Veterans Day

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    Nov 11, 2008 3:21 PM GMT


    Most Americans believe that freedom isn't free, that our freedoms depend on the sacrifices of veterans.

    'A nation who forgets its veterans will itself be forgotten.' (President Calvin Coolidge)

    This is a day to remember combat veterans in particular.

    I salute fellow gay veterans.

    Thanks to Boeing, my former employer.
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    Nov 11, 2008 3:52 PM GMT
    Thanks! I never knew I was a gay veteran until a few months after I retired in 1994. I was in very deep denial, convinced I was straight during the entire time I served.

    So I can't claim to have carried the rainbow banner in uniform. But at least I can say I served for 25 years, succeeding at the very things our straight opponents insist we can't accomplish. Because whether I knew it myself or not at first, I was always gay, and I surpassed most of those macho straight guys at every turn.

    When I was a child in the 1950s our town would have big parades on Veterans Day and Memorial Day. And I'd be left on the sidewalk by myself, both my mother & father marching as WWII veterans in their uniforms. And there were a lot of them back then, plus Korean veterans, that war having just ended.

    At the town's War Memorial ceremony I'd hear my mother's late brother recognized, my namesake uncle, who was killed 2 weeks after the Normandy invasion in France. All my family served, even my grandmother in an aircraft factory (though in admin, no Rosie the Riveter she).

    I don't see those parades anymore, not like we once had, in small towns all across the country. Not sure why that is, but I miss them.

    Not that I'd parade myself today, I actually underplay my veteran's status, except here online, and I won't even join our local gay veterans group. A bunch of grumpy guys older than me, mostly conservative Republicans who oppose everything I support in gay rights. I wonder how they can be gays at all. I sometimes suspect they're American Legion double agents.

    Here's hoping that the Obama Administration will recognize the right of gay men & women to serve their country openly in uniform. It's one of the criteria by which I will judge him.
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    Nov 11, 2008 4:36 PM GMT
    To be honest, I always seem to forget I'm a veteran until this day rolls around and I get tons of e-mails saying "Thanks for your Service."

    I mean, I didn't do much. I was fortunate enough to miss both of Bush's wars. I entered the service as Desert Storm was ending and left as Iraq was starting. The majority of my 10 years was under the helm of great Commander in Chief, Mr. President Clinton; therefore I spent no time in a war zone.

    Probably my greatest accomplishment was finding myself and realizing I was gay. Of course, that ruined my marriage and put an initial strain on my kid - but on the bright side, I managed to keep up the morale for pretty much the entire Marine Corp that was stationed in Korea at the time. icon_biggrin.gif

    Ah... good times.
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    Nov 11, 2008 5:57 PM GMT
    There are many reasons that you see less parades and such. The percentage of Americans in uniform today is incredibly low. During WW2 as many a 20% of the population was in uniform. Thats 1 in 5! Every American household was directly affected. Today's military is made up of volunteer people dedicated to their country and what they believe in. Even though I am active duty, I do not always feel that I deserve the thank you that people give me. I have never been in a combat zone, never been to Iraq or Afghanistan. I feel guilty at times, but now for medical reasons it is very unlikely that I will ever be able to do my part so that someone else won't have to.

    Anyway, I found this video one day and have watched it several times. It still gives me goosebumps and gets me choked up.


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    Nov 11, 2008 6:01 PM GMT
    I found this image to be particularly poignant.

    vetday.jpg
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    Nov 11, 2008 6:32 PM GMT
    Rhodielifter saidI feel guilty at times, but now for medical reasons it is very unlikely that I will ever be able to do my part so that someone else won't have to.


    Never feel guilty; feel proud.

    When I was an Army Major and taught the ROTC program in college, each semester I would tell my new Cadets this, that I still remember by heart:

    "Anyone who wears the uniform of the United States is a hero. Whether you serve in combat or not, you are a hero. The "US" you wear on your uniform makes you a hero.

    You have chosen to do something that many cannot, or will not. You are heroes, every one. You are the living embodiment of selfless sacrifice that has made our nation great.

    You have entered the realm of heroes. I honor and respect you for that. Know that nothing you experience during your training, however demeaning you may find it, detracts from the great admiration I already have for you.

    You have chosen to serve your country in a very difficult way. I will do everything you do, right alongside you. Your training will be tough, and I will try to stress you, physically and mentally.

    You are destined to lead others. But before you can do that, you must learn to master yourselves. That will be the essence of your training. You will learn technical skills, but you will also learn leadership skills. For to be an Officer is to be a leader."

    There was more I said to them, but that's enough that may be relevant to this topic. Remember, you put on the uniform of our country, and that makes you a hero.
  • joggerva

    Posts: 731

    Nov 11, 2008 6:43 PM GMT
    Thank you to all Veterans. Regardless how I may feel about military policies and strategies, I recognize that the majority of you are serving or have served to protect the rest of us. And I appreciate your sacrifices.

    Thanks also to Rhodielifter for that video - very compelling. Thanks for making me all sobby at work.

