Posts tagged ‘Veterans Day’

November 10, 2016

Veterans Day

by lewwaters

The latest from the wonderful children at Tussing Elementary School

http://www.restored.faithweb.com

Be sure to pause today and reach out and give thanks to any Veteran you know or come across. You live in a free country because of their sacrifices.

America’s Veterans, A Better Breed

November 11, 2015

Veterans Day – No Politics

by lewwaters

La Center Memorial Wall

November 6, 2015

Vancouver Veterans Parade Cheapened by Political Stunt – Updated

by lewwaters

WHEN DID VETERANS DAY STOP BEING ABOUT VETERANS?

Soldiers TearsHow inappropriate that some people are so politically charged that they feel they must invade a Yearly Parade to show honor and respect to those that have fought to defend our nation in our wars to promote their political cause.

Left or right doesn’t matter, Veterans Day and events held in association with it are no place to promote anybodies political agenda. It is one day out of the year set aside just to honor those men and women that have sacrificed their youth to protect our way of life.

If you are wondering why I say the above, I too was taken aback to stumble across a facebook page asking others to join in marching in the Veterans Parade to be held Saturday, Nov. 7 in Vancouver to promote and gather signatures for an initiative some want to see passed to eventually overturn a Supreme Court ruling on funding political campaigns.

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October 26, 2015

Heroes’ Song

by lewwaters

The latest from the wonderful children at Tussing Elementary School, by Michael and Angela Souders. For Memorial Day / Veteran’s Day 2015

November 10, 2014

I Still Believe – Veterans Day Song 2014

by lewwaters

The latest from the great kids at Tussing Elementary School

If you are on facebook, please like their page at Positive American Music

Many thanks to Michael Souders and those wonderful third grade children in his school

November 7, 2013

A Greater Nation

by lewwaters

The latest from our friends Michael & Angela Souders and those wonderful children at Tussing Elementary School

Michael says we are wonderful to them. It is they that are wonderful with their respect and thanks to Veterans every year.

September 27, 2012

Hero In This Place

by lewwaters

The latest from the fantastic kids at Tussing Elementary School and their teacher, Micheal Souder

November 5, 2011

Veterans Day Parade, Vancouver Barracks

by lewwaters

This years was the largest so far, over 120 entries.

More photos of the parade here

October 3, 2011

“This Is Still the Land of the Free”

by lewwaters

The latest from the kids at Tussing Elementary School in Virginia

Thank you too all who have served our country or love it.

Thank you Michael & Angela Souders

November 10, 2010

Woodland Primary School Goes All Out For Veterans

by lewwaters

I have long maintained that nothing surprises me any longer. I am happy to say I have been proven wrong and by a delightful classroom of 3rd Grade children I had the pleasure of sitting down with today, November 10 in recognition of Veteran’s Day.

Let me back up a little, though.

A week ago I received a short message through facebook from a lady I became acquainted with during the 2010 congressional primary campaign season, her and me supporting the same candidate. She asked me if I would be interested it coming by her school for an assembly in honor of Veteran’s Day and afterwards to accompany her to her classroom where I and some other Veterans would sit down with the children and talk to them about being a Veterans.

I accepted the invitation and put together a short presentation that hopefully would appeal to young children, a small assortment of photos of the countryside of Viet Nam and the helicopters I was associated with as well as some patches, badges and such that I have.

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May 28, 2010

DON’T YOU REMEMBER US?

by lewwaters

by Lew Waters
Viet Nam Veteran

Tearful RememberancesI remember that day long ago when I decided to join the Military. I know you can’t remember that day, but I do. I hoped I might not have to travel half way around the world to fight in that war long ago.

You looked proud of me then, but I could see the fear in your eyes. I could feel the apprehension inside of me, fear of the unknown, Basic Training, maybe fighting. But I went because it was the right thing to do.

I remember feeling so proud to put on the uniform and having my photo taken during Basic Training and how in your letter you said I looked all grown up and how proud you were of me.

I remember completing Basic and being sent off for more training in the skill the Military would assign me and the day towards the end when my orders came, telling me that I was being sent off to that far away land. I was going to war to help preserve someone else’s freedom and stand against those who would oppress others.

