QXatFAT From Israel, joined Feb 2006, 2406 posts, RR: 5 Posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 2618 times:
So today I went with my Great Uncle (if that is what you call your grandmas brother) to the Verterans Hosptial so he can get his medication. He is old as you can tell and so I said I would take him there just so we can spend some time together as well.
Well when we get there, we started walking to the front of the hospital and there were war vets all over the place. Some guys that were just on the older side walking around with their cains from WW2 and Korean War just as happy as can be but you can tell that they were in some sort of pain though. We went in to get his medication and had to sit down as there was a long line so they were handing out numbers. Well we sat down and started talking and he was telling me about WW2 and his Distroyer he was on in the Pacific and all the things he was doing from escorting Aircraft Carriers in the Pacific to guarding the Philippines to making their way to be there for the treaty signing. He likes to tell me his stories. Well sitting next to us was a man that was in WW2 as well and said he was on a certain Aircraft Carrier that my Uncle ended up guarding in the Pacific. It was amazing for him to get to know the guy.
Well on the way out I saw some more guys in wheel chairs going around as slow as can be because them being so old and with no one there to help push them around. There were guys from Korea, Vietnam, and WW2. Then right when we were turning the corner, we saw 3 guys from Iraq in their wheel chairs missing a leg, missing an arm, and one guy who was just disabeld somehow because he was in a wheel chair. They were talking with a guy who had his WW2 hat on that was missing a leg as well and I could hear him telling the younger guys "Dont worrie mates, you will make it. I did all these years and would not give up anything for knowing that I fought not only for our country, but for the lifes of the people that we were helping in Europe." When I heard that I started to get chocked up. My uncle was too.
All this to say, thank you to everyone who has served and is serving. You guys and gals are the greatest examples to us what it means to care about other people.
ANCFlyer, if you do not mind me asking...what wars/conflicts have you been involved in?
The thing that sticks out most about my uncle to me is that he is the biggest United States Army/Navy/Marines supporter I know. The best man period. What amazes me even more is that he is from Italy and he is more patriotic and shows more support for our troops then anyone I know. Knowing that his father served in WW1 in the Italian Army, then my uncle being born, they moved to the United States and 2 years before the war my uncle inlisted into the Navy before WW2. That speaks volumes to me knowing he is Italian born with his father fighting in one war for another country and he fights for a different one in the next huge war.
Banco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 53
Reply 8, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 2440 times:
When I was growing up, there will lots of the WWI generation still alive. I remember the various times school, or the cub scouts wuld take us to see them at the old people's homes where they would talk to us. Children are fascinated by the old, and they would tell us everything about what happened in the wars - and I suspect more than they told their own children a lot of the time.
They're treasured memories really, and I do feel a sense of some loss that all those men have gone, and the generation from the second war are disappearing rapidly. My wife's grandfather talks about it sometimes. I remember the first time I met him, and he spoke about being in the Royal Marines. So I asked him what ships he was attached to (naval history being a passion of mine). "Oh, none" he replied. I was a bit puzzled, and asked him how come. "I was a marine commando" he answered.
As I've found out later, he is now the last survivor from the recce party who went in, in advance of the liberation of Elba, the "first step" back into Europe for the allies. He was part of the units liberating Japanese PoW camps, and had to make the hideous decision of whether to shoot one of the British prisoners who spotted the unit, in order to make sure he didn't cry out (he didn't). And that he then refused to collect a DSM from the King because they wouldn't give him a 72 hour pass so he could collect his wife (they gave him his pass!) . Oh, and when they formed the SBS, they asked him to be an instructor. My God, he's over 90 and could probably still snap me in two.
Extraordinary stories, and it's a blessing that we still have some of them to talk to.
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
Aloges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8942 posts, RR: 42
Reply 9, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 2416 times:
Bless the individuals who sacrificed so much! Can't say I feel the same for the politicians who started the wars they fought in, though.
It's always interesting to see you British and Americans talk about veterans as your history is so very different. Our veterans from WW2 fought for Hitler, no one ever forgets that and except for a few neo-nazis people at least lament it.
Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
Stories tell of the British and German soldiers playing football together in No Man's Land on Christmas day - but is this just a legend? Historian Malcolm Brown separates fact from fantasy.
