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Old 11-11-2005, 02:38 PM   #1
BigV
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Happy Veteran's Day

I would like to offer my sincere gratitude and thanks for the service of all the Veterans who read this. Your sacrifice for me, my family, and my country is not in vain. It is not unseen, unnoticed or unappreciated. You each gave so I could have, and I thank you. I offer you my sincere and profound thanks.

I only know of a few of you by name and I will mention them here. This forum is mostly anonymous, and so I know only a little about some of you. Certainly there are Veterans to whom I owe a debt but will not be named here, either through my forgetfulness or my ignorance. If you are not named for any reason, please feel free to identify yourself to me publicly or privately and I will add your name to this list. If you wish to accept my thanks, and the thanks of my family anonymously, that is your prerogative.

I send my thanks to:

My Dad, W
My Father in Law, F
My Uncle, G
My two Brothers, C and B
My cousin, S

Also to lookout123, Urbane Guerrilla, NICOTINEGUN, busterb. I know I'm omitting some names, but I am still thankful to you, even if you're a lurker and don't have a name here. You have a name in my heart and in the hearts of everyone I know. I thank you.
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Old 11-11-2005, 06:36 PM   #2
Trilby
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Very sweet gesture, BigV. I second this emotion.

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Old 11-11-2005, 06:41 PM   #3
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Thanks
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Old 11-11-2005, 08:02 PM   #4
Cyclefrance
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I'd like to add my thanks to those given by BigV.

It seems strange to have reached the age of 58 and yet never to have had to participate in any form of warfare - to have had the ability to choose an uninterrupted career over service in one of the forces. When you consider the number of wars that occurred during the 100 years before I was born, the absence of any involvement seems all the more remarkable. I wasn’t even required to undertake National Service, as that obligation ended before I reached qualifying age.

It is hard therefore to really understand the atrocities of war, what troops in battle had and have to face. It’s all too distant.

Armistice day, as today is called here, is more about the veterans of the First World War, the end of which it commemorates. Amazingly there are still surviving soldiers alive today – even one ex-soldier aged 107, who joined the War in 1914 when it began and served and survived the whole bloody conflict.

The reason I started my cycling trips to France was to visit the battlefields and museums of the Western Front. To try to understand and appreciate the atrocious conditions and horror of the trenches that was faced on a daily – more likely hourly basis.

Visiting the areas and witnessing the evidence of life and conditions does bring this home. Not that it could ever be possible to really experience this, but then, from what I have learned, I wouldn’t want to. Who could want to face the smell of death as a part of every waking moment, to have ones skin crawling with lice, rats scurrying endlessly around, feeding off the remains of severed limbs (quite likely and suddenly, all that remained of a colleague who had been conversing with you only a few minutes earlier), to be required on command to go ‘over the top’ and to run towards a faceless enemy and against its relentless machine gun fire, to face the burning of your lungs and to fight for every breath as mustard gas is spread into your ranks, to live in mud and stagnant water, to suffer feet that swelled inside boots, becoming so swollen that you could not remove your boots even if you wanted to, to hear the cries of comrades wounded and slowly dying, as much from infection in their wounds as the wounds themselves, lying in shell holes just a short distance from your trench, yet unreachable.

I have placed a link here to Hill 62 and Sanctuary Wood, a battleground to the east of Ypres where there is a small but remarkable museum - remarkable for the collection of facts and evidence it has gathered. Compared to the clinical aspect of many museums, this rather basic looking hut holds some of the most compelling and horrifying detail - mainly through the 3D images mentioned on the linked page. There are other links from the initial page, many of which are to my mind very moving and appropriate to the remembrance of Armistice Day.

Veterans of any war have faced conditions if not exactly the same then just as horrific as those I’ve described above. That they did so and by doing so secured the freedom and lasting peace we have enjoyed since is more than any man should ever be expected or asked to do. But they did it and that is why they should and will always be remembered. How can we who have benefited from their devotion ever give adequate thanks for what they achieved for us.

I regret that in my short time here, I have not come to know the names of those of you in the Cellar who have served your country, and in conflicts far more recent than I have described, but you have my lasting respect and appreciation that you have been willing to back your beliefs with your lives and by so doing have made our lives all the more secure.
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Last edited by Cyclefrance; 11-11-2005 at 08:04 PM.
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Old 11-12-2005, 02:15 AM   #5
wolf
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Thanks, indeed, to all who have served.
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Old 11-12-2005, 02:19 AM   #6
lookout123
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you're welcome. wish i could do more.

regret to say that this will be my last veterans' day in active service.

sad but true, after thirteen years i am hanging up the boots, turning in the gasmask, and relinquishing my status as a dumb enlisted puke (that one is for you, tw).

i just don't have the time to dedicate to that which i love anymore. i have exactly two more active duty days to serve out and then i will enter the realm of the has-beens.

BigV - thanks for the thanks, it has been my immense pleasure to be a part of the US armed forces. i've been around the world and have had the sand of a few deserts in my teeth. i've held a few weapons, pulled a few triggers, lost a few friends, spent a few sleepless nights, and shed a million tears - and i'd do it all again. the DOD has given me far more than i could ever give back. i would not be 1/100000000000000th of the man i am today without the lessons i have learned in service. i only wish i could stick around to learn more. and for one of the few times in my life, i am 110% sincere. thank you all for trusting me all for all these years.

