Thank You Veterans!


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Trad climber
los angeles
Nov 13, 2012 - 10:00pm PT
forget yabo, idolize lostinshanghai

(only with Karl's permission)
The Chief

Climber from the Land Mongols under the Whites
Nov 13, 2012 - 10:25pm PT
Chief you are doing it again you can address your anger on my post by the end of this week, as others on thoughts about war.

No anger.

Just a major difference of opinion as to what I chose as a career (a "Lifer") and what you as did others, had no choice in the matter.

There lies the difference.

Neither good, bad or indifferent and it should remain so.

I respect what you had no say in doing. So I ask that you respect what I in turn chose to do as a profession.

Also, if you in fact were USA SpecOps Operator "in country", you most assuredly worked shoulder to shoulder with many of my first Chiefs, Senior Chiefs, Master Chiefs a Warrant or two and some LT's and LCDR's.

What LRRP Det/s were you with?

Trad climber
North Bay
Nov 13, 2012 - 11:49pm PT
On another level I believe the military service question haunts every man of my generation (I'm 64): Specifically what were you supposed to do regarding Vietnam? No one was immune and we all live with our choice today and use time and circumstance to rationalize our decision.

Opposed to the war and killing - so do everything you can think of to get out of the draft (Canada, be a fairy at the induction physical, claim religious objection even if you were an atheist, march organize, tell your draft board to go to hell and take you licks in state prison.

For the war: Sign on, boy!

But in one sense it boils down (in retrospect) to defining yourself as a man. Our fathers all responded w/o hesitation to WWII. We pampered baby boomers weren't ready to don the olive drab and take a bullet for uncle. In the popular sense, however, there was no other measurement of manhood. I think that quandary was the silent partner to all our maneuvers during the time of Vietnam.

April 1967 I marched against the war in San Francisco.
July-sep 67 boot camp San Diego
sep 67-dec 67 comm school Norfolk
Jan 68-July 69 Navy Comm Sta Guam
Aug 69-Aug 70 navy support base cam ranh bay

My time in Vietnam, altho at times (infrequently) scary was nothing like what some of the posters went through.

The ambiguity of the whole thing, from moral decisions to manhood to an experience I'll never forget, stays with me

For me, at least, the real heroes of Vietnam were the people who said fu*k you to the whole thing and took the consequences and the people who slogged thru the jungle with three months boot camp and a little AIT.

The most contemptible are today's right wing power brokers and pundits who squirmed their way out.

Trad climber
Cheyenne, Wyoming and Marshall Islands atoll.
Nov 14, 2012 - 12:00am PT
I am always amazed when this day comes once a year and everyone knows some one that is a Vet and in fact shows their appreciation for them.

The rest of the year, just like Christmas etc, all is forgotten.

Me, it was my chosen profession that I enjoyed thoroughly for 24 years, 3 months a 9 days which I gave my heart and soul to daily.

For those very few out there including here on ST that do think & show their respect and appreciation about us Vets on a regular basis, thank you.

(The Chief)

You hit the nail on the head Chief! I also thank all of you! You just donít know how much it means to us to feel that love. I to was a chosen professional and would change only one thing. To win, winning is important. To crush them. Or donít do it at all. War is not something you do half ass, itís a pity we are doing it again leaving before we win. To waste American life to an ungrateful people again is more than one can bear.

Thank you, God blesses you all.


Social climber
Nov 14, 2012 - 01:00am PT
I am not necessarily in the Chief's boat (sic) on this subject, but more identify with the ambiguity nmba1gi addresses.

//But in one sense it boils down (in retrospect) to defining yourself as a man. Our fathers all responded w/o hesitation to WWII. We pampered baby boomers weren't ready to don the olive drab and take a bullet for uncle. In the popular sense, however, there was no other measurement of manhood. I think that quandary was the silent partner to all our maneuvers during the time of Vietnam.//

I was compelled by all the social forces of the times and in my young mind to oppose the war in Viet Nam. And I have opposed most of the conflicts we have engaged in since then, yet I could not leave the USA nor my family when I became eligible for the draft. Absolutely could not.

My father was 4-F deferred during WW II and regretted the classification strongly, to say the least. He expressed himself in absolute terms when I raised the subject of avoiding the draft and threatened to ostracize me from our family if I went to Canada. Ultimately, I enlisted with my draft notice in my back pocket.

As luck would have it, I did not have to go to war as noted in my first post upthread but I did experience what it was like to serve my country and it was a great opening of my understanding of service and patriotic duty.

Just living the life of a decent person in a spot on the map of a country is not near enough to repay the debt the opportunities given you deserve. My time in the military imbued me with a better understanding of citizenship beyond voting. I am still not a flag-waving republican sort but have seen the price paid by combat veterans and civilians alike who risked their wellbeing in service of others. We all owe this to each other and national service whether in the military or otherwise should be required IMHO.

