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To: "MGs (E-mail)" <>
Subject: Veterans
From: Grossnicklaus Jeff SMSgt 27OSS/OSO
Date: Tue, 9 Nov 1999 15:29:12 -0700

  Some veterans bear visible signs of their service: a missing limb, a
  jagged scar, a certain look in the eye.

  Others may carry the evidence inside them: a pin holding a bone
  together, A piece of shrapnel in the leg - or perhaps another sort of
inner steel:

  The soul's ally forged in the refinery of adversity.

  Except in parades, however, the men and women who have kept America 
  safe wear no badge or emblem.  You can't tell a vet just by looking.

  What is a vet?

  He is the cop on the beat who spent six months in Saudi Arabia sweating
  two gallons a day making sure the armored personnel carriers didn't run
  of fuel.

  He is the barroom loudmouth, dumber than five wooden planks, whose
  overgrown frat-boy behavior is outweighed a hundred times in the cosmic
  scales by  four hours of exquisite bravery near the 38th parallel.

  She - or he - is the nurse who fought against futility and went to 
  sleep sobbing every night for two solid years in Da Nang.

  He is the POW who went away one person and came back another - or 
  didn't come back AT ALL.

  He is the Quantico drill instructor who has never seen combat - but has
  saved countless lives by turning slouchy, no-account rednecks and gang
  members into Marines, and teaching them to watch each other's backs.

  He is the parade - riding Legionnaire who pins on his ribbons and 
  medals with a prosthetic hand.
  He is the career quartermaster who watches the ribbons and medals pass
  him by.
  He is the three anonymous heroes in The Tomb Of The Unknowns, whose
  presence at the Arlington National Cemetery must forever preserve the
  memory of all the anonymous heroes whose valor dies unrecognized with them
  the battlefield or in the ocean's sunless deep.
  He is the old guy bagging groceries at the supermarket - palsied now 
  and aggravatingly slow - who helped liberate a Nazi death camp and who
  wishes all day long that his wife were still alive to hold him when the
  nightmares come.
  He is an ordinary and yet an extraordinary human being - a person who
  offered some of his life's most vital years in the service of his
  country, and who sacrificed his ambitions so others would not have to
  He is a soldier and a savior and a sword against the darkness, and he 
  is nothing more than the finest, greatest testimony on behalf of the
  finest, greatest nation ever known.
  So remember, each time you see someone who has served our country, just
  lean over and say Thank You. That's all most people need, and in most
  cases it will mean more than any medals they could have been awarded or
  Two little words that mean a lot, "THANK YOU".
  Remember November 11th is Veterans Day.
  Superintendent, Operations Support Squadron
  Cannon AFB, New Mexico

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