Thanks! Thank-you veterans for having the guts and sense of duty to keep us all free and safe. Thank-you veterans for giving years of your lives, or the comfort of an uninjured life, or your life itself to keep us free and safe. Thank-you veterans for being there for all of us.
Veterans Day commemorates all the veterans who served, all the veterans who came home changed and all the veterans who did not come home. My dad and his three brothers and all their friends were all part of the "greatest generation", the WWII vets who joined to fight the enemy. Not to make America larger or richer or more powerful, but to make the world free. I have my grandmother's blue star mother banner from WWII, it has 4 stars in the field. Her neighbor, Mrs. Miller had 3 stars, but 2 turned gold during the course of the war.
My dad and his best friend, Kenny Miller, joined the Army on December 8, 1941. Dad came home with malaria, Kenny didn't make it home. He was the tail gunner on a B-17 shot down over Holland in 1943. He was buried by the captive citizens of the small Dutch city where he crashed, in a place of honor in their cemetery. After the war, his body was moved to an American military cemetery in France. The only foreign soil procured by the American military in WWII.
My grandfather was with the Army in WWI serving in the artillery in France. He came home with malaria. My dad was in the Army in WWII. He was in China, Burma and India. He came home with malaria. I remember him having an attack at Christmas in 1955. We were in downtown St. Paul Christmas shopping. All of a sudden he was sweating profusely, shaking and bright red even though the temp was only 25* or so. His life was changed by his service. My brother served in the Army in Vietnam. He came home with a 105* temp having contracted something the Army diagnosed as non-specific encephalitis (meaning they had no real idea what kind of jungle rot he had). I was lucky, Vietnam was over before I graduated. My brother's life was changed forever and I had the luxury of living free and safe.
I really appreciate what all the veterans have done and are still doing for me and for us. Thank-you very much.