SIXTH COLUMN

"History is philosophy teaching by example." (Lord Bolingbroke)

New Email Address: 6thColumn@6thcolumnagainstjihad.com.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

VETERANS' DAY: A THANK YOU

During the political campaign thankfully finished, we endured the awful ordeal of having Jane Fonda Kerry enter our consciousnesses multiple times daily with his psychoanalytic-rich pitch about HIS Vietnam service, valor, heroism, and downright god-like behavior. This contrasted totally with what he did to fellow service men after he returned home. From this time, however, something new and good emerged. It had nothing to do with that hollow narcissist. In fact, it came from Red State Talk Radio, you know, an uncreative product from the uncreative part of America. It concerned veterans.

It came as appreciation to all the men and women of America who never came home from war and to all the men and women of America who came home with bodies and minds traumatically altered forever and to all the men and women of America who came home having survived the war or wars without bodily or mental injuries.

It came in the form of going up to any veteran at any time and saying, "Thank you for your service." Few realize it, but few veterans have every been thanked in any form for their service to preserve and protect America. Oh yes, there are memorials, parades, statuary and the like, and these are very good. It is only when you go up to a total stranger who is a veteran and thank him or her for their service that you feel the missing electric spark inside of you.

I tried it.

I am a veteran, and I go to the Commissary and Navy Exchange weekly. I see veterans there. Most of my life they have been known as "retirees," as I am now. But, they are 'VETERANS" to me now. That says it best.

One day, I saw an old man on a bench in the commissary, and I sat to chat with him and learned about when he served. I shook his hand, and I said, for the first time, "Thank you for your service." I felt the spark.

Later I saw an old man walking the aisles. He was wearing a ball cap which said "Vietnam Veteran." He looked real, not like some wax statue from Massachusetts patting himself on his back. I went up to him and verified that he was a Vietnam Veteran. Then I said, "Thank you for your service." He looked shocked, like this was the first time this had happened to him. I do not know how my comment struck him. He just nodded and moved on. I do know that I felt that I had finally found a way to acknowledge how much I appreciate just how much these men and women have done to make it possible for me to sit at this computer and write this message, after a career and prosperity never before known in the world. I have these, thanks in large measure to them.

Go thank Veterans today. Shake their hands and thank them for their service. It will be unique for both of you, and you will never forget it.

I cannot thank all the living veterans personally, so I will close by saying to all:

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE.

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