November 11

Tuesday is Veterans’ Day as everyone should know. It began as a celebration of┬áthe end of WWI and evolved into a day to honor all veterans. It’s deeper to me than just being a vet since I know a lot of names on the Vietnam Memorial Wall as well as having kin in every war America has fought from the Revolution on to today.

WWII vets are dwindling in number, as are Korean War vets. Vietnam vets had a greater chance of surviving wounds due to helicopter medevacs and great inroads in field medical care. However, the decision to use chemical defoliants (namely Agent Orange) is causing these vets to die younger. We also have losses from the War on Terror and many vets to recognize. Many of them are suffering from exposure to depleted uranium used in artillery shells as well as to burning petroleum products.

If you know a vet, tell them thanks for their service. It wouldn’t hurt to bow your head in remembrance of those military members who died while serving this great nation.

As important to many (and more important to some) November 10th has more significance. It’s the birthday of the Marine Corps and is usually celebrated formally and boisterously – if you consider that to be an oxymoron, you’ve never been around Marines.

The Marine Corps was formed 239 years ago to fight the British. It evolved over two-plus centuries from sharpshooters in the rigging of tall ships to a corps of shock troops unequaled by other nations. I’m damn proud to be a Marine.

If you know a Marine (or see someone wearing Marine gear) wish them happy birthday. And, just maybe raise a glass to them.

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