(photo courtesy Leon Hammack)
This week on November 11 we will celebrate Veteran’s Day.
I would like to make a suggestion that each day this week we all should take time to reflect, appreciate, and honor those men and women who are serving in our military in the Army, Navy, Marines, and the Air Force, both domestically and abroad. These men and women are the future of this country in more ways than one, they are our sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, and some are our mothers and fathers. More importantly, these honorable men and women are asked to fight for, and defend the basic core of our existence, yet they get very little in return. Notwithstanding, some may give the ultimate sacrifice, their lives, in order that we may have the freedoms that we all take for granted everyday. It is quite unfortunate that, as we have all come to learn, freedom is never free, it is paid for by the lives of our young men and women!
Additionally, we need to honor those men and women who were asked to defend our country and fight the most unpopular war in the history of this country. I am referring to the conflict that engulfed and divided my generation, the Vietnam War. Those returning Vietnam era GI’s never received the respect that the GI’s of any other previous war in our history got to enjoy. In fact the Vietnam vets were treated generally with disrespect and contempt upon their return to “the World”. They were only doing what was asked of them by our government at the time.
It is also a time time honor all those men and women who came before us, “the greatest American generation”, our fathers and grandfathers who fought “the war to end all wars”, WWII.
This week take time out of each of your days and make an effort to do something nice for these men and women, make a difference in their lives. After all, they have made a difference in our lives. The easiest way to that would be to go out of your way to tell a veteran/GI that you really appreciate the sacrifice that they are making for us. Try it, you might be surprised at the response that you will get!
To all my friends and family who have served our country, I want to thank you very much for your sacrifices!
Duty, honor, country, those are the words that General Douglas MacArthur used in a speech that he delivered to the West Point Military Academy student body on May 12, 1962, at the age of 82!
The idea of duty, honor, and country still rings true almost 50 years later. If you want to read MacArthur’s speech, click on the previous link of duty, honor, country. Additionally, for those who may not be totally familiar with the USA’s quintessential war horse, click on his name above and read about him. MacArthur was like no other American general in our history.
Check out this Trace Adkins video. Listen to words, especially at the end of the music. It is the West Point men’s choir that sing the final verse, it is very moving!
Say a prayer for peace for our daughters and our sons!
Captain Boyd L. Hammack, USAF (1973-1979)