Last edited by lookout123; 11-12-2005 at 02:27 AM.
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Old 11-13-2005, 01:14 AM   #7
Urbane Guerrilla
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Thank you, V; that is most kind, and I offer the thanks of my Information Tech First Class, USN, Retired wife as well.

Cryptologic Technician (Interpretive) First Class, USN, but just ex-.
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Old 11-24-2005, 09:45 PM   #8
capnhowdy
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You are more than welcome, BigV. People like yourself are the people who make this country great. It is not imperative that you serve in the armed forces to serve your country. Cheers on the attitude.
My only regret is that I can't do it again. Although I'm out of uniform now, I, like yourself serve my country each day that I'm blessed to enjoy.
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Old 11-25-2005, 01:17 PM   #9
BigV
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Thank you, capnhowdy.

I'm sorry I forgot your name on the list (really forgot, I *knew* you were a Marine; I've commented on it before ), please accept my apologies and my sincere thanks.
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Remember:

Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. -- Marcus Aurelius, philosopher and writer (121-180)
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Old 11-25-2005, 07:53 PM   #10
capnhowdy
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not a prob, BigV.
Without the support of citizens stateside this Marine (and many others) would have never came home.
Altho I deeply appreciate it, I wasn't looking for recognition. My point is that we are ALL Americans and we all serve our country in some way. That is what makes US the strongest team on the planet. ie: without the Yin there is no Yang. You get my point.
...and we all say together: God Bless America!
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Old 11-25-2005, 09:39 PM   #11
marichiko
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And although veteran's day is past, the gratitude I have toward all our vets, living and dead, is still present.

Thank you Capn Howdy, Busterb, Lookout, UG. as well as:

Sam Wilson, E9, US Army, 30 years, veteran WWII, Korea, and Vietnam
Ronald Maracle, E5, US Army, Canadian Mohican Indian, Gulf War Vet who saved the lives of 5 Americans during Desert Storm
Chauncey Pierce, E8, 20 years, US Army, getting ready for deployment to Iraq in the next two days

I honor you all 365 days a year and my prayers go with Sgt Pierce that he may return safely home to both his country and his wife and two sons.
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Old 11-10-2008, 10:35 PM   #12
BigV
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigV View Post
I would like to offer my sincere gratitude and thanks for the service of all the Veterans who read this. Your sacrifice for me, my family, and my country is not in vain. It is not unseen, unnoticed or unappreciated. You each gave so I could have, and I thank you. I offer you my sincere and profound thanks.

I only know of a few of you by name and I will mention them here. This forum is mostly anonymous, and so I know only a little about some of you. Certainly there are Veterans to whom I owe a debt but will not be named here, either through my forgetfulness or my ignorance. If you are not named for any reason, please feel free to identify yourself to me publicly or privately and I will add your name to this list. If you wish to accept my thanks, and the thanks of my family anonymously, that is your prerogative.

I send my thanks to:

My Dad, W
My Father in Law, F
My Uncle, G
My two Brothers, C and B
My cousin, S

Also to lookout123, Urbane Guerrilla, NICOTINEGUN, busterb. I know I'm omitting some names, but I am still thankful to you, even if you're a lurker and don't have a name here. You have a name in my heart and in the hearts of everyone I know. I thank you.
Veteran's Day is here again.

As in years past, I have a debt of thanks I wish to pay. To the veterans in my family and my direct acquaintance:

My Dad, W
My Father in law, F
My Uncle, G
My brothers, C and B and S
My cousin, S

To my friends here in the cellar who have served:

lookout123
zippyt
Urbane Guerilla
busterb
TheMercenary
fargon
NoBoxes
capnhowdy
BigSarge
regular.joe
130load

I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your service to our country. Your work makes my way of life possible. Your defense of our country may sometimes seem like a thankless task. I thank you now.

Our world is full of dangers, made safer by your individual and collective efforts. I would not want your job, but I'm glad you're doing it. You may only hear from me once a year, but I sincerely hope I'm coming through loud and clear. It will be a Happy Veteran's Day for me if you know how much you're appreciated.

Thank you all.
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Remember:

Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. -- Marcus Aurelius, philosopher and writer (121-180)
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Old 11-10-2008, 11:03 PM   #13
classicman
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seconded and I'd like to add a few friends & family who served/are serving. To all of our veterans - a heartfelt thanks.
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Old 11-10-2008, 11:56 PM   #14
zippyt
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Thanks !!
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Old 11-11-2008, 01:57 AM   #15
Bullitt
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Definite thank you to those who have served and are currently serving. I know 5 people, a couple close friends, who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan post 9/11 and I'm always glad to hear they've come home safe. A couple of these guys have been in positions that take some serious guts to be in. One is an Army .50cal gunner in an M1 tank platoon on his second tour getting sniped at. The other is a Marine MP who pulled convoy escort duty early in the Iraq war and then a second tour right after with a newborn baby back in the states. He didn't talk much about his convoy ambush battles, but he did show me a shrapnel scar and hinted that he ran out of ammunition at one point and had to use his knife on a guy... The things these guys get put through that we rarely hear about astounds me and I really hope Code Pink keeps their damn mouths shut tomorrow out of respect for these men and women.
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