I remember the last thing I wanted to do in my life was be a soldier. Guns and I didn’t have much togetherness. Yeah, I did a little pheasant hunting and some squirrel hunting. But basically, I wouldn’t consider myself a sharp-shooter.
From time-to-time the itch was there to take up hunting because so many people I knew seemed to enjoy it so much. But, when you’ve been in a situation where you’re looking for people to shoot at, the thought can go sour on carrying a gun around.
I remember when I got ready to leave Vietnam I handed in my M16 and vowed never to pick up a weapon to shoot at something ever again.
Instead of hunting, I took up the mantra of a “Patriot” – embellishing the attributes of “Honor and Glory” for Americans who were strong enough and willing to “fight for our country.”
Now, just over 50 years later, I often get asked to speak at Veteran’s Day or Memorial Day events.
This year Veteran’s Days is Nov. 11 and there will another community event held at Minneota High School. Often I’ve told the story of the, “Table Set For One,” and it always seems to hit a nerve.
This is a story about heroes — not those who sit amongst us with their tiny, pointed hats on their heads, or those carrying the flags into the service.
This is a story about heroes who NEVER CAME HOME. We call them MIA’s, or “Missing In Action.” We tend to think to ourselves, “Oh, yeah, there couldn’t be people still held in Prisoner of War situations.”
Well, maybe, or maybe not. But they are missing. In fact, since World War II, there have been over 82,000 American troops Missing In Action.
That’s an astounding number. One way or another, these are people who have not, and never will come home. And in most cases, we will never know what happened to them. I have the honor of talking about these heroes at the upcoming Veteran’s Service.
When I think about them I don’t think about “John Rambo” of movie fame, who broke into MIA camps to rescue the prisoners. I think about young men who gave everything they had for their country. I’ve always thought this was a country worth fighting for. And so did these guys. When the day comes, take time to honor ALL VETERANS, but in particular, honor those who never came back — and never will!
LAUGH A LITTLE: Talking dog for sale A guy spots a sign outside a house that reads “Talking Dog for Sale.” Intrigued, he walks in. “So what have you done with your life?” he asks the dog. “I’ve led a very full life,” says the dog. “I lived in the Alps rescuing avalanche victims. Then I served my country in Iraq. And now I spend my days reading to the residents of a retirement home.” The guy is flabbergasted. He asks the dog’s owner, “Why on Earth would you want to get rid of an incredible dog like that?” The owner says, “Because he’s a liar! He never did any of that!”
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: As my Ole Pappy used to say, “The only disability in life is a bad attitude.” Ole Pappy told me I had that malady once in a while. He did his best to make sure “bad attitude” wasn’t one of my qualities. Thanks Ole Pappy!