For all of you who have served in the American Armed Forces, doing your part to protect and defend our country, our honor and our way of life, please accept my thanks and my gratitude.

I’ve been in the service myself, and I’m going to take a moment for a ‘no shitter’.

When following the news, I can remember so well that it can seem like nobody really cares, they just say they do.

You look at the headlines, and it’s all about crowds of squatters demanding something or other, democrats and republicans fighting over control of the country like two dogs worrying both ends of the same bone, millions of people without jobs or a means of income being reduced to a bullet point stat for purposes of debate, talking heads arguing over who America should invade next, or police for the next couple of decades, and all sorts of other “WTF” stuff to wade through.

Craziness.

Sometimes it feels like Veterans Day is just another opportunity for people who 364 days out of the year couldn’t give a shit less about you to stand up and wave the flag and say “Oh yeah, I’m patriotic, love those troops! You go, guys and gals! Give ‘em hell!”

It can seem like that, and maybe in a lot of cases it is that way.

All I can tell you is, from one veteran to another, from the bottom of my heart, I thank you, one and all, for your service.

I don’t care why you chose to enlist in the armed forces. It does not matter, at the end of the day, whether you enlisted for benefits, a steady job in an uncertain economy, educational opportunities, world travel, adventure, to live the dream, or from a genuine desire to serve the country that gave you birth and preserve the freedoms we hold dear.

It doesn’t matter, because once you’re in, you’re in. As my Drill Instructor once told me (okay, shouted at me), there are no White Marines, Black Marines, Red, Yellow, Brown or Purple Marines, there are only Green Marines. Wherever you came from, whatever originally brought you together, you made that commitment.

What does matter in the end is that you stepped forward and you have done or are doing your part for the benefit of us all, and because of the combined efforts of each and every single one of you, I and my family continue to enjoy the freedoms we possess.

It is thanks to you that the conditions in America exist that give me the opportunity to have this website, and to continue speaking my mind EXACTLY how *I* choose to do it, without repression or censorship. I enjoy my freedom of personal expression thanks directly to you and the continued efforts of all veterans.

So, thank you. Thank you all very much.

And remember… when I go off the rails here, this website is all your fault.

17 Responses to “Happy Veterans Day!”
  1. Mhorgrim says:

    Said only in the way a veteran can say it. Myself, I got 5 more years and probably 2 more tours before I retire. I got no regrets and Im pretty damned proud of the work I’ve done. Thank you for remembering in a way that was real, and my thanks for your time served it’s something you will never forget and can always hold in honor.

    ~Mhorgrim

    • Boocat says:

      And you are my hero….yes, Mhorgrim is my rl husband. I’m so very proud of him and everything he does. My deepest thanks to him and all he does.

  2. Wìntur says:

    I would like to extend the same thanks right back at you, it is the NCOs of the past that laid the ground work for those of us in the present. No matter what branch, we all serve together, that is my viewpoint. Once a brother, always a brother. So thank you right back.

  3. Herr Drache says:

    /salute to all of you! Yes, my salute looks a little different, I served in a different country’s army – ironically guarding/protecting the perimeter of US “stuffs” :)

    To all the people who haven’t been in the service: Please keep in mind that the soldiers are all just following orders. Ultimately those orders are given by the government that the majority of “you” elected. If you disagree with the soldiers’ missions, don’t blame the soldiers for it, but thank them anyway, at least for doing their job and doing it well.

    And, yeah, occasionally thank them outside of Veteran’s Day / Independence Day, too ;)

  4. Malcolm Singer says:

    Well said sir well said

  5. Azwing says:

    First, I completely concur. Thanks to all that serve and have served.

    Second, BBB said – Sometimes it feels like Veterans Day is just another opportunity for people who 364 days out of the year couldn’t give a shit less about you to stand up and wave the flag and say “Oh yeah, I’m patriotic, love those troops! You go, guys and gals! Give ‘em hell!”

