November 10, 2018

It amazes me how this country works. We have survived another election process and now the country tries to continue its mission. Or, actually its missions, there are several. Lately, a few have been forgotten or at least ignored. First is the protection of this country and its citizens. Another is to make progress forward; this however should not be confused with Progressives. It is important to remember that every… every single person in this government—from the lowest to the highest—have one thing in common. They have sworn an oath to protect the Constitution from ALL enemies foreign and domestic. Veterans have, since the formation of this country, stepped forward to lay their lives and their sacred honor on the altar of freedom. They were the ones that raised their right hands and swore or affirmed this duty. It is true that many, most in fact, never saw combat… the thing to remember is that they all stood ready to be called for combat. The ones that did not see combat are no less heroes. They were simply the lucky ones. No person that has not stood in harm’s way can understand what it means. No person that has never stood in the potentially of going into harm’s way can understand what it means. No person that has gone in harm’s way can ever explain what it means to someone that has never been there. Service and sacrifice are strange factors in a person’s life. Often inexplicable and misunderstood and always poorly articulated, it can be described simply as… it is what it is. Veteran’s Day is an official United States public holiday, observed annually on November 11th. It honors military veterans; that is, persons who served in the United States Armed Forces. When you see an older veteran, it is often difficult to see that person as the vibrant, active service member he or she was a few years ago. Or, a few decades ago… When you see an older combat veteran, it is often difficult to see that person as one who faced bullets and death… they look like grandpa or grandma. But once, once long ago… wow, what they saw… what they did. I remember once in 1967, my Dad, Buddy Anderson, and I were standing outside at his Tire Shop in Shreveport, Louisiana. Someone keyed the microphone on the overhead speaker system… it squealed… Dad shouted “Incoming…” and dove headfirst into a stack of truck tires. I stood there dumbfounded as he climbed out of the tires. “Sounded like a damn German 88.” That was all he said for several minutes. Twice in Germany during WW2, Dad and his company were caught on a hillside and shelled by the German 88mm artillery piece. Once, out of about 200 men, less than 20 survived. The next time, only my father and one other soldier made it off the hill. Twenty-two years later, half way around the world, on a beautiful, sunshiny day… in an instant… a nightmare grabbed him in full daylight and shook him. But see, I was his son… the only uniform I ever saw him in was for Firestone Tire and Rubber. I could not see inside his heart or his nightmares. Most families can never see inside the heart of a vet or in his or her nightmares… because the vet wants to protect those they love from what they themselves saw and did. So, on this Veterans Day… be respectful and be gentle and say Thank You to someone who went where no one should go and see what no one should ever see and do what no one should ever be asked to do. But don’t forget those that served and never saw the horrors of war, be respectful and gentle with them also. They served and lived knowing that they too could be sent to someplace no sane person wants to be sent. Remember that all Veterans have, since the formation of this country, stepped forward to lay their lives and their sacred honor on the altar of freedom. They were the ones that raised their right hands and swore an oath to protect the Constitution from ALL enemies foreign and domestic—so you didn’t have to. (Photo credit: QuotesGram.com)

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