Anybody out there see yourself in this photo? May 1967 at Great Lakes Naval Training Center. Drop me a line if you do. That is me to the right of the Company Commander.
It is called Veteran’s Day now, ever since 1954. The original holiday was to celebrate the end of World War One. The peace was signed at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. It celebrated the end of war. WWI was to be the war to end all wars. (That part didn’t work out.) My Grandfather was there, in Europe, in the trenches. He was gassed and never quite the same. They didn’t do much for PTSD back then. Ending war brings our troops home and they emerge as veterans. Nowadays we have a lot of veterans because the wars don’t end.
A lot has changed in the last 50 years. By the way, if you see me you don’t have to thank me for my service. I had no choice in the matter. At 19 I was in college but screwed up passing only 9 of my college credits so my deferment was quickly pulled. I chose the USN-R over the Army when I got my “Greetings” letter. 2 years of active duty at the Atlantic Fleet Weapons Range packaged in with 4 years of reserve time.
There is no more draft. We don’t need one since we have an economy that makes military careers attractive. An all volunteer army has been achieved.
My heart goes out to those whose lives have been so terribly altered due to their service and to those families who have lost their loved ones.
I still like the idea of Armistice day though. If we, the world that is, could figure out how to live in peace, our veterans would be so much better off.
Best wishes to all you veterans and active duty military out there. I pray for peace.