Monday, November 10, 2008

Veteran's Day 2008

The infantryman is a volunteer; he goes into battle of his own free will and has many
times over sacrificed his life for his brothers in arms and for his country.

For more
than 200 years this standard has been upheld.
While there are many varying viewpoints of war and policy and everything in between
the simple fact remains; the U.S. Soldier is the reason we have the freedom we have.
There are many residents of this great nation that don't believe that. And many of them
haven't the heart or the courage to step into the uniform.

And while those same people will say that this great nation was born of ideals,
those very ideals were secured by men with guns who had the will to carry out the wishes
of this nation in order to secure a more perfect union. Our freedom was never won by
handshakes and diplomacy.

For those that would believe that our Army should be reserved for their "Independence
Day" fairy tale and not in an effort to secure our nation from those that would do us harm
it would do them well to remember the lessons of our short history.

Your rights are only as protected as much as you are willing to fight for them.

Or as much as the brave few are willing to fight for you.

To my fellow brothers in arms who are halfway across the world...
for the long patrols...
for the unending boredom interrupted by a few hours of the most intense moments of
your life...
for the bullshit details...
for the monotonous guard shifts...
for babysitting the lazy IA's and IP's at every checkpoint...
for the shitty chow...
for the random rocket attacks...
for the changing ROE...
for the crappy bootleg copy of the new James Bond movie...
for the half hearted "care packages"...
for the internet and phones being down again...
for the moron PSG that doesn't know what the fuck he's doing...
for the media reporting every bad thing they can find and ignoring every good thing
staring them in the face...
and you still re-enlisted...
for your courage...
for your bravery...
for your will to carry on the mission...

You have my eternal gratitude and have served alongside many of you, to
have shared in your turmoil, your successes, your shortcomings, your fear, your pain,
and your ultimate sacrifices...

To every veteran of the United States Military, Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast are the true heroes of this nation and I will always be proud to have been
amongst your ranks. My heart swells with pride and fills with hope when I know that you
are there...

The Infantryman
Author Unknown

The average age of the Infantryman is 19 years. He is a short haired,
tight-muscled kid who, under normal circumstances is considered by
society as half man, half boy. Not yet dry behind the ears, but old
enough to die for his country. He never really cared much for work and
he would rather wax his own car than wash his father's;
but he has never collectedunemployment either.

He's a recent High School graduate; he was probably an average
student, pursued some form of sport activities, drives a ten year old
jalopy, and has a steady girlfriend that either broke up with him when
he left, or swears to be waiting when he returns from half a world away.
He listens to rock and roll or jazz or swing and 155mm Howitzers.
He is 10 or 15 pounds lighter now than when he was at home because
he is working or fighting from before dawn to well after dusk.

He has trouble spelling, thus letter writing is a pain for him, but he
can field strip a rifle in 30 seconds and reassemble it in less. He
can recite to you the nomenclature of a machine gun or grenade
launcher and use either one effectively if he must. He digs foxholes and latrines
and can apply first aid like a professional. He can march until he is told to
stop or stop until he is told to march. He obeys orders instantly and
without hesitation, but he is not without spirit or individual dignity.

He is self-sufficient. He has two sets of fatigues: he washes one and
wears the other. He keeps his canteens full and his feet dry. He
sometimes forgets to brush his teeth, but never to clean his rifle. He
can cook his own meals, mend his own clothes, and fix his own hurts.

If you're thirsty, he'll share his water with you; if you are hungry, his food.
He'll even split his ammunition with you in the midst of battle when you run low.
He has learned to use his hands like weapons and his weapons like they were
his hands. He can save your life -- or take it, because that is his job.

He will often do twice the work of a civilian, draw half the pay and
still find ironic humor in it all. He has seen more suffering and
death then he should have in his short lifetime. He has stood atop
mountains of dead bodies, and helped to create them.
He has wept in public and in private, for friends who have fallen in combat
and is unashamed. Just as did his Father, Grandfather, and Great-grandfather,
he is paying the price for our freedom.

Beardless or not, he is not a boy. He is the American Fighting Man
that has kept this country free for over 200 years. He has asked
nothing in return, except our friendship and understanding.

Remember him, always, for he has earned our respect and admiration with his blood.


1 comment:

Mr. Boy said...

Thanks and God Bless, good buddy.