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veterans day 2018
The author’s father feeding a bazooka in training during the Korean War.

Not many people still think of the guns falling silent on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month any more. As we all know, The War to End All Wars wasn’t. And while every day should be Veterans’ Day, this is the one that’s been set aside so more of us will say ‘thank you’ to those who have given of themselves to defend our country and its freedoms.

So today, of all days, find a vet and thank him or her. It’s the very least we can do.

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  1. I went to Remberance Day service this morning Australian time. A mixture of Australian, New Zealand and USA service people (some still serving) and families. Several with family currently in Afghanistan.

    Out of a rural district of under 5000 people in 1914 about 400 enlisted and 78 were killed. A huge percentage of young men which included several families who lost all of their sons.

    My family was lucky. My grandfather and all of his brothers plus cousins joined. 14 that I know of and only two not wounded. Always thankful I got to know some of them for a brief period before age took them.

  2. Thank you Grandpa, Dad, my stepmom, four uncles, my brother, my brother -in-law, two cousins, and countless school teachers. I’m greatly indebted for the lessons in life and character you all have provided me. And especially for the freedoms you ensured for me.

  3. Crrappola, I’m having a hard time with this fcking PTSd sht for the last week or so, but your welcome, Actually it’s a Thanx both ways, if it wasn’t for civilians paying taxes and working we wouldn’t have an Army as strong as we do.

  4. dad was there, on the missouri (bb11).
    37yrs gone. he was a tetch deef in his left ear from the big guns. told me they’d do spoonfuls of medicinal grain for boredom. and get in hammer fights (couple teeth missin’).

  5. I sometimes have a difficult moment when a person says “thank you for your service”. The difficulty stems from those years in my life after returning from Vietnam 48 years ago and how I and many others who served there were treated by our countrymen. For many it was at least unpleasant and for their families difficult. The media portrayals of the crazy Vietnam Vet set a negative public tone that lasted over a decade. Vets returning to campus were shunned and derided. But, we lived through it. Very few celebrated victimhood because of the experience. PTSD was not a fallback position for life’s failures. Most finished school, learned a trade, created families, some did not. It was life. But, it’s not the life recent or future veterans should have. We need to actually engage those veterans with more than a rote salutation. Show a genuine concern. Ask what they need. Hire them. Keep them in your memory as they fade. Remember those who are no longer with us.

    • I went to college in the late 70’s……….in NYC area……..was ROTC…………and the hate that spewed from dumb uninformed brainwashed students was mind-numbing. They had no clue that soldiers, sailors, airmen, jarheads serve their country out of love of country and freedom. Idiots had no understanding that the military is a deterent and no one wants to go to war, for that means the deterent failed – people die……………you dont like wars – blame the politicians

    • In case you’ve never heard it in the last 48 years, welcome home.
      On behalf of all those who never served, let me apologize for the fact that that’s really even a possibility.

  6. Vietnamese American here.

    Dad is a vet. (Drafted.) Uncle and grandfather are/were vets, from the other side. (South Vietnamese army, Viet Cong.)

    Ex husband was a vet, Desert Storm.

    Current BF a vet. Airborne Ranger, Panama.

    A few good friends are vets. All in combat, some for good lengths of time.

    I guess instead of thanking them I just look out for them. Make sure they’re not getting too socially isolated. Get them to mental health services when they need. Help them with relationships, social connections, life stuff. It’s an area of my life where I never once mind putting the skills I learned with my master’s degree to work without ever wanting or needing to think about money.

    Proud of the vets in my life and how they continue to strive to overcome their experiences.

  7. While there are thousands of veterans today, suffering from the effects of war, it pales in comparison to WWI & WW2. I’d like to think those vets paved the way for us.

    Now, if we can make progress with PTSD, maybe that can reduce other problems, like suicide and violence of all kinds.

      • It’s an interlocking family. It’s a brotherhood than transcends generations. Those of us that have manned the ‘wall’ share a bond of experience that others do not.

        I do not feel anger at those that would not serve. When I think of them at all it is with pity.

  8. I had 2 uncle’s in the Great War. Both got influenza and nearly died(one died young from aftereffects). My son is a vet and has been all over the mideast. And my uncle Bob was at Pearl Harbor. Thank you all for your service and sacrifice!

  9. Some places remember it all the time. Walk into any RSL any day of the year in Australia and there is always a moment of silence at 11:00 every morning.

  10. No, thank YOU for YOUR service.

    It is you, the store clerks, the food service workers, the plumbers, the engineers, the truckers, and the medical professionals who deserve the thanks. You are the ones providing genuine goods and services in the marketplace that enrich people’s lives. You are the ones who pay my paycheck – with money stolen straight out of your own. Me, I just do what the politicians order me to do, and I bet you’re not actually too happy with them. You have nothing to thank me for. If anything, I should apologize to you for leeching off of your hard work in order to prop up the American Empire around the world.

    If you still want to thank me, stop voting for Republicans and Democrats. Elect someone who will stop manipulating this nation into every war that comes along so that they can funnel money to their buddies in the war industry. Elect someone who will stop sending people to die in faraway lands for oil, poppies, and the integrity of that worthless green paper they print at the Federal Reserve. Learn about the non-aggression principle, and spread the message of peace. Stop building walls, amd start building bridges. Insist on the right of every person to control his or her own property – whether it be guns, weeds, bakeries, cars, or their own bodies – but never someone else’s property or body. Stand up for those rights that veterans have sworn to protect and defend.