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November 11, 2009

David Castillo: Thank A Veteran Today

by lewwaters

David Castillo For Congress Header jpg

Friends,

What a remarkable and wonderful country we live in! I am continually amazed and inspired by the generosity, hard work, and ingenuity of the American people. And, on Veteran’s Day, I am again reminded of the incredible sacrifices our service men and women, their families, and our veterans have made.

In the military, you learn what the concept of sacrifice truly means – and you begin to understand that sacrifice takes many forms. President Andrew Jackson once said “you must pay the price if you wish to secure the blessing”. This is the attitude that so many veterans, and their families have taken. They recognize that each one of us must give of ourselves, in some way, in order to “secure the blessings of liberty”. I learned in my military experience that sacrifice can be a form of generosity. Giving of yourself to your country.

Today, we honor the 24 million veterans who proudly walk among us – those who have served and defended this great nation. We also should remember the families who waited, worried, and wondered while their loved ones were in harms way.

I am so proud to have served in the United States Navy, but I am prouder of the wonderful people that I served with. I want to thank Turk Shekem, my Commanding Officer at HS-6 who is one of the finest men I have ever met. Thank you to Chief Gene Whately for having faith in me and helping me grow. Thank you Bryan Stidham, Joe Garcia, Andy Blancas, Drew Parks, Eli Ramos, and the other members of HS-6 who made my experience so educational.

It is not cliché to acknowledge that we have the freedoms we have because brave Americans are willing to risk their lives in defense of those freedoms. Ours is a remarkable system in that men and women freely volunteer to put themselves in harms way so that we can live the lives that this country gives us the opportunity to live.

In the airport, at the supermarket, in the park, or on your street – thank our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines for their service.

God Bless!

David Castillo Signature

 

 

 

Web sites where you can show your appreciation for our Veterans.

USO

Veterans of Valor

VFW: Veterans of Foreign Wars

The American Legion

Mom4RMarines

Operation Gratitude

Air Compassion for Veterans

November 3, 2009

Unsung Heroes That Won The Cold War

by lewwaters

Once again we prepare to honor those who have served in all of our wars, paying special homage to those who did not return from our wars. Nearly all of us who served in combat zones over our history view those whose names are etched in stone on the many Veterans Memorials as the true heroes of our conflicts.

Viet Nam is labeled as “America’s Longest War” due to our involvement in that country from 1950 to the fall of Saigon in 1975. That 25 years pales when considering that after World War Two, we began engagement in a much longer war, but a more quiet war, a war where our Troops did not fire weapons at the enemy but stood at the ready nonetheless, training for a battle that never materialized.

The “Cold War” was fought with political conflict, military tension, and economic competition with the increasingly threatening build up of the most brutal weapons known to mankind that never were used.

That war lasted 46 years, 1945 to 1991 and was manned by many millions of heroes who often fought boredom in lonely outposts in the Arctic, walked along a fenced border in Europe or flew many hours circling in pre-staging areas armed with nuclear weapons awaiting the order to return any attack against our nation from the very formidable enemy we fought against, the Soviet Union and the oppressive stranglehold that ideology had on so many European countries as they attempted to spread their influence on peaceful nations.

East German Fence

While the world sat on the brink of nuclear annihilation and moved as close as it ever has during the early 1960’s, it never saw the feared nuclear confrontation between the two superpowers, in spite of our engagements in both the Korean and Viet Nam wars.

On November 9, 1989 the world witnessed the beginning of the end of the Soviet Empire as a wall built to divide the city of Berlin Germany came crumbling down, opened by citizens of the divided city who longed to be free and to freely visit relatives who lived on the free side of the city.

President Ronald Reagan’s famous speech where he uttered the ominous words, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall” two years earlier, saw their fulfillment. The wall dividing Berlin and the fence dividing the country opened up and freedom returned to that half of the country.

By December 1991, the world watched as the Soviet Union itself collapsed

Much credit was given to President Reagan for winning the Cold War, with some preferring to grant credit to President Jimmy Carter for starting the collapse in the late 1970’s.

Truth be known, all presidents who came along during the time of the Cold War continued policies set in motion by President Harry S. Truman shortly after World War Two. It was he who initiated the Berlin Airlift in 1948 to break the blockade of Berlin initiated by the Soviets to force allied powers out.