"Just you think," wrote one British soldier, "that while you were eating your turkey, etc, I was out talking and shaking hands with the very men I had been trying to kill a few hours before! It was astounding!"
Queso From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 5 days ago) and read 2298 times:
Not much that I can add to what has already been said other than my Grandfather fought at Guadalcanal in WWII and he taught me to have great respect for my country, the flag, and those who fought for them. I still remember as a very young child looking up at the .30 Carbine in his gun rack and asking him why he kept guns and he said (from his wheelchair) that if the U.S. ever fell, it would happen from within and he would do whatever he could to keep that from happening.
Very well explained, QXatFAT, and thank you for sharing your experience. Keeps everything else in perspective, doesn't it?
Thanks for sharing that photo, ANC. Looks from the clothes and hairstyles that it's from the mid to late 70's.
PanAmOldDC8 From Barbados, joined Dec 2006, 960 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 5 days ago) and read 2292 times:
Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 1): My hearty Salute to those veterans you saw today . . . young and old. They are surely inspirations.
Thanks for the photo, says a lot. As a Vietnam Vet I am especially proud of those who either lost their lives in battle or were wounded. They are the true hero's and they are the ones that meed to be remembered. Lost a friend of mine 3 days ago, was a hit a run in Hamilton. He and I were members of the Canadian Vietnam Veterans Association, had a few good beers together, he had also lost his leg in Nam, but was one hell of a great guy. Nothing but nothing would put him down until now, like to get my hands on the hit and run driver. Going to his funeral tomorrow, RIP Dan. I end with "Where have all the young men gone"
AsstChiefMark From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 5 days ago) and read 2292 times:
Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 1): Here's a photo I'm sure has been shared over and over. It fits VERY will with this thread.
I've been at parades where I've noticed only a few people standing for the honor guard. A simple, loud, "Stand up for the flag," usually gets them on their feet in a split second. Parents and their kids that don't stand up are the ones that really piss me off. What does their disrespect teach their kids?
Padraighaz From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 5 days ago) and read 2280 times:
Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 7): I exercise my 'Freedom of Speech' if I see you sitting on your ass and/or running your mouth when the colors go by.
Then you should hope to never be beside me!
I personally have intense revulsion and suspicion of behaviors and symbols that create emotional group bondings since I think much of the worst of human history has either been caused by individuals being caught up in group hysteria, or having been manipulated through group hysteria.
It's only our flag? It's only showing our troops respect? Nonsense. Look at how things are manipulated right now where we can't even debate the surge policy without having to insulate the issue with a statement of how we support the troops. Look at this web forum where people lose it because they can't see that being opposed to the war and the president is not the same as being opposed to the troops. Look at how the Flag has become a branding for news and talk shows with them being either in the background or on lapel pins. I view this as being a greater insult and more demeaning to the flag than flag burning.
So be careful what assumptions you make about those around you. They might have just as much respect for your symbols but have very different ideas on how to show it.
AerospaceFan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 2227 times:
Quoting S12PPL (Reply 20): But isn't it also their freedom to not stand? Yes, it's wrong, and disrespectful...But isn't it their right as Americans?
Yes. And it is also our right to despise them for failing to respect some of our most treasured secular representatives of our nationhood.
Would I despise them? Probably not, because I'm a tolerant fellow. But certainly I have a right to, and I have a right to express my opinion of them, whatever it may be. So long as it does not infringe upon their right not to respect the symbols of our nation, expression that overtly condemns such disrespect, if it is genuine, is also protected by our Constitution.
The beliefs of any American who fails to respect our soldiers who have served honorably, are subject to question in my mind.
QXatFAT From Israel, joined Feb 2006, 2406 posts, RR: 5
Reply 23, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 2203 times:
Quoting Banco (Reply 8): Extraordinary stories, and it's a blessing that we still have some of them to talk to.
Most definatly. I was telling ANC that my Great Uncle is from Italy. His father faught in WW1 for Italy and after the war as a young boy, he moved to the United States with his family. He then inlisted into the Navy before WW2 and then served for the United States as an Italian imigrant whos father faught for another country. I thought this was amazing!
Quoting Queso (Reply 13): Very well explained, QXatFAT, and thank you for sharing your experience. Keeps everything else in perspective, doesn't it?
