Happy Veteran's Day to all those who served in our armed forces in our history. Today is for those who signed on the dotted line, stepped up and served the United States of America, in one of our branches of services. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corp, or Coast Guard has protected and defended our freedoms since 1776.
When I was young I never thought much about Veteran's Day or Memorial Day, but I know my Dad always did, and now understand why he did. Dad served in the Navy during WW2, and they used Dad in a special way, since he was a Areonautical Engineer. Dad served stateside, stationed in Corpis Christi, Texas, doing projects to better improve the aircraft used in the war. Dad was a engineer for Bell Aircraft in the early 40's having worked secretly on the first American Jet aircraft the "Aerocomet", as well as the "Aerocobra" fighter which Bell made thousands of. During the War, Dad did testing to fighters and bombers, including the B17. Mom was home with my sister and grandparents like others while the war was being faught. Rationing, drives, airraids, and civil defence drills, it was a wartime enviorment. Dad served his country, the war ended, and he returned to civilian life, and to a career in aviation with Bell Aircraft. Dad had a very close relation with the military in his career, spending much of his time with Wright Patterson, top generals, and test pilots for the air force.
The older I get, the more I appreciate and think about Veteran's Day, and Memorial Day. I reciently had a old high school friend contact me, finding me by contacting John. He faught in Viet Nam, 2 tours, highly decorated, including 2 purple Hearts. My friend has had a long battle with throat cancer, his voice affected, we are no longer those 101st airborne paratroopers or Marines we once were. Greg saw heavy duty action in the 101st, while I was a reservist, and was lucky to have been spared from what he went through. Greg reminded me talking of returning home on leave, to being hated and spit on, and wearing uniforms was not really advised. Our vets came home shot up, or dead, only to be greeted with distain. It was shameful.
The difference in mindset from my Dad's generation, to the Viet Nam generation was a stark difference, and thankfully today we have not taken public opinion of these wars out on those who wear the uniforms, like in the 60's.
If you seen anyone in uniform today, thank them. If you know anyone who ever served, thank them. They deserve our respect, and gratitude. We live in a era of no draft, and I have said this many times, to appreciate and honor those who have enlisted. One heartbeat and a signature is all it would take to return this country to drafting again. Not having to have that obligation is a luxury, the least we can do is honor them today.
Dads reflexions all this time, are what mine are on these days now. We are so thankful for a long full life, to have had a family, enjoyed the good things in life as free Americans, thanks to those who have worn a uniform.