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A VETERAN DIED TODAY

He was getting old and paunchy and his hair was falling fast,
And he sat around the Legion, telling stories of the past.
Of a war that he had fought in and the deeds that he had done,
In his exploits with his buddies; they were heroes, everyone.

And though sometimes, to his neighbors his tales became a joke,
All his buddies listened, for they knew whereof he spoke.
But we'll hear his tales no longer, for ole' Bob has passed away,
And the worlds a little poorer, for a Veteran died today.

No, he won't be mourned by many, just his children and his wife,
For he lived an ordinary, very quiet sort of life.
He held a job and raised a family, quietly going on his way,
And the world won't note his passing; though a Veteran died today.

When politicians leave this earth, their body's lie in state,
While thousands note their passing and proclaim that they were great.
Papers tell of their life stories, from the time that they were young,
But the passing of a Veteran, goes unnoticed and unsung.

Is the greatest contribution, to the welfare of our land,
Some jerk who breaks his promise and cons his fellow man?
Or the ordinary fellow, who in times of war and strife,
Goes off to serve his Country and offers up his life?

The politician's stipend and the style in which he lives,
Are sometimes disproportionate to the service he gives.
While the ordinary Veteran, who offered up his all,
Is paid off with a medal and perhaps a pension small.

It's so easy to forget them, for it is so long ago,
That our Bob's and Jim's and Johnny's went to battle, but we know,
It was not the politicians, with their compromise and ploys,
Who won for us the freedom that our Country now enjoys.

Should you find yourself in danger, with your enemies in hand,
Would you really want some cop-out, with his very waffling stand?
Or would you want a Veteran who has sworn to defend,
His home, his kin, and country, and would fight until the end?

He was just a common Veteran and his ranks are growing thin,
But his presence should remind us, we may need his likes again.
For when countries are in conflict, then we find the Military's part,
Is to clean up all the troubles that the politicians start.

If we cannot do him honor, while he's here to hear the praise,
Then at least give him homage, at the ending of his days.
Perhaps just a simple headline, in the paper that might say:A VETERAN DIED TODAY

:(
 

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My grandfather died in 1966, a veteran of the first world war. When the armistice was declared, he was standing on the Hindenburg Line. A local veteran who wrote about veterans in the local paper (Batavia, NY...there's a VA Hospital there, which I spent too much time at visiting my grandpa...he had wicked bad emphysema, having been gassed during the war...) recounted his story in the local paper. My grandfather won a real purple heart...not for some "scratch", and a couple of medals from the French, who actually made a big sacrifice for Europe during this war (which was not repeated for part II!).

Today, John Kerry has denigrated the service of National Guardsmen (by attacking the president's service and veiled attacks suggesting that the NG is "no-go"). Well, my grandfather was "National Guard", 108 NY Infantry, Co F, 27th Division: front lines, no relief for the duration. No "war stories"...a hideous event that destroyed a generation. My grandfather would never talk about the war...this from a guy who chased Pancho Villa around Mexico with Black Jack Pershing! National Guard, Hoo-Rahhhh!

Happy Armistice Day to all you veterans! Your method/branch of service is of no moment. Your commitment and service is. God bless you all, and thank you!

Posted Thu 11 Nov, 2004:

Some of you might recognize the 27th Division: they were at Okinawa during the world war, part two.
 

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The sad thing is...a Vetern DID die today...

Elderly veteran killed in parade tragedy
Thursday November 11, 2004
WHITMAN, Mass. (AP) An 80-year-old veteran was killed Thursday morning when he was run over by a van as he prepared to march in the town's Veterans Day parade.

William Hammond, of Abington, was a decorated World War II Army veteran who fought in the Battle of the Bulge. As captain of the color guard, he was lining up with fellow veterans at the start of the parade route when the van backed over him, witnesses said.

The van was owned by the local Veterans of Foreign Wars chapter and was operated by a close friend of Hammond. The driver, who was not identified, was taken to a local hospital to be treated for distress.

``It's devastating,'' said Richard Slowey, adjutant of VFW Post 697. ``Bill is a very warm and very kind person.''

A man who answered the phone at Hammond's house declined to comment. Post members said he and his wife, Irene, had several children and that Hammond owned a contracting business.

Junior vice commander Robert Wessa said Hammond was a past commander of the 765-member post who stayed active, traveling to a local school with Wessa this week to talk about Veterans Day.

Many post members had just gotten together Wednesday night for their monthly meeting.

``I was with the man last night, and we were just having a grand time because we loved to give each other the jab,'' Slowey said.

Wessa remembered Hammond as a strong leader and a good friend. He was still an avid motorcyclist and completed a road trip around Canada and the United States when he was in his late 70s. Just this past year, he rode to a national veterans meeting in Cincinnati to participate in a motorcycle parade, said Leon Litchfield, the post's senior vice commander.

Litchfield said several years ago Hammond hosted a local Brockton cable TV show on motorcycling called ``Big Bill.'' He was also known for reciting lengthy poems from memory at different community events.

``Bill was more or less a happy-go-lucky guy,'' Litchfield said. ``He always had a poem to tell you and a story to tell you.''

``He was quite a guy,'' Wessa said. ``It's a sad day over (at the post) right now.''

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
 

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How sad is this...to have survived all these years...a moments lack of attention...well, the victim has gone to a better place. The driver must live with this until he joins the victim. It tears ones heart out!

Well, both the victim and the driver can seek solace in the Christ...

There is no blame in the Christ...what happens, happens...

STOP: it's not destiny, or fore-ordained! What is, is what is. we control our own destinies through our choices.

Sorry to get all "churchy" on your young behinds! :D
 
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Like DCS said to have survived through everything that this guy has gone through and to die in a parade that was honoring him and all other vets. My regards to his family and friends. Also unfortunately the driver of the van which was owned by his VFW Post was a close friend of his. Its strange how actual good people like P.O. and vets. and decent citizens get killed for little or no reason and all these criminals and drains on society continue to roam this earth. This I will never understand. On that subject I was in the Army and this summer I had to bury one of my good buddies oh got killed over in Iraq and durning his funeral service some guy actually had the nerve to start screaming that we where holding up traffic. It just goes to show you that some people have no respect for others even the ones who protect there freedom everyday.

To all other vets thank you for your service to the country and yes there are some people out there who appreciate what you do, this statement goes double for Police Officers.
 

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It has always been a soldier

It is the soldier, not the reporter
who has given us freedom of the press

It is the soldier, not the poet
who has given us freedom of speech

It is the soldier, not the campus organizer
who has given us the freedom to demonstrate

It is the soldier

who salutes the flag

who serves beneath the flag

and whose coffin is draped by the flag

who allows the protester to burn the flag

Author unknown
 
G

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It has always been a soldier

It is the soldier, not the reporter
who has given us freedom of the press

It is the soldier, not the poet
who has given us freedom of speech

It is the soldier, not the campus organizer
who has given us the freedom to demonstrate

It is the soldier

who salutes the flag

who serves beneath the flag

and whose coffin is draped by the flag

who allows the protester to burn the flag

Author unknown
That poem was always in my barracks the whole time I was in the Army no matter where I went. If you can pass it on to your friends through e-mail or something the poem has alot of meaning to it. I belive from what a 1SGT told me one day it was writen by a soilders mom after her son was killed in action.
 
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