View Full Version : A Wonderfull Change In America
02-24-05, 03:17 PM
I guess that you can say that I am a high visibility old Marine, in that I generally wear USMC shirts and jacket and even my PT shorts and T-shirt say USMC. That and the fact that I sport a zero high and tight do, I think qualifies me for the "high visibility" statement. Several months ago while at the super matket a young man in line with me asked are you a Marine to which I responded yes, and then he said sir I would like to thank you for your service. I was dumdfounded, as it caught this Nam vet off guard, after a moment I said why thank you but I didnt serve in Iraq I served in a place called Vietnam. He then said thats even better I not only thank you sir I owe you an apology. This man was in his early thirties so I had to ask him why the apology? He then said that what our nation did to you guys in unforgivable but I think America learned its lesson and we will never let that happen again. At first I thought that this was a one time happen stance and I was just in the right place at the right time but it has happened again since to one degree or another. Last night at the ice cream shop getting a nicotine withdrawel hot fudge sundae again this morning at a 7-11 getting my morning coffee and paper. I have to tell you all this, I am humbled above words as to how this made me feel.
My question to ya'll is have any of you had this happen or have you noticed the extreme regard and love for our service men and women serving that exists today? Many folks hate this war just like Nam but they arent blaming the kids serving this time.
I just had to brag about it, it made me feel so good.
02-24-05, 03:59 PM
All the time, and I wear my vest that has leathernecks on it from by biker group. It doesn't matter what uniform you are in some people will reconize you.
02-24-05, 03:59 PM
When I go to an event that requires formal attire, I wear my tux with my miniture medals and Combat Aircrew wings.
Last Sunday evening, I was at a church sponsored sweetheart diner and I wore my tux with medals. I had several people come up and thank me for my service.
One of the individuals, I found out was an active duty Air Force E-7 with 16 years in. He is a Load Master on a C-5 and currently flys between Travis AFB, the US east coast, Rota Spain and Baghdad or Kuwait. He just shook my hand and said thanks for serving.
He mentioned that they have been hauling back to the states a number of very shot-up Marine Corps helicopters (some CH-53s but mostly CH-46s), unloading them at Cherry Point, NC. It seems that our Marines are getting a lot of ground fire lately.
Anyway, those thanks from others really make you feel good.
Thank you's have been directed at me many times. Some have gone out of their way to do this.
I had one guy follow me into a gas station to thank me after he saw my Vietnam Verteran licence plate.
I tend to show quiet pride but exhibit that pride even when I'm dressed up. A small hat or lapel pin, a patch on my jacket.
My pride though is a hand painted denim jacket with the POW/MIA patch painted on, a replica of the wall with a rose over top and some thoughts.
I usually only wear this at specific Veteran events and not in real cold weather.
I just might take a picture of this jacket and post it in the gallery. I know many of you would like it.
It was painted back in the early 90's by a friend (non Vietnam Vet).
02-24-05, 06:03 PM
I was a LCpl. sitting in a resteraunt in Hong Kong with two other Marines in 1998. We were there with the USS Ft. McHenry. An older American gentleman was sitting about two tables from us.
He asked us if we were Marines. When we told him, he started crying and gave us a hug. He had been a captured pilot during World War II that was rescued by US Marines...Moments like that make you proud, but also make you want to live up to the high standards set by the Marines before us.
02-24-05, 08:58 PM
It's happening, slowly but surely. I think this generation that's currently coming into its' own - gen. x, y or whatever - has much more common sense and a basic awareness of right and wrong. They are much more like the generation of their grandparents.
Now if we can just get rid of all the anti-military baby boomers that are entrenched as faculty at just about all of our institutions of "higher learning" . . .
02-24-05, 09:14 PM
It is coming around. After my active duty tour I joined the reserves in Las Vegas, NV (Hell of a place to "have" to travel too every month). After the conclussion of the 2001 Birthday Ball my date and I went down to the strip. Not only was every civilian we met grateful to the entire Corps, we couldn't buy a drink all night, but kept having our drinks refilled anyhow. We also got invited into a closed party, which it turns out was the "after party" for a major rock band.
Most Americans really have come to recognize and respect the sacrifices that have been made on their behalf.
It makes me even prouder of my country, and hopefully this can ease the pain that many of our brothers have felt since returning home from Vietnam. I know that my father (two tours in 'Nam as a sailor) has benifetted from this "New" patriotism.