    That’s how you thank a veteran.

    • ” If anything, I should apologize to you for leeching off of your hard work in order to prop up the American Empire around the world.”

      America has problems. Some big ones.

      In the overall scheme of things in this world, America isn’t the main problem.

      I’m coming across this attitude more and more recently, and someone is feeding it to you, that it is America that is what is wrong with things.

      Thank you for your service, but don’t vent your hatred towards this country…

    • Your comments could have easily been made in the 1930’s . . . just before WWII began. There was a large anti-war movement then and it’s leaders were convinced that “keeping our boys at home” was a viable solution to German and Japanese expansion. If the US had stayed out of the impending war, the German empire and Japanese empire would have been strongly established and with combined power to render the US either a vassal state or a colony. Geopolitics doesn’t play favorites. The hard edges are real. Like it or not there’s a reason we operate 10 aircraft carrier strike groups.

  11. You are welcome. And thank you for providing the service TTAG.

    My suggestion for the day is find the novel “Starship Troopers” and read it. The movie was good. But the book is much more important.

      • A Libertarian. No he was not a national socialist. No he was not an international socialist either. People say this crap and have never read the book. And they never looked into the history of the author.

        The authors critics are anti-second Amendment. They are anti Liberty. They are afraid of guns and they seem to have an anti-war fetish. Well I have news for you sometimes Wars have to be fought.

  12. I came across this today and as a veteran I agree with it. I have never liked someone thanking me for my service. I didn’t do anything extraordinary and thank god I never had to be a part of any of the ongoing conflicts in the middle east. The whole ‘thank a veteran’ propaganda campaign is nothing more than a ruse to keep public support up for ongoing wars around the globe… stop buying into it.

    The Best Way To Honor War Veterans Is To Stop Creating Them

    The US will be celebrating Veterans Day tomorrow, and many a striped flag shall be waved. The social currency of esteem will be used to elevate those who have served in the US military, thereby ensuring future generations of recruits to be thrown into the gears of the globe-spanning war machine.

    Veterans Day is not a holiday to honor the men and women who have dutifully protected their country. The youngest Americans who arguably defended their nation from a real threat to its shores are in their nineties, and soon there won’t be any of them left. Every single person who has served in the US military since the end of the second World War has protected nothing other than the agendas of global hegemony, resource control and war profiteering. They have not been fighting and dying for freedom and democracy, they have been fighting and dying for imperialism, Raytheon profit margins, and crude oil.

    I just said something you’re not supposed to say. People have dedicated many years of their lives to the service of the US military; they’ve given their limbs to it, they’ve suffered horrific brain damage for it, they’ve given their very lives to it. Families have been ripped apart by the violence that has been inflicted upon members of the US Armed Forces; you’re not supposed to let them hear you say that their loved one was destroyed because some sociopathic nerds somewhere in Washington decided that it would give America an advantage over potential economic rivals to control a particular stretch of Middle Eastern dirt. But it is true, and if we don’t start acknowledging that truth lives are going to keep getting thrown into the gears of the machine for the power and profit of a few depraved oligarchs. So I’m going to keep saying it.
    Last week I saw the hashtag #SaluteToService trending on Twitter. Apparently the NFL had a deal going where every time someone tweeted that hashtag they’d throw a few bucks at some veteran’s charity. Which sounds sweet, until you consider three things:

    1. The NFL’s ten wealthiest team owners are worth a combined $61 billion.

    2. The NFL has taken millions of dollars from the Pentagon for displays of patriotism on the field, including for the policy of bringing all players out for the national anthem every game starting in 2009 (which led to Colin Kaepernick’s demonstrations).


    Seriously, how is “charity for veterans” a thing, and how are people not extremely weirded out by it? How is it that you can go out and get your limbs blown off for slave wages after watching your friends die and innocent civilians perish, come home, and have to rely on charity to get by? How is it that you can risk life and limb killing and suffering irreparable psychological trauma for some plutocrat’s agendas, plunge into poverty when you come home, and then see the same plutocrat labeled a “philanthropist” because he threw a few tax-deductible dollars at a charity that gave you a decent prosthetic leg?

    Taking care of veterans should be factored into the budget of every act of military aggression. If a government can’t make sure its veterans are housed, healthy and happy in a dignified way for the rest of their lives, it has no business marching human beings into harm’s way. The fact that you see veterans on the street of any large US city and people who fought in wars having to beg “charities” for a quality mechanical wheelchair shows you just how much of a pathetic joke this Veterans Day song and dance has always been.

    They’ll send you to mainline violence and trauma into your mind and body for the power and profit of the oligarchic rulers of the US-centralized empire, but it’s okay because everyone gets a long weekend where they’re told to thank you for your service. Bullshit.

  13. Most wars America could have stayed out of. Instead, we barreled in, usually by doing a lot of lying to the American citizens in the process. Witness the lies about Iraqi troops unplugging incubators in Kuwait and the lie that should we liberate it, it would become a shining democracy. And don’t forget the Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) that was the excuse for killing thousands of Iraqis and American troops. Someone should have gone to jail or better, to have been hung as a traitor that they were.


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