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Journal FortKnox's Journal: Veterans Day 28

There is lotsa journals that are worthy of seeing today. Pirogoeth's definition of a veteran... btlzu2's list of people to thank, etc...

I just wanted to tell people about the veterans in my family.
My grandfather I never knew. Died before I was born. He was my mother's father and was a UDT for the Navy. That's "Underwater Demolition Team"... they were called "Frogmen"... basically the predecessor to the Seals. That's about all I know about his military background.
The two closest to home, though, would be my Brother-in-law. My wife's sister's husband. Before I was married, he joined the army (this was well before 9/11) and went into the foriegn language training. Became an Arabic Linguist. He ended up fighting in Afghanastan (no usage of his training there, just in infantry). Before he could leave, they put a stop-loss on his job (meaning, he can't leave unless they say so... they had a shortage of arabic linguists). So he ended up serving in iraq. Tactical intelligence (meaning, he was using his training, but was on the front line, not behind some desk at HQ). Worked in a unit of Aussie special forces.
They let him leave just before his second son was born so he'd be there for the birth. He went into army reserves to make it difficult to return back. Well, recently he moved to virgina to get a civilian contracting job with the government (using his arabic linguist skills). But, as with the army, the paperwork went awry. He wasn't transferred to the reserve unit in virgina, he was simply not attached to any reserve unit. That makes you a target. They needed an arabic linguist, so they go after the guys outside a unit... found him. He'll be travelling back to the army for training next week and will be in Iraq in January. His third son is to be born in March. He'll 99.999% sure will miss this birth...

Then there is my cousin. Kinda a rowdy kid. Held back a grade in school and stuff. He joined the army, and BOY did it clean him up. He ended up in a unit in Alaska, which he LOVED (he's a hunter), and went to training to be a scout. Shortly afterward, he went back into training, this time to be an army ranger. Then, of course, he was shipped to Iraq. He was a part of a recent carbombing in Baghdad. Caught in the concussion, he had half of his face ripped apart (stuff like, pulling shrapnel out of his eye, his jaw was broken and wired shut, etc...). He was in ICU and wired up to all kinda machines for a while. Was shipped back stateside where he is recovering (last I heard he was up and walking around).
Then came something that's political, so if you don't wanna hear about it, skip this paragraph... I get a call. George W Bush and Laura Bush visited my cousin. Told him what a terrific job he's done and how they are proud of him. They thanked, hugged, and apologized to his mother. They spent a good 10-15 minutes of their time just with my cousin's family. I was damn happy to hear that. I believe if John Kerry was elected, he wouldn't do that. I'm glad I was one of the 130k reasons Bush was relected.

So... I guess all I'm getting at is to thank everyone that is currently, or has served time. Red Warrior... thanks a bunch... and dude... stay safe!
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Veterans Day

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  • You'd favour a President who'd send your cousin off to an unnecessary war where he got half his face blown off over one who wouldn't ask him to make that sort of sacrifice unless it really had to be made?
    • Go ask my cousin what he thinks of it.
      He had half his face ripped apart... will probably be scarred for life because of it...

      As him if he'd do it again.

      I think you know his reponse.
      • I have nothing but respect for those who serve. It's those who send them off to be killed and mained in unnecessary wars for whom I reserve my contempt.

        Are soldiers (and their families) exempt from the oaths of office that our politicians take? Aren't they meant to be protected and served by those in the halls of power?

        But if asking "Did this really need to happen?" is wrong, well, then lock me up right now.
  • I believe if John Kerry was elected, he wouldn't do that.

    Yeah. because Kerry has NO FUCKING IDEA what war is like! HHAHAHAAHHAAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Dude, you just made my day with that one! Rock on, FK!

    Oh, and to keep shit on topic; Big tip of the hat to my gramps, #1 Jimmy, who served with the Fighting 69th in WWII, and is the other guy who came back. His pre-Pearl Harbor stories of Kaua'i where he managed to be a carpenter for the colonel and general are teh awesome (so are the pictures of him working
  • I've already said my bit about the abuse of the term "Veteran" elsewhere [slashdot.org], so I won't add to it here.

    I believe if John Kerry was elected, he wouldn't do that.

    I believe exactly the opposite, and am 100% convinced that Kerry would have done the same. I also believe that it's a hollow gesture, no matter which of them holds the title of President. It's like politicians kissing babies. It's not done out of genuine concern (or affection for the babies). It's just one of those things that come with the job. May

    • On the contrary, I believe that Bush is completely sincere about this, and that he would spend more time doing it if he could. And I see this as completely consistent with his avoidance of more public events, such as funerals, for which he has been criticized. My conclusion is that he is not after the photo op, but wants to express his gratitude for their sacrifice. Living in Texas, I've had a bit longer to observe his behavior, and in ways less filtered by the national media.

      I agree with you that K
  • And I hope your cousin has as complete a recovery as possible.
  • Here is something Kurt Vonnegut said about Veterans Day from the backend of the preface to Breakfast of Champions:

    "I will come to a time in my backwards trip when November eleventh, accidentally my birthday, was a sacred day called Armistice Day. When I was a boy, all the people of all the nations which had fought in the First World War were silent during the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour of Armistice Day, which was the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

    "It was during that minute in nineteen hun

    • I thought that was interesting. How many people really knew that was where Veterans' Day came from?

      You could claim that I did. Although I didn't. The fact is that I'd never heard of veterans day before a few days ago. To me, Nov 11th has always been, and always will be Armistice Day. It's a day to remember those who have died or been injured in active service. On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the guns stopped firing, six hours after the armistice was signed.

  • Really sorry to hear about what happened. My prayers for a speedy recovery.

A year spent in artificial intelligence is enough to make one believe in God.