While we tend to give accolades to presidents and generals for victories, it is the hard work and extraordinary efforts of the common soldiers and officers who flew those planes, loaded and unloaded them and who directed aircraft safely in and out of Berlin that broke the blockade.

Likewise, as we feared invasions from communist nations close and far away or nuclear annihilation from ICBM attacks, it was the common soldiers who again manned sub-freezing temperatures across the northern hemisphere in lonely radar stations in what was called the DEW Line that kept vigil should a Soviet launch begin.

It was common men and women who sat in offices in front of monitors and screens watching 24 hours a day 7 days a week in undisclosed locations watching for any warning sign of a pending attack.

It was ordinary people who joined a peace-time Air Force and who manned bombers armed with nuclear weapons circling the edges of our nation 24 hours a day 7 days a week, leaving their posts only when a relief flight came up top take over.

It was people from all over the country, all races, all colors, descendants of all nationalities who enlisted out of high school or answered the call of the nation in the draft and who served their two years along the borders of Europe, the DMZ of South Korea, Japan, the Philippine Islands and lonely posts spread across the globe and prepared to fight off any enemy that would be foolish enough to try to conquer our nation from outside.

Some of these same people joined in the silent service of our Naval Forces, above and below the surface of the world’s oceans who, like the Air Force’s Strategic Air Command kept constant vigil far away from their homes to keep America and her inhabitants safe from oppression.

Many protected those of my generation who fought in Viet Nam and those who served elsewhere as we grew into adults and learned from their sense of duty to stand up to the oppression of communism and carry forth their vigilance.

As we approach this 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, it is to those Cold War Warriors who never had to face the enemy head-on, who didn’t have the chance to earn medals of valor, who may have never collected hazardous duty pay, but stood at the ready should they have been called that I dedicate this Veterans Day to this year.

It is to their service and sacrifice that supplied the deterrent we all took for granted that I recognize this year.

Whenever we may feel their contribution to our greatness as a nation was not worth as much as ours, remember the famous photo from 1961 of the East German Soldier leaping across the wire in Berlin to the free west as the city was being divided by the communists.

East German Soldier Leaping

To all my brothers and sisters who served throughout the Cold War, standing watch on cold and miserable nights around the world, well done. Your steadfastness and readiness is what won the Cold War. Your combat may have been boredom, but you stood watch, keeping America safe, always at the ready.

“A veteran – whether active duty, retired, national guard, or reserve – is someone who, at one point in his or her life, wrote a blank check made payable to The ‘United States of America’, for an amount of ‘up to and including my life.’” (Author unknown)

Thank Your Military

Thank you too all who served.

May 24, 2009

What Demons Lurk Within John Laird?

by lewwaters

John LairdIn his weekly tirade, Columbian Editorial Page Editor John Laird makes an attempt at a Memorial Day tribute, sans the usual anti-Republican vitriol.

For veterans, some demons never die

Laird does pay a touching tribute to his now deceased older brother, also a fellow Viet Nam Veteran. But, he also seems to display the usual misunderstanding the general public has towards not only Viet Nam Veterans, but also Veterans in general.

Much of this I discussed a while ago in another post, Veterans, Warriors and Heroes, not Victims.

Laird discusses how his brother came home and would not talk about the war, much like many others. I do not presume to speak for his brother, but as a Viet Nam Veteran myself, do have some knowledge of this matter.

Many of us would not discuss it for a variety of reasons, some because we felt no one wanted to listen. We also saw the portrayal of us in the media, TV, movies and often in person and it was not who we were and we did not wish to be associated with that misrepresentation.

Apparently forgotten by Laird is that we are so far the only returning Veterans to face the scorn of the nation, spit at and largely demonized, until they decided we were merely hapless victims of Republican Politicians, ignoring that it was Democrat Politicians who deeply involved us in that war in the first place.

Some had memories too harsh to recall and tried to bury them, as in every other war.

Most tried to simply blend back in and resume their lives before Viet Nam, hiding from the scorn the nation threw our way. Laird’s brother undoubtedly fell into one of these and chose to remain silent.

I consider myself one of the lucky ones in that regard as I chose to remain in the U.S. Army after Viet Nam and was not subjected to as much public vitriol as did many others, having served in Germany until after our involvement in Viet Nam ended in 1973.

