by Frank Fox
I think that men in uniform serve their country by serving each other. They serve as a unit, just as any team such as a professional baseball team, because the military are professionals.
The same is true with the military. They are there as a team and duty bound to one another. Being away from home, they are in a different dimension of time from loved one's and family. They are forever young. It's why veterans stick together -- they are still apart of a team.
I served with a Corpsman named Danny Grimshaw. He lost his life in 1968. I can put his name in search and it will tell me all about Danny and how many brothers and sisters he had. It will tell me where his name is on the Vietnam Memorial Wall. It has his photo, also in uniform.
What always grabs me is how young he is in the photo, frozen in time. When I look at myself in the mirror, I see an aging senior citizen, like a different dimension in time. Danny died 46 years ago. I can remember him most for always mooching smokes from everyone, and how rail thin he was. I also remember how much he loved his family and felt he was sacrificing for them.
Over 58,000 soldiers, men and women, forever frozen in time. I also think that for everyone of them, there was a bus load of families left with a large void. Time and other family events help to fill the void, God helps us that way mercifully.
When I got off of active duty in June 1968, I had an anger at the youth who escaped the Vietnam Conflict by moving to Canada. Many moved with the help of their parents to avoid the draft and being thrown into the meat grinder that Vietnam was.
"How dare they turn their backs on America." I thought at the time. Then I was outraged when Jimmy Carter decided to give amnesty to the draft dodgers. What a slap in the faces of those who were led to slaughter by their government.
Then as one get's older, they realize how the government capriciously uses the youth of our country to wage war, maybe for no reason, and usually always for profit of big business, and real estate.
During WW2, when the men were away, many took advantage of their families and wrested their land and property away from them for a song. Making profit off of young men and women serving their country should be a criminal offense.
After I became a parent, I grew rather fond of my children. If I were to follow mainstream politics and see where warring was not really necessary, just the whim of an idiot running the country, I too may find a way to keep my children from being thrown under the bus.
Then the war in Iraq started, (which I was against); nevertheless, many parents had children who could not wait to go and sign up, to get some pay back. Smoke and mirrors. What they really couldn't see was industry wringing their hands, just waiting to increase their profits. The 'machine' stirred up the people to get the nation on their side. Really talented people prevaricated us into another conflict that would consume our precious youth.
Other people with small children thought the war would be over and their children would not be in peril. Now their children are of age, and just as always (about 10 years), we tire of warring. Companies have reaped large gains without any of their skin in the game.
Sadly, some parents are only left with photo's and VHS memories. Others have their children back, but they will need constant care for many years and a life time of disability.
We need only to pick up arms, when we are threatened at home or abroad. There's not a vet who would not fight for this country and it's flag, IF we aren't lied to, and the cause a just one. They use minds they can bend in our youth. After we get older, we would question aggressive force.
US Navy with USMC
August 1964 – August 1970 (6 years 1 month)
“I am only one, but I am one. I can't do everything, but I can do something. The something I ought to do, I can do, and by the grace of God, I will.” ~Everett Hale
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