fuel.
He is the barroom loudmouth, dumber than five wooden planks, whose overgrown frat-boy behavior is outweighed a hundred times in the cosmic scales by four hours of exquisite bravery near the 38th parallel.
She – or he – is the nurse who fought against futility and went to sleep sobbing every night for two solid years in Da Nang.
He is the POW who went away one person and came back another – or didn’t come back AT ALL.
He is the Quantico drill instructor who has never seen combat – but has saved countless lives by turning slouchy, no-account rednecks and gang members into soldiers, and teaching them to watch each other’s backs.
He is the parade – riding Legionnaire who pins on his ribbons and medals with a prosthetic hand.
He is the career quartermaster who watches the ribbons and medals pass him by.
He is the three anonymous heroes in The Tomb Of The Unknowns, whose presence at the Arlington National Cemetery must forever preserve the memory of all the anonymous heroes whose valor dies unrecognized with them on the battlefield or in the ocean’s sunless deep.
He is the old guy bagging groceries at the supermarket – palsied now and aggravatingly slow – who helped liberate a Nazi death camp and who wished all day long that his wife were still alive to hold him when the nightmares come.
He is an ordinary and yet an extraordinary human being – a person who offered some of his life’s most vital years in the service of his country, and who sacrificed his ambitions so others would not have to sacrifice theirs.
He is a soldier and a savior and a sword against the darkness, and he is nothing more than the finest, greatest testimony on behalf of the finest, greatest nation ever known.
So remember, each time you see someone who has served our country, just lean over and say Thank You. That’s all most people need, and in most cases it will mean more than any medals they could have been awarded or were awarded.
Two little words that mean a lot, “THANK YOU”.
Tuesday, November 05, 2002
I was having an email conversation with Terry at Possumblog this morning when I mentioned one of the all time great political lines. I said it was uttered by the Judge at the sentencing of Alfred Packer in Hinsdale County, Colorado for the crime of cannibalism. The quote I found here
The verdict was guilty, with death by hanging. The legend was that Judge Melville B. Gerry, on pronouncing sentencing said..."...There was siven Dimmycrats in Hinsdale County! But you, yah voracious, main-eatin son of a bitch, yah et five of them, therefor I sentence ye T' be hanged by the neck until y're dead, dead, dead!".
I later found the Ballad of Alfred Packer here along with this quote:He was freed in 1901 from the Canon City penitentiary through the efforts of the publishers of the Denver Post who wanted to exhibit Mr. Packer as part of a circus. As an outgrowth of the Packer affair, the publishers were both shot by attorney, William Anderson who was tried three times before being acquitted. The judge told Mr. Anderson "your motive was admirable, but your marksmanship abominable". The same judge is reputed to have said to Mr. Packer "there were just seven good Democrats in this country, and you ate five of them
Enjoy the ballad and your lunch/dinner.
I am faced with a tough decision this morning. It is pouring rain here and my voting place is in a low area and it is probably flooded and besides I only know negative things about the candidates and the President did not call to tell me to get out to vote and----. Oh darn, I registered to vote in Alabama (I formerly was a Coloradan) so since I am now on the jury rolls (roles?), I may as well go vote and get something out of it. Maybe they will give me a good citizen sticker and I can put it next to my "I Gave Blood Stickers". I guess I can hold my nose and then I can legitimately gripe and complain for the next four years.
By the way, if the people I vote for win, you won't hear me doing any bragging.