What is a Vet
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  1. #1

    Cool What is a Vet

    What is a Vet

    Just A Common Veteran

    I'm just a vet, but wanted to let you know the feelings I have about veterans.

    The Eleventh day of the Eleventh month on the Eleventh hour, the 'War to
    End All War" was declared over. What was called World War I was officially
    ended. We all know it did not end all wars, it did not end wars involving
    the Untied States. As I write this we are engaged in a war. The one common
    thread of all of these wars is the Veterans.

    These veterans are the men and women who have given to their country, some
    have given the ultimate, their life, but all have given. I sit here and
    reflect on what a veteran is and how he/she feels, and will try to give you
    a glimpse inside the high walls involved with the sacrifices.

    My 'war' has come and gone, to give it a name, Viet Nam, however the name
    is just words describing a place and time. The feelings and emotions of war
    are something very personal to each and every individual who have

    War, at one time, was a glorious profession, men were trained from an early
    age to participate in it, trained from puberty in the arts and glories of
    war. There was a time that if your father was a warrior, you became a
    warrior. Time progresses, technology progresses, people progress. Many of
    the fathers who were warriors wanted to save their sons from the inner
    pain, and to some horror and terror, of the memories. By the time World War
    I came along, the glory was still there. Songs were written and popularized
    by the artists of the time. Posters and art reflected the glory of war, the
    warriors came home to great receptions, parties and revelries. The warriors
    came back to the 'girl back home' that they had dedicated their mission to,
    in addition to the dedication to the nation.
    Sometime after World War II, this stopped. I have no finite reason for
    this, however, the glory of war ceased. The men and women that served came
    home to quiet train stations, quiet bus stations, quiet air ports, often
    met only by family and loved ones, sometimes not even that pleasure.

    Toward the end of the Viet Nam 'War' the warrior was welcomed home to
    hostilities, groups of people who were against what the 'War' was about
    confronted the warrior, not the politicians who precipitated the situation
    we were placed in.

    Each warrior handled this in his/her special way. We ALL rebelled in our
    own way, some passively, by keeping all the feelings of hurt deeply
    entombed inside their very inner self, a huge wall built around it to
    protect the feeling. This was to protect the feeling, so no one could touch
    it, stir up the hurt again, to be safe. Others took the feeling and used it
    as a weapon to become an even better warrior, I believe it was said once to
    turn the hurt and hate inside on itself to overcome it. Yet, others tried
    to understand it, to soothe it and heal it.

    To understand how a veteran feels, you must understand the 'common
    veteran'. What I call the 'common veteran' is the individual who 'did
    his/her job'. This is not the 'Hero', (though every veteran is a hero of
    types) if you ask most veterans who the Hero's were, they will say, 'The
    Hero's never came home'. The Hero is the one out of the thousands that did
    something dramatic and were noticed. The common veteran was the one who
    carried the rifle, drove the truck, fueled the aircraft, plotted the
    mission, pushed the paper, gave the inoculations, spent hours on guard
    duty, and directed traffic. In other words, the common veteran is the
    veteran who did the jobs that needed being done.

    Hero's are not born or made, they are extraordinary people in unique
    circumstances that reacted in a way, usually placing their own being in
    danger to help others. Anybody in the correct situation could be a hero.
    Now in no way does this take away the glory bestowed on those who have
    honored themselves in these acts. I want to honor each and every common
    veteran who was not placed in a situation that resulted in such glory.

    Every veteran I have talked to would have loved to have been glorified in
    some respect for the duties they did, and each and every one did go beyond
    the expected in whatever they did. Every common veteran would have given
    anything to have been the one to have saved others. Every common veteran
    wants to be recognized as one who made a difference.

    The common veteran DID do that, and this Veterans Day, the Eleventh Month,
    Eleventh Day, Eleventh Hour, I will take a moment and reflect on my
    contributions, and reflect on every other veteran who contributed. Each of
    these veterans is a hero in my book. Had they not done their job, I could
    not have done MY job, and my job contributed to those who eventually got
    the recognition.

    I have my demons, as many others do. I have sleep sweats, I remember those
    that did not come back, both physically or mentally, I remember things
    based on smells, sights or sounds. I'm just a common veteran. I wanted to
    be a 'John Wayne' or 'Audie Murphy'. I never had the chance or
    circumstance, and to be honest, don't know how I would have reacted had I
    been placed in that situation, it would have to have been acted out and
    see, live die or be heroic.

    This Veterans Day I will remember those Veterans of ALL wars, past and
    present. I will make it my goal to shake a common veteran's hand, hug a
    veteran (and not specifically a combat veteran) welcome a veteran home. In
    addition, I will make a personal resolution to greet and welcome back a
    veteran who may now, or in the future, be put in harms way, regardless if
    they are combat arms, aviation, support. Regardless if Army, Navy, Marines,
    Air Force or Coast Guard. These people will suffer as I have, they will
    have memories that cannot be erased, have feelings that cannot be repressed
    forever, however, they will have one piece of information, I will be here,
    as long as I am breathing, to offer my shoulder, my hand, my ear, my vision
    to let them know they can speak, and know I've been there. Just as they
    have, I have been there, know the unlabeled feelings they have, the void in
    their inner selves, the inability to tell anyone, 'because they don't
    understand'. I may not understand the specific circumstance, but I do
    understand. I know the black void, I know the feeling of not being able to
    totally love. To cherish the feeling of another's touch.

    As I close this article, I bring myself to full attention, my older body
    slower, coming to, my right arm coming up to a salute, a salute to the
    common veteran, to all veterans.

    Before I go, just a few words to the families, your loved one may come home
    'not quite the way he/she left'. It is true, they have seen and done things
    that have changed them, be patient, love them, love them as you have never
    loved them before, they will need every molecule you have to offer. They
    may seem distant, they are, and they have seen and experienced much in the
    time gone. It doesn't matter if they were 'in the rear with the gear' or
    'out humpin the boonies' each will have changed, war does that, regardless
    of where served. This is the same person you allowed to go, and deep inside
    that same person is there, though modified somewhat. Love this person, love
    them like no tomorrow, do not let them become a statistic, as they will
    need everything you have to offer.

    I guess I have rambled on too long here, feeling the negative feelings of
    being a vet, offering advice from the other side, I am nothing but a common
    veteran, one who has felt the blackness of being a veteran, one who still
    has backsliding to the darkness, one who can only offer an observation, and
    a salute.

    Thank You


  2. #2
    Guest Free Member
    Semper Fi

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