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Old 07-26-2009, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Boomer

thank you for your kinda words and yes, I have spent the majority of the last 3 years in combat zones or preparing to go into combat zones.

Just like any institution the military has it's share of less than reputable individuals. However, I have seen the military change the local town druggy into a great soldier, or give someone who maybe didn’t have the chance to mature socially in the environment they were brought up in the life skills they needed to become an adult. When you join, now adays, you also almost have an assurance you will spend time in a combat zone. I am pretty much 100% relational on how a handle life. Money really does mean nothing to me and if I do something it has to have merit in some sort of relational aspect. Even though these deployments ware me down and age me more than I care to think ... the people over here are some of the finest folks in America. They may have not come in that way ... but they sure as hell come out that way. “Hero” in my terms is a strong word for any one person ... but the sentiment of seeing a soldier and buying them a beer is an act of gratefulness that people do volunteer to keep America safe. The solider or Marine at that moment is more or less an icon of something bigger grateful people choose to acknowledge.
Thanks for saying this. I served briefly "back in the day" when there was a war going on in southeast asia. I eventually was medically discharged; not so distinguished but at least I served. I kept my service secret for a long time. The hostility towards those who served was incredible. If you ever go to see the "Wall" in DC you may see some old guys like myself crying. As to why, well many had no choice about serving and paid the ultimate price.
Those who made it will be troubled by survivors guilt, PTS and whatever else you can think of till the end of their days.

Sure, a few who serve are not heroes. But because of the memories of an earlier era I will take the risk and honor them all anyway.
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