Somewhere in all this, John formed in his mind a middle ground between our fallen we memorialize on Memorial Day and all Veterans we honor on Veterans Day. A group of “military veterans who survived combat but whose lives are shortened by the lingering, horrific impacts of fighting in defense of America.

I suspect his attempt is sincere, but misguided as he says, “All across Clark County, there are people whose lives have been physically, emotionally or psychologically wounded by war. Their scars are visible as well as hidden, intermittent and incessant, diagnosed and treated but also self-suppressed and festering.

Why does he not include those who are also proud of their service and defense of America? Does it ever occur to him that his own constant drone against the Bush administrations prosecution of this war contributes to Veterans “self-suppressed and festering” emotional wounds?

Perhaps he is attempting to hide his own guilt towards his brother, as he also says how he stopped asking when John never accepted invitations to go fishing. Perhaps John’s brother would have taken those quiet moments to openly discuss pent up emotions with John and since John turned down the invitations, just clammed up like many others, feeling no one wanted to listen to us.

Most disconcerting is when he states, “Millions of veterans still fight demons they could not jettison back in the war zones.

All sorts of people fight demons lurking within them. Crime victims, abuse victims, guilt ridden and nearly every category you can imagine can imbed those “demons” deep within ones mind.

John’s choice of “Millions of veterans” is all too reminiscent of the words of failed presidential candidate, John ‘F’in Kerry in 1971 when he said, “The country doesn’t know it yet, but it has created a monster, a monster in the form of millions of men who have been taught to deal and to trade in violence…..

No John, we Veterans are just ordinary citizens who had to perform extraordinary tasks because of our belief that America should remain free and are willing to fight to retain that freedom.

This brings us back to John Laird and just what demons is he fighting? Considering his own weekly vitriol expressed towards Republicans and conservative causes and values, just what drives him if not also his own demons?

Guilt over is brother? Perhaps feelings of shortcomings for not having stood up as his brother did? Whatever they may be only he knows, but they show in his writing and expressions of misgivings towards those he disagrees with.

Perhaps what is really needed is a middle space for newspaper editors who don’t understand themselves why they hate opposing views so deeply.

November 9, 2008

America’s Veterans, A Better Breed

by lewwaters

A repost in honor of all of Clark County’s Veterans and all Veterans throughout America. Our Veterans are owed what can never be repaid.

victoria-taft-washdcthewall
America’s Veterans, A Better Breed

November 10, 2007

It may be very difficult for many to understand, but there exists a segment of our society, a minority within, that willingly place themselves between our enemies and the rest. That segment has always been there throughout our history and will remain there in the future.

They come down from the mountains. They come from the cities of the North and the Bayous of the South. They leave the beaches of California and Florida. North, South, East and West, they leave the comfort of their homes and loved ones to volunteer for America. Young and older, Black, White, Brown, Red and Yellow skinned, historically male, but now female too, they come with no desire of praise or large salaries, but a desire only to see America remain the freest nation on the planet and to see others share in the freedoms we do.

Not all face battle, but many do. Some pay the ultimate sacrifice and end up forgotten by all but family, loved ones and maybe those that sent them. Some never return, lost forever, their fate unknown to all who know and love them.

Others return wounded, broken in body or mind. They may face a life of scorn by the very ones they were protecting. All too often those who wish to use them to further political agendas and who could care less about them use them as political props. They are looked upon as victims instead of as the heroes and patriots they really are.

Many desire to return to battle alongside their comrades as soon as possible, missing limbs and fitted with prosthetics. Lifelong friendships may be forged after the battle ceases while others shun closeness, fearing the pain of losing a friend during another battle.

Our media pages and reports are filled with bad news and claims against them. Some of our politicians denigrate their sacrifices for political gain. And still, they continue to come from all corners of the nation to fight for our freedoms, liberties and to keep our great nation free.

These are the ones that fill the ranks of our Armed Services and our Veterans Groups. They are America’s Veterans.

I once received in email what I consider to be the very best Definition of a Veteran I have ever seen.

A veteran – whether active duty, retired, national guard, or reserve – is someone who, at one point in his or her life, wrote a blank check made payable to The ‘United States of America’, for an amount of ‘up to and including my life.’” (Author unknown)

That is Honor. An Honor that too many Americans no longer understand. That is the courage to leave everything behind and possibly travel to far lands to face an enemy to keep people you don’t even know free or to free a people you also don’t know.