To me, it was not a requirement for manhood but a sense of responsibility to our nation, my community, others who had served honorably and, ultimately, to my family that compelled me to enlist despite my ambiguity about the military at the time. This understanding became more clear to me over time. I just wish there was a non-military option for citizens to consider.


Trad climber
Asia, Indonesia, East Java
Nov 14, 2012 - 01:01am PT
Wow, this thread has deteriorated.

I was always impressed with people who could dedicate their entire life to the service. (Regardless of the branch) It's not an easy life for the service members or their families.

While many people out there believe that soldiers are war mongers looking to go fight fight fight, most of the soldiers I know who've been in a war setting prefer peace any day.

Looking at the history of some service members posting here, I realize how small my contributions were. A few Peace Keeping missions and minor conflict don't compare to what some here experienced in a single month in Vietnam, Korea or WWII.

While stationed in Germany, in the 90s, I was having a drink at a local tavern. A guy old enough to be my grandfather was next to me and we chatted, he spoke nearly perfect English. When I asked why he spoke English so Fluently, he said it was so he could "Kill American Soldiers during the Second World War." I went through every emotion in one second, I think he did too. Yes, people fight on both sides and believe they are right. With that said, I am naive enough to believe America is on the right side more often than not.

I don't glorify war, I hope America never has to fight one on it's soil. I would love to see a world where the military wasn't needed, but it won't be in my life time, nor my children's or grandchildren. As long a country has something that someone else wants, that country needs to defend itself. Technology is great, but as a former infantryman I know that the war or battle isn't won until people actually occupy the land.

On Veteran's Day this Year, I picked up War Letters, Edited by Andrew Carroll. the Legacy Project is doing what it can to preserve letter sent home from war, or from home to war. Mentioning it here in case of you who served have letters somewhere that need preserving.


Trad climber
Santa Monica, California
Nov 15, 2012 - 12:17pm PT
My father (who thankfully is still around) served as a cryptography officer in the Air Force during the Korean war.

He told me "Son, you are very lucky to live in this country, and you owe some kind of service to your country for this. It can be the Peace Corps, military, being involved in helping through volunteering, but you NEED to give something back to this country to help pay back for the ease of life and opportunity you've been born into"

I volunteered for the Army about 1 1/2 yrs later.

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Nov 15, 2012 - 12:46pm PT
Wow, this thread has deteriorated.

Not at all. A healthy two, three or four sided conversation is just what this country needs, AT ALL TIMES!

Trad climber
Cali Hodad, surfing the galactic plane
Nov 15, 2012 - 01:18pm PT
but you NEED to give something back to this country...

Nov 15, 2012 - 01:25pm PT
Lt/Capt (USAF+Reserves)
Mostly on the Canadian border in Montana supporting round-the-clock B-52s and F101Bs.

For me, the most despicable kind of politician is a Chicken Hawk.

Mountain climber
Nov 15, 2012 - 03:55pm PT
No need for thanks, self-less service is self-less service. I actually don't like veterans day so much because it gives all those who have no clue a reason to try and sound like they do, to show gratitude for something they simply will never understand. I would prefer silence over gratitude. I would prefer support over praise. Give to your nearest veterans support groups, as most soldiers know, actions speak louder than words...

Trad climber
Sierra Vista
Nov 15, 2012 - 04:19pm PT
I'd go with that Squishy.

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Nov 17, 2012 - 03:49pm PT
SA Brian Bermingham
USN, 6-67/6-68.
USS Neversail, Treasure Is., CA

Short stay, long memories. Glad for the experience. Sad for those who fell in VN, and especially for these men of worth who were sacrificed for who knew what yet they did it for US.

I am cognizant that Memorial Day is more fitting for these personnel. However, any time we remember Vets, we should remember those who would gladly have lived to be Vets in the sense of Veterans' Day. They should be here but for the fately fingle of ficker.

Always remember. Never forget.

Credit: mouse from merced
Credit: mouse from merced
Credit: mouse from merced
Credit: mouse from merced
Credit: mouse from merced
(My apologies for the tardiness, but I had trouble locating these clippings.)

Ten-hut! Present--aarms!

I hope this jacks up this thread. You folks deserve the big bump. Thanks.

Social climber
So Cal
Nov 6, 2013 - 08:33pm PT

A long way from where I started
Nov 6, 2013 - 09:32pm PT
Not at all. A healthy two, three or four sided conversation is just what this country needs, AT ALL TIMES!

No sh#t. And not just your country, Bruce, but all countries.

I am the son of a professional soldier, who later traded in his military uniform and weapons for scrubs and a scalpel. A man who has seen it from all sides. When I was nearing high school graduation and told him I was going to sign up, he was seriously unhappy. But he backed me nonetheless.