    A couple of rambly thoughts (and I hope no one takes offence, because that is in no way the intent).

    I think this problem stems from politicians, the media, the military, as well as citizens. Aside from days like Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day, there is little to remind people to think about the fact that we’re still involved in at least two wars. Contrast to WWII when people were asked to sacrifice for the greater good. Rationing was a fact of life. Instead, after 9/11 we went to war in Afghanistan at the same time we were given tax breaks and told to go spend more money. In one sense, I think politicians don’t want to ask people to sacrifice because then more people might question what they’re being asked to sacrifice for.

    I think the military and politicians learned some things from our experience in Vietnam. One, they learned that message control is hugely important. Part of that is controlling what information, and how much, is given to the public. Tighter control of the media means less exposure to the broader public, which results in ignorance and apathy. Two, they also learned that the draft creates problems…go fiqure. Now, an all volunteer military limits the sacrifice to a narrower slice of the public. I guarantee that if there was still a draft there would be a lot more people that give a shit for the other 364 days a year. In my opinion, this country should have mandatory 2-year military/public service for two years (say, 18-20) like many other countries do. Again, with something like that I bet there would be a lot less ignorance and apathy.

    Finally, citizens themselves have to take some responsibility. More people need to turn off Dancing with the Stars, or dare I say WoW, and watch/read the news. Get involved and take the time to learn about what’s going on and not just pay lip service once or twice a year.

  6. Obr Hess says:

    Happy belated birthday John. Thanks for your service to our country. Just got back from walking in the Veterans Day Parade with my Cub Scout Pack. Good to see the vets and their supporters.

    • bigbearbutt says:

      Thank you, sir. I didn’t say anything about yesterday, because I knew today was coming, but for those unaware, November 10th is when we celebrate the birthday of the United States Marine Corps. For Marines, it is our ‘birthday’.

      It’s funny, because last night my son had a school assignment to bring in a picture of a veteran today. Cassie asked me to dig out a picture of myself from those days… and I really don’t have much.

      What I found was a bunch of photos all from the same couple months at Camp Pendleton, including a bunch of me and my best friends at the Marine Corps Ball on Camp Pendleton in I believe 1992. Also found the only existing picture taken of me with my longboard in my old wetsuit, but the pictures of us at the ball certainly brought back memories.

      Cassie pointed out that I couldn’t let Alex use any of them, because in one I’m putting the bunny ears behind my friend Bobs head, and in another one of my buds is flipping the gang signs, which look a hell of a lot like flipping the bird. In fact, in every picture I’m being a smartass in some way. Good thing I’m never planning on running for office, huh?

  7. Boocat says:

    Well said, and as one Vet to another….Thank you! I come from a long line of Military people, it is a family tradition that we serve our country. Again thanks to all that stand the wall so we can sleep peacefully in our beds at night.

  8. freddyboomboom says:

    John, and the other vets (including Herr Drache) that have commented and read without commenting, thank you for your service.

    Those who served when I did (’85 to ’95), it was my honor and pleasure to serve alongside you.

    For the rest of the world, it was my honor and pleasure to serve you.

  9. Tsudrats says:

    Thank you

  10. Mannyac says:

    OOrah or HOOah whichever works

  11. Mannyac says:

    Sorry. Nothing but respect for bro’s/sisters in the Navy, Air Force or Coast Guard too

  12. Iru says:

    First up, much thanks & gratitude to all those who do and have served.

    BBB, your remark about people complaining reminded my of a post from my son’s face book page – he’s currently sitting around in Kuwait with the rest of his mechanised infantry battalion, hoping he doesn’t have to go back into Iraq, or somewhere else even less fun

    http://a2.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/s720x720/308675_10150396988084124_503179123_8287835_408355004_n.jpg

    My point with that pic is not to politicise anything, just remind people exactly how it is they get to have what they have.

  13. Quori says:

    From a former soldier to a former marine…thank you for your service.

    Q

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