Additional Thanks!

November 22, 2011

Here are 3 letters of thanks that my shipmates and I received on return from our first deployment in 1972.  These are from commanders way up the chain of command, but still affirmation that we did our job well.  You’re welcome!

Click to enlarge

From the Commander of the Seventh Fleet

From the Commander of the Seventh Fleet

From the Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet

From the Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet

From the Commander of Cruiser Destroyer Flotilla Three

From the Commander of Cruiser Destroyer Flotilla Three

As I mentioned in the Veterans Day 2011 article, the thanks for us were few and far between.  For me, I just considered the benefits of being a vet as enough, nothing more.  The state of Washington gave vets a check for $250 as a thanks for service.  I went to 2 years of college on the GI Bill.  That was a “thanks”.  I had a brand new house built with help from the VA $0 down Home Loan Program.  Thanks!  I had a job where I went through an apprentice program and was eligible to receive a small check monthly for being a vet.  Thanks!   And now that my wife has retired and we dropped my insurance, I’m getting medical care from a VA Hospital.  Another thank you!

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Veterans Day 2011

November 22, 2011

Big thanks to all the businesses that offered deals to veterans as well as active duty military on November 11, 2011.  My wife and I decided to go to Applebees that day for lunch.  We got there at just about 15 minutes before noon.  The parking lot is full but we go in anyway and there are people waiting in the entryway.  We go up to the hostess and she asks how many in our party and if one of us is a vet, then hands menus to a young kid of maybe 19 or 20.  He seats us at our booth, lays out the menus as well as the vets menu in front of me with the free entrees for veterans listed.  He gives me a thank-you pin for my shirt and takes my hand and says “Thank you for your service, sir.”  I was touched.

The manager came by our table after we had eaten and was telling us this is their busiest day of the year.  Applebees has 2500 restaurants across the country and that last year the company lost $13 million on Veterans Day.  But here they are, doing it again for the third year, saying thanks to our vets and active duty service men and women.  Good for them!

Some of the others participating were Krispy Kreme, Chiles and TGIF to name a few.  Thank you all for the recognition!  I’m from a period of time when the thanks to servicemen was few and far between, if at all.  I’m not saying I was all that deserving for my 4 years of service because there were those who gave a hell of a lot more in a shorter amount of time and thus deserved a lot more than what they got.  At the time we were taught that communism was bad and that we should go save a meaningless piece of third-world real estate on the other side of the planet from being overrun by a cruel Chinese and Soviet backed army.  As it turned out I don’t think these people gave a shit what sort of rule they were under.  They just wanted to live in peace, raise their families, animals and rice.  We go in, make a big mess, then haul ass and now they live happily under communist rule anyway.

Today we have servicemen and women returning from the mideast who are defending us from people that will find ways to come on our turf and do harm.  They’ve tried and obviously have succeeded in a few instances.  They probably will never stop, so we have to change our way of life to one of vigilance and suspicion.  Gone are the post-WWII days of the peaceful, care-free 50’s with the Nazi’s put out of business.  It’s a whole different world!  Those coming home now really deserve the thanks for their effort in protecting us and our way of life.  They are the heroes!

We should never forget that in any conflict all will give some, but there are those who will give all.  God bless those who have!