I wear a brass reproduction of the Marine Corps Seal everyday on my Sheriff's Officer uniform. People notice and respect it.
02-24-05, 09:41 PM
As yet I don't have a Marine Corps jacket but my friend is a retired Navy Seal and has shopping priveleges at Great Lakes Naval station in Illinois. He said he'd pick one up for me the next time he felt the need to go shopping there. I do have several Marine corps decals & bumper stickers on my cars and one day as I was unloading my shopping cart a middle-aged man came up to me, emptied the cart and asked if I had a son in the Marine Corps. I told him unfortunately my sons were sailors but my husband and I proudly served in the Marine Corps. He came up to me and asked if he could shake my hand. While shaking my hand he said he was never able to serve, he was 4F. He thanked me for my service and my husband's. Said he had the greatest respect for the Marines. I thanked him and he said "your bumper sticker says 'Semper Fi' and I do know it means always faithful". He said what our Marines did in Korea, the Pacific and especially in Vietnam and now in Iraq, etc. certainly was proof of that. I have also had people comment on the purse my daughter made for me...it's full of Marine Corps emblems. Naturally I told them it was because I was in the Corps during the Korean "police action". Many times I was thanked and they expressed their high regard for the Corps. I guess maybe now with our young ones losing their lives in that lousy sand pit people are beginning to show appreciation to those who serve. Semper Fi
I am on recruiters aide right now and we went into a restraunt for evening chow and we were still wearing our dress blues. Well when we walked into the actual dining room we were met with a standing ovation from one table and a round of applause from every one else. They also paid for our meal. It was very humbling for me especially since i haven't really been anywhere yet. It really meant a lot to me though.
02-24-05, 10:54 PM
Yes, it seems as if while certain Americans don't support the war, they support our military. Especially our Marines. I had a woman the other day make a scene in order to shake my hand. She had never come across a WM and I made her day. It's truly motivating to see our fellow Americans support my brothers out their defending our freedom. :marine:
02-24-05, 11:42 PM
Every where i go i wear my red and gold Marine Corp hat and my Marine Corp gold ring and have been hugged and handshaked so many times that i cant even count them anymore. Of course i am like SSgt jinelson also a Vietnam Vet and when i tell them that its like it dont matter your a Veteran and i want to shake your hand and say thank you what is really a surprise to them is when i tell them that I have 2 sons carrying on the tradition of our fine Marine Corps and both in iraq and they all say please tell them thank you. Sometimes i find it real hard to deal with this type of stuff knowing how we Vietnam Vets where treated when we came home but i must admitt it sure feels strange for a complete total stranger to walk up to you and say i want to shake your hand or can i get a hug and say thank you for your time served..
02-25-05, 02:04 AM
When I joined in 83 under Reagan, there was a renewed sense of patriotism. I have always tried to show my appreciation for vets and active duty personel. I know how I appreciated it. I rarely pass up an opportunity to buy a marine in uniform a drink. It's funny how much impact you can have appreciating this great country and those that serve and have served.
02-25-05, 09:51 AM
Yeah. People see the USMC stuff and say "Thank you for your service."
I get a little embarrassed.
I joined because I wanted to and I probably got a lot more from the Corps than the Corps got from me. That should **** off someone at HQ Marine Corps.
02-25-05, 10:56 AM
The time folks take to say "thank you" is very appreciated. A FAR cry from what many of us experienced in the 60's and 70's. I tend to wear my Marine baseball cover a lot with the allotted number of ribbons and divison pins I can jam onto it. It is very gratifying when people notice and speak up. I also enjoy the simple winks of acknowledgement that you exchange with other vets.
02-25-05, 12:49 PM
This is my thoughts on the whole change in America. I cant really think of a time that any of this has happened to me but I still want to say "Thank you" to all of the 'Nam vets out there. You have always had my respect.
"Change in America"
My beliefs are that this wonderful change began on September 11th.
I believe that America forgot what the US flag represented and meant over the years. On 9/11 reveille was sounded wall to wall and tree top tall. Americans recieved a very violent wake up call that day. It was this that made people realize what the flag truly stands for. It was this that made them realize how vital our Military is to there very existence. And how wrongly they have treated them over the years. Not being in Vietnam, H#ll, i was just a glimmer in my Daddys eye, i could only watch videos and hear stories of how the Vietnam vets were treated when they came "home". And to be honest with all of you, it made me vomit. So this change is exactly what this country needed. People took it for granted that we have the "Most Elite Military" in the World. And thought, nobody could ever do anything to our soil. Oh how wrong they were. And now we all know it. So people have gained a new found respect for the service and the flag. And you see alot more patriotism in this country. Now you still have the tofu fartin fairies of the country saying things as they will. But for the majority, people understand that what our military is doing now is not just for the people of those countries, but that it is a statement to our own citizens that our military is here. Protecting and Serving.
