It's raining today so we don't have the flag out in honor of Armed Forces Day. Too bad, we'd fly it otherwise.
I've said it before, I'm not one of those "professional veterans" I see wearing bits of old uniforms or jackets marking where or when they served. I have none of the gewgaws and doodads they gave me for going where I was sent and doing what I was told. I volunteered once when I took the oath. The rest of the time I went along because otherwise I would have broken that oath. Not to mention being put in the jug.
The only thing we shall do to mark the day is watch that movie, "Taking Chance". We don't have HBO so we didn't get to watch it when it came out there. Instead we bought it and it came off the UPS truck this week. So, we will watch it later today and then, as the grandkids get old enough to understand, we'll show it to them.
While it is not important to me that others know, I did once stand with heroes. Many of the career men I met then had served in the big one, men who made that long walk to the beach of Tarawa, when the boats got hung on the reef. Men who saw the flag raised on Iwo Jima or the Kamakazis off the beaches of Okinawa. Other men who took that nice winter's walk back from Chosin a few years later.
Those men are mostly gone now, instead my generation of veterans has weasels as our public face, John Effin Kerry, Jack Murtha and James Webb. The nice thing about today is that the phoney Hee-roes and fake veterans are more easily found out. That clown in Denver, that kid who wrote that crap in the New Republic about how the war in Iraq stole his humanity before he ever got there...
So, today is another day to say thanks. As every day is, of course. Thanks to those who went before me, thanks to those I knew and thanks to those who came along after. And, yes, thanks to those who are yet to come.
I just got the word from Arizona. My grand niece, Cassie is graduating from high school. In the fall she will become Midshipman Cassie as she goes to the University of Arizona on an NROTC scholarship. So, Cassie, fair winds and following seas. You become a link in a very long chain. You will be a long time understanding just how proud of you I feel.