Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day, 2010

In my new job (not the last new job, or the first new job before that one...I mean, my NEW job), I'm working with some crusty old guys.  It's kinda' hard to measure them all, and get a good feel for who they are, and what motivates them, and how to fit in as a young pup at 51 years of age.  They're not all old guys, but quite a few are.  As the new kid on the block, I'm doing my best to gain acceptance, because it's important to be trusted by your co-workers, and also to scope out those that you can trust.

Plus, it just really sucks for you if nobody likes you where you work.  Just sayin'...

The company that I work for has this really odd scheduling deal where the shifts overlap by 30 minutes.  So, the folks that relieve me and my crowd arrive 30 minutes before my bunch goes elsewhere.  So, in that 30 minutes as responsibilities shift, there is a good bit of collegial visitation, passing on of information from our days work that might be of help to the next guys, etc.

Well, last night as we were jaw-jackin', the subject of "Veterans Day" came up, and it was discussed as how on Federal Holidays not much usually happens at our place of employment.

I happened to mention that The Mrs. was headed out early Thursday to go visit with #1 son at Ft. Bragg before he deploys to Iraq.  A couple of the old guys got very interested, and quizzed me about his branch of service, job, etc.  Come to find out that one of them spent 26 years in the AF, and the other spent 24 years as a Soldier.  The discussion heated up as the old Airman told me about his grandson that just enlisted as a Marine ("It's all he's ever wanted to do...to be an Uncle Sam's Misguided Child).  His grandson made straight A's in school, and had offers to play college football...but he wants to serve.

The old Soldier didn't have much to say about grandkids or anything.  But, he did snark, "Oh yeah, I brought my Veteran's cap with me tonight.  It's out in the car, and it's got more stripes than a Zebra." 

Everybody laughed.  But, I didn't really laugh because I didn't "get it."  

What I did was to look each of them in the eye, and tell them "Thank you for serving.  I never did serve.  But, I thank God every day for guys like you.  I'm not BS-ing y'all.  I mean it."

I'm not kidding when I tell you that the stodgy old Airman's right eye started to hint at a weep, and the Soldier's always smiling face turned a tad pensive.  They just stood there for a minute, and then both of them told me that they really appreciated it. And, I could tell that they really did.

I don't know what kind of hell or hardships those guys faced (both of them served in the Vietnam era), or much about them personally.  But, I know for sure that both of them appreciated being appreciated.  And, I felt honored to do it.  

Lookit, everybody that knows me well, knows that I'm a big BS artist.  But when it comes to bragging on our Veterans, there is no guile within me.

So, the storal of the mory is go thank a Veteran today.  DO IT.  You ALL know one, or two, or thirty.  I'll thank my blog buddies Buck, and MUD, and Basil, and Paul The Fireguy, and Dadman, and Sully, and Dave (BR), and (the other) Andy, and Red, and Cullen, and Pepper, and Lemonlady's Husband, and Bob, and (see, here's where you get in trouble...I know I've got more Veteran blog buddies, and I've bound to have left some out).

And, Bean!  We can't forget Bean...Lord knows I hope she's doing well.  And the millions of the others of y'all that have put your name on the line...crud, I could run on here all day, but let's just shut this down and show the movie.

This is now the third year in a row that we post "REVEILLE" here at Andy's Place in honor of our Veterans.  I reckon you could call that a tradition.

Once again, I'll warn you that this will take ELEVEN AND A HALF MINUTES of your busy day to watch.

If you've never seen it, you will thank me.  If you have seen it, you'll thank yourself for watching it again.  Hopefully, it will stir you to thank a Veteran today.  I know I thanked two last night at work, and plan to thank as many as I can find today.  

Just say "Thanks!"  



12 comments:

  1. Great post. I've gone to a few veteran's reunions with my uncle and his family. I'm awed by the vets, but I'm also amazed at their families. Not only is there a band of brothers in the military, but a band of families - they also give lots. Thank you.

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  2. Good one, Andy. Again, thanks to your sons...all vets ain't old.

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  3. Andy, your answer, sir:

    "Andy!!! Thanks for the shout out!! I recently just returned from my second tour of @** kickin in another country and leave tomorrow to go conquest another (just can't seem to sit still!). Thanks for the Veterans Day shout out and I send much love to the ol' crusty's this Veterans Day, that have raised me as a good officer through their mentorship and care. :)

    Bean"

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  4. Thank you all!

    TD, thanks for passing that along to our gal, Bean. I think about her often, and wonder how she's doing.

    Make her start a blog.

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  5. Thanks, Andy. And thanks for posting Reveille again. That one makes me a bit misty... prolly coz I ain't too far removed from those ol' guys. (just kidding. I think.)

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  6. I'll tell you why those old boys got misty. Because of the appreciation you expressed for the sacrifices they made. Not the once a year it's Veterans Day type of appreciation, but with true, unabashed, heartfelt appreciation, from the very folk we sacrificed for, so that they may sleep soundly at night.

    Some of the encounters I have had with my fellow citizens have left me wondering, "why the hell did I and my fellows give up a portion of our lives to protect you?"

    But, they are far outnumbered by the folks like you Andy. The ones who truly understand.

    Thank you.

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  7. Ya done good, Andy. All the way around.

    I'll pass it along to Pepper.

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  8. Thank You Andy... Again. Just pull out my emails (you know which ones) lather, rinse, repeat. Dead Serious. Thanks

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  9. GREAT post Andy! Dale and I attended a Veteran's Service at a local Jellico, TN church last Sunday and also the Veteran's Ceremony in downtown Jellico (don't blink or you will miss it as you drive through). It was awesome to see many of our local Veterans dressed in their uniforms -- I'm talking about them crusty Vet's with their walkers and wheelchairs -- participating in the ceremony. The ceremony had presentation of the Wreath, Raising and Lowering of the Flag, Presentation of all Branches of the Military to include the POW/MIA Flag, recognition of all Veterans/Active Duty, folding of the flag, a 21 Gun Salute, and Taps.(In our tiny town! WOW!) It was AWESOME! I took loads of pictures and plan to make a SMILEBOX ... Picture show with music. I'll share as soon as completed.

    Happy Veteran's Day to all you Bloggers and Families. Being a military daughter (father 27 years Retired CMSGT), sister (brother was active Air Force and Reserve before his death in a motorcycle accident), wife (husband 23 years Retired AF) and mother (son Army National Guard w/2 deployments to Iraq and next year to Afghanistan), I salute you all.

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  10. Buck, BR, Moogie, Lemonlady, and Dr. Jill...

    Y'all ALL know what military service is like (either as one who has, or the spouse of one), and I thank you all for dropping by to read my civilian thoughts.

    Yes, give all our love to yours...but please hold back a bit of it for yourself.

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  11. A belated thanks to you, Andy...

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Don't cuss nobody out, okay?