And now they are saying the "Thank you's" that all of the 'Nam vets desere. And giving our returning vets the "Thank you's" they are due. Maybe the country doesn't want to travel down that road again.
Sorry if I rambled on and jumped back and forth alot, but I think I got my opinion out there.
Again, this is only my opinion and I could be wrong......but doubtful. LOL
Thank you to all of the 'Nam vets out there. And Thank you to all returning Marines who are coming home now.
You all make me proud to be in this family and this "Band of Brothers"
Semper Fi Marines.
02-26-05, 07:32 PM
And its not just in America.
At our Native American Pow-Wows this summer, we Veterans received the same praise and recognition. Despite the current Canadian politics, our family of Natives recognize who the warriors are.
The Master of Ceremonies would call out our names and service organization. When he would announce, "And Representing the United States Marine Corps, Michael Kannon!", you could feel the electricty! Freakin' awsome and humbling at the same time.
When we would circle the gathering four times with our flags and Eagle Staff, I always thought of our Marines in Iraq. I could feel myself trying to send that good will and praise over to them.
02-26-05, 09:16 PM
Awesome Yellowwing Simply Awesome Brother.
Sempers My Brother
I can vouch for the respect that verans get at Native American events. Although I'm not a Nez Pierce, I grew up on the Nez Pierce Indian Reservation. At every powwow or school event or whatever, the old warriors are wearing their military ballcaps, jackets or whatever. It's surprising to see how many of them are Marines. At all the powwows (and at football games), they have a flag ceremony to start it off. Some of the elders will be carrying flags, and more often then not, the Marine Corps flag is there too.
There is a lot of respect in Native America for veterans, usually more than you'd find outside the reservation.
04-03-05, 08:59 AM
The Native American tribes have always historically revered the warriors when returning from battle. In today's society they hold a special place in the tribe and as yellowwing stated honored with ceremonies at the seasonal or yearly pow wow.
Veterans do not hold that special place in the U.S. of A.. By "most" of the people,yes. By the government,no.We are used then put out to pasture to await the glue factory. In America a retiree or veteran is promised certain things, then the promises are reneged or the spending cuts freeze most benefits,or cut them out completely. I don't believe in handouts,however I do believe in the leadership trait of integrity.I don't believe in using the system for everything just because it is there.When a verbal or written contract was made there should be no discussion,no debate,no argument ,no committees formed,it should be done and the contract honored. In this civilian world if I did not honor a verbal or written contract for services rendered I would find myself in the legal system maize and the verdict would not be in my favor.
In the bittersweet sea of life and death, the government hopes that the veteran falls off the boat and cannot remain afloat.The active duty personnel are kept afloat only by the bare necessities that the budget allows.Patriotism for the most part has advanced in this country in the past decade and a half by a great majority of the people.But notice since the months following 911 how many flags of our country are now flown? And how many that are being flown are tattered and torn? I have been traveling in the past seven,eight months and have run into allot of people in rest areas that have seen the USMC sticker on my vehicle or have looked at my cover or jacket and have given the "Thank you!" for serving this country. I have also done the same in my travels and daily life,when I see a memento of any branch of service,on a vehicle or person.
The active duty men and women deserve our respect and I believe that they are doing a fantastic job in this country and this world. I for one also believe in defending their honor,from the protesters and the ignorant! Yes, the U.S. government honors it's active duty men and women for the great job they are doing with parades and pay increases. And they hold that special place when the grandiose speeches are made in front of a crowd or press conference. But,when the speeches for the living are over and the last echo of the lone bugler for the dead becomes silent,another battle pursues.One that all ready has been fought.
I think the original post was great and yes,something to brag about and I by no means I am not trying to detract from SSGT Nelsons post.
The United States government could learn a lesson from this tribal custom of honoring it's veterans and warriors. In the United States,how long after WW II did it take for this country to honor the code talkers of the great Indian nations?How long for memorials to be erected to honor the fallen,living and heroes of all wars,conflicts and missions?Semper-Fi! "Never Forget" Chuck Hall