Friday, November 12, 2010

A salute to Veterans Day

Veterans Day really started for me the day before when Land Line posted their Veterans Salute in the online magazine and featured veteran members on Land Line Now on Sirius XM. Besides an online editorial, they posted a handful of OOIDA members’ experiences in the military – including yours truly. Since I was in the service during peace time, some of their stories about being in harm’s way made my duty seem like a walk in the park.

Every now and then someone will thank me for my service. I tell them I appreciate it, but I’m thinking the real “thanks” should go to those who went to places like Vietnam; the ones that paid the ultimate price, those who had arms and legs blown off; POW/MIAs. Those are the heroes.

We attended a Veterans Day ceremony at the Veterans Home here in Lafayette, IN. One thing I came away with that got my attention and made me wish I’d brought a camera. Before the ceremony started, everyone was mingling outside. I noticed this really old guy, kind of bent over, Coke bottle glasses, wearing a ragged, baggy old WWII (maybe earlier) uniform with sergeant stripes.

A Navy captain was the main speaker, and he was out with the crowd standing tall in his full dress blues. He came to where old man was, and I think he was a little embarrassed when the old gentleman stood up as straight as he could and saluted the captain and the captain returned it.

You would have had to be there; I get choked up thinking about it.

Speaking of salutes, a while back the rules were changed to where it’s not necessary to be in uniform to salute the flag, national anthem, etc.

I kind of like that. For these type events I get out the old ball cap with my Navy outfit’s logo. And I do salute when they play the “Star-Spangled Banner,” when they raise or lower the colors, and when they blow “Taps.”

It’s not just events like this. I salute at ballgames, races, anywhere they honor the colors and play our national anthem.

If I was in Grain Valley, MO, today, I would snap one off to OOIDA’s media staff. Well done.