MacArthur said, 'Old Soldiers' never die, they fade away", and Hal Moore said, 'We were Soldiers' once, and young': true about all veterans - marines, soldiers, airmen and sailors - who never left a comrade behind.
On Feb. 15 at the Delta County Airport, my Grenada veteran brother, Carl, was met by a contingency of veterans of all branches, whose service spanned from World War II (Iwo Jima) to Desert Storm; all bearing the accouterment of their respective service to our nation. Auxiliary members, spouses of veterans, and other friends were present as well, to welcome Carl home.
Without the support and assistance of the VFW, Chapter 345 Vietnam Veterans of America, DAV Chapter 24, American Legion Post 82, Auxiliary Post 71, Sons of the American Legion Squadron 71, Marine Corps League, Patriot Guard, and Kohnert's Auto Repair, and others, fulfilling Carl's last wish would have been far more difficult.
I was overwhelmed when I arrived at the airport, relieved to see that the Marines had landed, grateful for all that my fellow vets accomplished in a very short time, and for the opportunity to thank each of them for their service. Most of us had never been welcomed home, thanked for our service officially: and too many defenders of this nation were treated far, far worse than that.
I could not be prouder of my comrades, these 10 percent, about 3 percent women, who chose to defend an entire nation: who served in combat on the field, and at home, who served in silence, and those who made the supreme sacrifice and now serve in spirit. I didn't see old men and women that day, injured and disabled by their selfless service: I saw young, straight, freshfaced and dedicated warriors. I saw the brave, who provided, and provide, the home of the free.
If you love this country, freedom, and are relieved we did the heavy lifting for all, thank veterans every time you see one, make every day Veterans Day. We're hiding in plain sight, and some of us are skillfully trained gender camouflaged, but our military bearing can be detected.