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This will probably be a long post. I hope you read every word.

Monday is Veteran's Day, where we honor the men and women who have served our country. I found out when I was younger that the price of freedom is a high one. All of us should thank every veteran who has put his/her life in jeopardy so that we have the freedom to say what we want and do want we want.

There are some people that take freedom for granted and those are the ones for which I am writing. Freedom to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is not just a bunch of words. They are words which you have to fight for. They are words you have to sacrifice for. Many before you have made that sacrifice. Many have made the ultimate sacrifice.

No one wants to leave their girlfriend, wife, children, mother, father, brother, sister or grandparents to go to other parts of the world and fight enemies to our way of life. America is a great country, where most people have a comfortable lifestyle, but there seems to be apathy towards veterans. They don't get enough pay, enough support from government and not enough help when they come home. And some come home with medical problems and even disabilities. As in all wars, young men (some 18 or 19) make up the majority of wounded and dead and they made sacrifices unimagined by the typical American.

Many do not agree with the administration's policies and we are mired in another pointless war. I am one who does not agree. But please do not confuse your feelings for the administrators of war with your feelings for the soldiers fighting that war. I was personally involved in another unpopular war some 40 years ago and found out the depth of hatred in people. I came back to America and was spit upon by anti-war demonstrators. That was a life-changing experience and and a rude awakening.

As a result, I was reluctant to tell anyone that I had served in the military. But, over the years, time passed and I came to realize that my service was honorable and I did nothing wrong. Now, I am proud to have served and I have had a great life. But, I am an exception to the usual young person who tries to return to civilian life after serving in wartime. When people tell you that "war is hell," don't believe it. War is worse than that.

War changes everyone in it because it scares the crap out of you, every minute of every day. Young men, full of testosterone, go into war thinking nothing can hurt them and they can never die. Suddenly, they are faced with the stark reality that they can be hurt and they definitely can die. It's a severe adjustment to any mortality contemplation. Many come home more mature but they are never the same inside and some poor souls never recover from the shock.

When I think of Veteran's Day, I think of my dad. He's gone now, but he was also a veteran (WWII fighter pilot). I think of him because he sacrificed a period of time in his life that he was never able to get back.
He always wanted me to go further in life than he did. I have spent most of my life trying to please him.

So, for this Veteran's Day, please think of all the good things in your life and show your patriotism. It is not a dirty word and it will never become passe to be patriotic. It just means you love your country and that you support all the men and women who have defended YOUR country since the Revolutionary War. Fly an American Flag or thank a veteran (maybe one of your relatives) who served for you.
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replied November 11th, 2007
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Thank you for posting this, lonestarguy. I appreciate Vets services to their country, and I also appreciate the line between disagreeing with administraion policies and appreciating the individuals who have no choice and have to act out the policies.

I can't believe Vietnam vets were treated so badly when they came home.

And, uh, actually, today is Veteran's Day. 11/11 Very Happy
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