My military career was relatively short and totally undistinguished, but it left its marks, and as John Gill said above, one of those marks is an intense disgust with chicken hawks.

Sport climber
Pinedale, Wyoming
Nov 7, 2013 - 11:26pm PT
Marian (Joerres) Gants
USAF 1975-1979
Basic Training: Lackland AFB, TX
E-4 1st Aerial Port, Dyess, TX
Drop Zone, Air Freight, Heavy Equipment Operator
Rhein Main AB Germany
Transportation Special Equipment
Garmisch-Partenkirchen (Berchtesgaden) Ski Patrol Winter 1977-1978
USAFR 1985-1989
E-5 Air Terminal Operation Control (ATOC)
Georgia, Washington State, Alaska, South Korea, Hawaii, Philippines, Germany
Vietnam Era
Desert Shield
Desert Storm

People say, "Thank you for your service." my reply, "It was an honor."


Pasadena, CA
Nov 7, 2013 - 11:50pm PT
Worth a visit is the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Angel Fire, NM near Taos. It's a stunning setting in the mountains with a little something for all--a Huey, a garden, a chapel, a museum, a room for veterans to log their visit and connect with their fellow soldiers and sailors.
Privately owned at one time, now a state park.
Chapel, Angel Fire NM
Chapel, Angel Fire NM
Credit: Bluelens

Sport climber
Pinedale, Wyoming
Nov 8, 2013 - 12:11am PT

Check this out- I wouldn't have known who he was if I hadn't been jacked up by the TSA in Phoenix coming back from Mexico.

That morning, I returned my rental truck after dropping friends and husband and my luggage as well, off at the terminal. Our usual operation on these fishing safaris, is to throw the change in the cup holder during the week for the guy that cleans all the sand out of car or truck. BUT, once there to turn the truck in, I still needed a ride back to the terminal and I had nothing with me but a passport and credit card. YIKES. Survival instincts set in and I stole back the intended tip that was in the cup holder, and put that change into my pocket. I salvaged my good tourist juju by tipping the shuttle driver when he dropped me at the terminal-embarassment avoided.

Phoenix was the halfway point and we had to clear customs and go through security again. TSA had just received their new x-ray body scanner. Holy shit! All of a sudden I was told to drop my things and stand on the footprints so they could scan me with a wand. Then pat me down. They kept saying "what do you have in your pockets?" Nothing.!!.. my husband is standing by thinking "what did she do NOW?" My best friend took out her cell phone and started taking pictures of name tags. She was starting to freak- and I kept saying- "really, nothing". Next was a private room. Once in there I had to drop my pants. Now, being 59 at the time, I wasn't going to be caught dead in Granny Pants-I wear mine tight-my theory- use it or loose it- WTF- it was a 5 centavo piece the size of an average jean button stuck up in the seam of my pocket by my waistband- boy, I could do alot of damage with THAT! Am I gonna make my plane??? without a 1/4 mile dash??

I got home and I called my other best friend and told her the story. She said, Look up my Grandfather, Joe Foss, TSA *IN PHOENIX* took away his medal of honor when he was flying from his home (Scottsdale AZ) to an inauguration ball(that maybe my memory of what she told me) that he was invited to in Washington,DC. They took it because they thought it could potentially be a weapon because of the pins that can go through a coat. The TSA agents passed it around. No one knew what it was. My friend said that this event was probably listed on Google - when I did look her grandfather up, I found out General Joe Foss, USMC, was the highest scoring ACE pilot on record in WWII (and much more). He had a pretty amazing story. Direct flights from now on!!
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Nov 8, 2013 - 01:56am PT
I have such mixed feelings about Veteran's Day.

If we could separate the veteran's personal service from the sometimes-ugly-nationalism that drove their service, I would feel better about celebrating the holiday. Afterall, a individual man can serve honorably in a illegal or unjustified war, especially when it is learned later than his leader have lied.

(But don't all leaders lie all of the time anyway?)

So I salute all veterans who naively put their lives on "hold" in order to kill fellow human beings in the service of dishonest and greedy politicians who made decisions that alienated the people who later became our enemies with whom we eventually went to war and killed.


Sport climber
Pinedale, Wyoming
Nov 8, 2013 - 02:20am PT
Sierra Ledge Rat (what a great visual I have when I typed your "name"-)
I think you have to live it to get it.. Looking at THE MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX from a distance doesn't really get it. There are many more humanitarian efforts then there are war efforts. You'd be surprised..

The Germans "should" love us..they don't. But the South Koreans do love us and their enemy is as real today and as evil as it was 60+/- years ago. The old people haven't forgotten.

ZZZZZZZZ.. I'm done for the day..
(manemachen=horse mane braider..)

PS- DOGTOWN: my favorite movie- PATTON with George C Scott- the last lines sum up the whole thing..for centuries..
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