    If you are interested in getting involved in fighting DADT or other issues relating to BGLT people in the military, here are a few links to some organizations that may be active in your area:

    American Veterans for Equal Rights
    Servicemembers Legal Defense Network
    GLAAD Veterans Day Resources

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    Nov 11, 2008 6:54 PM GMT
    Rhodie thank you for the youtube video. It is very poignant. I could not hold back a tear.
    At today's ceremonies the first thing I notice is the number of veterans decreasing yearly.
    I know Canada is restoring it's CF to around 100,000. I believe 2 years military duty should be mandatory to build loyalty, respect for one another and sense of duty to the country. the number may not seem like a lot but a country our size I think it's about right.
    again ty for the video.

    warren
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    Nov 11, 2008 7:52 PM GMT
    I am glad you guys appreciate this video. I think its incredibly important to remember those who serve something bigger than themselves whether thats in the military or another field such as a teacher, police or firefighter.

    I also want to apologize to our friends and allies. Veteran's Day as it is now known here, was originally known as, and still known as in many place around the world as Armistice Day. It was started to celebrate the end of the First World War that came to an end on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. Today is not only to remember those in your own country who have served but those all over the world. I have had the honor and privilege to work with other militaries from around the world. They have all displayed the professionalism, courage and honor that I have experienced in the US military.
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    Nov 11, 2008 7:56 PM GMT
    Rhodielifter saidI have had the honor and privilege to work with other militaries from around the world. They have all displayed the professionalism, courage and honor that I have experienced in the US military.


    Wonderfully said! I've also served with the military from many countries, and there are certain values that unite us all. Happy Veterans Day to all!
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    Nov 12, 2008 12:00 AM GMT
    I guess we will have to see what happens with Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT) now.
  • Montague

    Posts: 5205

    Nov 11, 2011 4:34 PM GMT
    Happy Veterans Day 2011 to all past and present warriors non-living and living too! Miss and Love You!
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    Nov 11, 2011 4:38 PM GMT
    Montague saidHappy Veterans Day 2011 to all past and present warriors non-living and living too! Miss and Love You!
    + 1 million

    Gay or straight, bi or asexual, with color or without.. a resounding thank you!
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    Nov 11, 2011 4:40 PM GMT
    With thanks, respect, and appreciation, particularly on this Veterans' Day.
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    Nov 11, 2011 4:51 PM GMT
    I feel so fucking lucky everyday to wear this uniform. Sometimes it feels like you are in a giant frat house and you are partying all the time and yer best friends are around you and yer invincible and then people get sent to new commands and friends change and deployment orders come and you remember that the barracks you live in are named after someone who was killed doing the same job you are doing and they could have been the person across from you at chow and its entirely possible that (even though it doesnt seem likely) the person across from you could be in those tribute videos with the start and end dates of their life at the bottom of the screen. So you enjoy yer time stateside and enjoy yer time on ships or greenside the best you can cuz shit happens when you least expect it like the USS Cole or the countless stories Ive heard from combat vets and when you yelled those corny ass slogans at PT like ALWAYS READY its actually true and its not a game and people came before you and went through hell cuz what we have today are color by number for your financing and legal needs and people 30 years ago got shit on when they finished their contracts. Im surrounded by military people all of the time so I forget that not everyone lives this lifestyle or understands it and when I get really fucking annoyed with the shitbag sailor next to me its just cuz I hold them to a higher standard cuz I get the honor of being a part of a legacy of the greatest Navy in the history of the world.
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    Nov 11, 2011 4:53 PM GMT
    blackstrap saidI feel so fucking lucky everyday to wear this uniform. cuz I get the honor of being a part of a legacy of the greatest Navy in the history of the world.
    Be good to it!
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    Nov 11, 2011 4:57 PM GMT
    Art_Deco saidThanks! I never knew I was a gay veteran until a few months after I retired in 1994. I was in very deep denial, convinced I was straight during the entire time I served.

    So I can't claim to have carried the rainbow banner in uniform. But at least I can say I served for 25 years, succeeding at the very things our straight opponents insist we can't accomplish. Because whether I knew it myself or not at first, I was always gay, and I surpassed most of those macho straight guys at every turn.

    When I was a child in the 1950s our town would have big parades on Veterans Day and Memorial Day. And I'd be left on the sidewalk by myself, both my mother & father marching as WWII veterans in their uniforms. And there were a lot of them back then, plus Korean veterans, that war having just ended.

    At the town's War Memorial ceremony I'd hear my mother's late brother recognized, my namesake uncle, who was killed 2 weeks after the Normandy invasion in France. All my family served, even my grandmother in an aircraft factory (though in admin, no Rosie the Riveter she).

    I don't see those parades anymore, not like we once had, in small towns all across the country. Not sure why that is, but I miss them.

    Not that I'd parade myself today, I actually underplay my veteran's status, except here online, and I won't even join our local gay veterans group. A bunch of grumpy guys older than me, mostly conservative Republicans who oppose everything I support in gay rights. I wonder how they can be gays at all. I sometimes suspect they're American Legion double agents.

    Here's hoping that the Obama Administration will recognize the right of gay men & women to serve their country openly in uniform. It's one of the criteria by which I will judge him.


    Art, this is one day when you could have easily left that out - JUST ONCE! And then you wonder why the conservatives here are all over you.

    My deepest gratitude to all American veterans (no hyphens) who served their country.

    freedom-isnt-free-1.jpg
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    Nov 12, 2011 6:24 AM GMT
    i went 2 the American Legion USMC b-day party last night with dad and my uncle. went 2 the VFW today with them too. i sat listening, enthralled by the stories shared by the various veterans. stories of comraderie, pride, bravery, fear, and yep, some of the stupid stuff they did.

    all i'm gna say is:

    THANK YOU
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    Nov 12, 2011 7:13 AM GMT
    You're welcome