Veterans Day

Just what does Veterans day mean to me? Well, I believe that it means a lot that is different from the perspective that most people have. I could recount the history of Veterans day, as I am sure that many will do elsewhere, so why bother.

I could write of heroic deeds performed by men and women in defense of our nation as well as other nations thereby defending freedom and democracy. The American way if you will. However, I am also sure that stories of that genre will also be all over the Internet as well.

I could write about the men that helped my mother to raise me after my Father was killed on a hillside near Chosen, Korea. Those men are a part of history, not just that of the Marine Corps, but the worlds history as well.

No, I think that today’s post will be about something different;

“I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”

Think about those words, about what they mean;

“I, _____ (SSAN), having been appointed an officer in the Army of the United States, as indicated above in the grade of _____ do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter; So help me God.”

The oath that Officers take is slightly different yet some things are held in common with the oath taken by enlisted personnel. Indeed they share many characteristics. The overwhelming one that stands out to me though is that neither oath sets an end to the oath. A term of service if you will. So today I will write about veterans that carry on after their term of military service has ended, but their fealty to the oath that they have taken has not. Some things will be in general. Others more specific.

Ralph Montoya had a habit of hiring people that were down and out. He was a supervisor for a large well known corporation. He knew that people that were having problems could, and would work out those problems when given the tools to do so. His methodology was self discipline and hard work that led to a sense of personal pride. He once said that to him, a poor credit record meant that the person needed a decent job. Not being further kicked to the curb like so many organizations practice. Just by being himself he garnered a degree of loyalty that is seldom seen in the civilian sector. It also helped that he had two Rangers on staff. He managed material, and lead people. We lost Ralph last year to cancer. He was a highly decorated Medic that had served in Viet Nam.

David Allen works for a pretty large telecommunications company. He is pretty average as far as his size and looks go. Scars, at least physical scars fade with time. David goes home from work and builds model trains. That is what he likes to do. That, and fellowship with current and former Marines. The trains all stop though when David gets working on his other passion in life. David has put in countless hours with the ” Toys for Tots” program. He’s come a long way from the rice paddy’s and deserts. Still, he hears the call to duty, and exemplifies Marine Corps spirit. Semper Fi Sergeant Major!

John, as I will call him for OpSec reasons, works as a town deputy, and part time police officer in Colorado on the outskirts of Denver. During his free time he works with kids, street kids that are in a bad way. Kids that are in, or are toying with becoming gang members. he teaches them life skills. Skills that the kids turn into tools that can be used to lead to productive lives instead of prison, or an early grave. It is said that the way to tell the difference between Special Forces and Navy Seals is simple. That Seals leave craters, while you never knew that the Special Forces were there. I asked John about his work with the kids that just might put a knife into a kidney that belonged to him sometime. His response was typical of those that put selflessness into practice in every day life. “It’s simply a thing of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it don’t matter” was his response. Fair winds and following seas CPO.

These are but three of so many that not only have walked the walk. But have never forgotten that they have pledged any and all that they have for the betterment of our people, nation, and society for as long as they live.

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4 Responses to “Veterans Day”

  1. Alfie Says:

    Nice post. Sad to see only two posts on the WPBA tag today looking at the meaning of the day. Take care

    Like

  2. TexasFred Says:

    Best Veterans Day post I have seen so far… Yes, it IS a different perspective, and sums up a lot more than many people know…

    The Officers Oath vs The Enlisted Oath, that is something the average guy has NO knowledge of, great point, and to you and yours, Semper Fidelis!!

    Like

  3. patricksperry Says:

    Thanks Alfi, and yes, it is sad.

    Semper Fi Fred, to you and all that is yours this day, and every day.

    Like

  4. Kids » May I Salute You? Says:

    […] Veterans DayDuring his free time he works with kids, street kids that are in a bad way. Kids that are in, or are toying with becoming gang members. he teaches them life skills. Skills that the kids turn into tools that can be used to lead to … […]

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