Veteran's Day, 2006

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Today is a good day to call up every veteran you know and thank them. If you don't know any veterans, go out and meet some. I promise it will be a good experience.

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Thank you, NR, for everything you've done and continue to do.

No Relation said:

Thanks Joe, I appreciate it, although I wasn't thinking of myself. I've given up very little compared to the sacrifice of some.

I know you weren't thinking of yourself in the least, but you've done great things at a young age and deserve every American's gratitude.

No Relation said:

Thanks Joe. I truly appreciate you saying so.

Today I met a guy who spent 44 months in Vietnam...most of that in an NVA prison camp. His son is now in Iraq.

My grandfather fought the Japanese and earned two Purple Hearts in Okinawa. The only time I could ever get him to talk about his WWII experience was when I did a paper on that battle for a high school history class. He died from a stroke the night before I graduated Army basic training.

A close friend of mine from the VFW listened to his buddy scream as he was skinned alive by the NVA. There was nothing he could have done to save his friend. He's dying from an untreatable form of Agent Orange cancer, now. All but 4 from the 28 in his platoon are dead now...either from similar cancers or suicide.

Two friends of mine, from my company, gave their lives while we were in Afghanistan. A cowardly IED blew their truck to shit on a mission they volunteered to ride lead vehicle for, although they had protested the dangerousness of that particular route.

More from my company were wounded. One of them, a friend so close I consider him a brother, has permanent paralysis in his left leg. Another recovered from his wounds, but the emotional scars might never heal. He just got out of jail...I hope and pray he never has to return.

These are the men I think of today. These are the people who will never be the same, who gave the ultimate sacrifice for America...for what they know is right. These are the people I think of today...Veteran's day.

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