Not a problem. And it does keep things in perspectives. How do we normally celebrate Veterans Day or Memorial Day? Useually people just put up their flag, if they actually get off their buts on the couch and put it up, and then use it as a lets go here and do this day instead of actually remembering why we have this day.
Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 7): Not everyone. There are so some people that have some respect for their country and some self-respect left in this land. The numbers are falling however.
True they are falling numbers. I remember standing up for the flag every morning at school until I went to the 3rd grade. Then we stopped. I always asked why because I enjoyed this as a part that I could serve as a child. The response was, "We are offending certain students". These were the Jehova Witnesses who do not salute the flag or sing the Anthem. I never ever see students in the class rooms anymore here in Madera, Fresno, Merced standing up for the flag at all. It is a shame! People at my school used to all get to school early so we could all be there for the flag being rased on the outside giant poll! Boy these days are put in history now
Padraighaz From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (8 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 2197 times:
Quoting Halls120 (Reply 22): Since you don't care to demonstrate respect for the ideals for which the flag stands for in the most non-partisan manner available, just how do YOU show your respect?
I don't care for,or respect, symbols so I'm not interested in showing respect or disrespect for them either.
I make a distinction between the symbol and what it might stand for. I see many on this forum who think patriotism and flag waving is an automatic trump card in any debate or discussion. I see many who profess a love of the Flag, but who I think are barely distinguishable from fascists, and so I think talk is cheap in this area. If you really respected the Flag, you wouldn't use it as a litmus test of loyalty.
Can someone show respect for the Flag with integrity? Absolutely and more power to them, but it's not for me. However, to infer there is no respect for the ideals behind the Flag because someone (like myself) dislikes group-psyche behaviors is not correct.
Quoting Halls120 (Reply 22): An excellent idea - disrespected members list! We should suggest it to Johan.
"Let's form an enemies list so we can quickly categorize forum members into those like 'us' and those like 'them....' It will save us having to read and think about what others might say..." Hmmm. Why even bother with dialog? Why not just label the various lists as patriotic and unpatriotic and say "he is on this list and so is wrong" and just get it over with? Wouldn't that be awesome? Hey I bet there'd be another slice of bread in the loaf you buy at the store if we did that! How about we put a yellow colored 'T' symbol beside the login names of traitors? We'll get around to the Jews and Muslims next month...
Have you guys any idea how pathetic and juvenile a Disrespected Members list sounds?
For the record, I'd be proud to be on any Disrespected Members list some people would have, since the flag has become (you gotta love the irony here) somewhat superficial through over use. But a fresh new wave of fascism and lynch-mobbing based on whether you DISPLAY respect for the flag or not based on the flag-respect-purity-gatekeepers is absolutley hilarious!
: I think I would agree with you that cussing you out, as implied by ANCFlyer, wouldn't be appropriate if you failed to stand for the flag. However, tr
: Who fail to respect? Or, who fail to display it publicly? Or who claim to do so because it serves their political agenda even as they waste soldiers'
: Like it or not, we are judged by appearances. At a public ceremony or occasion on which one is given the opportunity to show one's respect, if one fa
: I remember this slogan from the VietNam war era.
: Yes I do very well. A lot took up the leave it part
: ^^ That sentiment is defensible, but only if one keeps in mind that no one political party speaks for all Americans. Liberals who criticize this Admin
: Really, it's quite remarkable how some of you have got wrapped up in an argument about a poxy flag. Yours, mine whoevers, it's not the point of the or
: I've stated my motives - and I can live with them. The inference is that the person might be like me, i.e. someone who is extraordinarily wary of gro
: Unfortunately the flag is part of the whole operation, whether you agree or disagree. When you fight, it is the flag of your country that you fight u
: The ultimate THANKS, Sadly we dont see what they see, they have given so much.
: Banco, I agree that it's the people that matter most. However, unlike in Britain, the national flag here in the United States is held with a degree o
: I would say it isn't when you look at the broader picture. I have no interest whatsover in your flag, and roll my eyes when I read discussions on it.
: Are we? Bloody hell, that'll be news to the whole country! Sod that! More seriously, I don't think there is an equivalent. A much greater level of cy
: I can certainly gather that. Might I ask how long this has been, because it certainly did not exist to this extent upon the coronation of Elizabeth I