I am one who has a very difficult time affixing “Greatest” to any generation as every generation has faced their trials and tribulations. World War Two gave us many who traveled far to fight oppression and tyranny. Many were forced into the Military and many others volunteered.

Korea and Viet Nam were similar but with the Korean Veterans simply being forgotten and the Viet Nam generation facing the scorn of a thankless nation for many years. Yet, the Viet Nam generation had a greater percentage of volunteers than did the World War Two generation.

Today’s Military and Veterans of the current battles are 100% volunteer, no one is forced into the Military against their will. How can we rate these Soldiers, Airman, Sailors and Marines any less than earlier Veterans we consider “the Greatest?” I cannot.

As we reminisce and celebrate another Veteran’s Day, let us recall that we still have several in Harms Way, doing what many of us did before, facing an enemy to keep America free. Facing an enemy to free an oppressed people.

America owes its Veterans, all of its Veterans, a debt of gratitude. It is a debt that can never be adequately repaid. We can never regain what we gave up in our youth to face the enemy. We can never repay what others give up today to keep us free.

The best we can do is honor and respect them, teaching our children to also honor and respect the sacrifices they made and are making today.

Until such time that the world stops producing despots, tyrants and those who feel they have a right to rule all others, we will keep on producing Veterans and they will continue coming forth for all of us. I thank God that they keep coming.

To all my fellow Veterans, Welcome Home! Thank You!

November 9, 2008

Is This How The Columbian Honors Veterans?

by lewwaters

Army Medics

Army Medics

Yesterday saw our annual Veterans Day Parade through Officer’s Row. A rainy day, umbrellas rivaled flags as the parade made its way through Officer’s Row past those who braved the weather to give Honors to our nations Veterans.

Tom Voght presents us with a very uplifting account of how the estate of Frank and JoAnne Lough has given the Vancouver National Historic Reserve Trust over $1 Million to help “fund the annual Celebrate Freedom Veterans Day Parade and support educational programs at the Pearson Air Museum.”

Vancouver will benefit for many years from their final act of such generosity.

Moving ahead, today’s Columbian also sports a headline of Salute To Service, highlighting an 84 year-old World War Two Veteran Medic who rode in yesterday’s parade.

Isolde Raftery tells us that former Pfc Richard Mathews “vivid memories of wartime France haven’t faded in 44 years,” before letting us know the all-important quip of, “[he] won’t divulge how much Cognac he drank when he was a young medic.”

After enlightening us with Mr. Matthews 5 mile hike to Normandy and on to Cologne, Germany, trading K and C rations Chocolate along the way, Raftery again reminds us that “perhaps,” Mr. Mathews traded for “a half barrel of Cognac as well.”

While I wasn’t present for the “interview,” surely Raftery must know that Military Medics during War perform other duties than to imbibe Cognac.

As a Veteran myself, I too consumed probably more alcohol than I should have, if back at Base Camp after duty hours. Never during duty hours or if standing Perimeter Guard. Mr. Mathews says pretty much the same, that “he tipped back his canteen cup after duty only.”

Perhaps Raftery attempted to give a light-hearted view of Mr. Mathews Service, which undoubtedly included many cases of at least helping to save the lives of our Brave Warriors, either on the Battlefield or even if at a Tent Hospital in the rear.

Army Medics are at the front in saving the lives of our Fighting People, they are the first responders to battle and many a Veteran owes their life to them. Even veterans who weren’t Combat Troops and who were in “the rear with the gear,” depended on Medics for treatment that doctors could not always get to right away or were of a more minor variety.

Have we become so desensitized to our veterans that we now see focusing on how much Cognac one might have consumed during a war as a “Salute to Service?”

Do we not see that it was these Brave people, back then and even today, that are placed between our enemies and us in order to protect America so we don’t have to face what they and citizens of countries ruled by despots do?

From this Veteran to Mr. Mathews, thank you, sir. Thank you for being one of those who gave me a safe country to grow up in. Thank you for all the freedoms and liberties I have enjoyed over the past 60 years. Thank you for the possibility that it might have been you that helped save my own fathers life during WW2, otherwise I wouldn’t have even been born to enjoy the greatest freedoms and liberties known to mankind.

To all Veterans, Thank You, Welcome Home.