Today is Veterans Day

DD-938.jpg

USS Jonas Ingram (DD-938) Where the Navy sent me.

Many of us veterans didn't choose to serve in the military. There was a thing called the draft that chose it for us. So, in a way, when it comes to Veterans Day, my feeling is that the biggest accolades should go to those who chose to serve.

Maybe because "choice" is a big thing these days. You have a "right" to choose to do this and to do that. Getting drafted isn't something that most of today's generation can't imagine. The military decides what you'll be, where you'll go, who you go with, how long you'll be there and when. The military could decide whether you'll sit behind a desk or carry a rifle in combat. Whether you get nice duty in Hawaii, lonely duty on Guam on combat duty in a fire zone. Whether you live or die, whether you are crippled for life or whether you retire after 20 years on a nice pension.

So, it is with that understanding that on this Veterans Day, I choose to laud those who volunteer. Every man and woman who serves today volunteered. Each knew the risks and accepted them. For whatever reason. So, for the millions of you who did this, I give you a hand salute.

Comments

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  • Dennis, "choice" is a good point. Check my piece in the Tribune this morning. My Father at 43 years old CHOSE to volunteer in 1943. He's precisely the kind of hero you're talking about. God bless him and the others with his guts....

  • In reply to jackspatafora:

    Jack, We have a hero like your dad on our street. He was a B17 waist gunner in the 8th Air Force, flying out of Horham AFB in England.

    He was shot down but obviously survived.

  • In reply to jackspatafora:

    BobM -- Glad to hear you have you own hero on the block. Treat him well! As for getting an education from the service -- you better believe it! What I wonder would the slickers on Wall Street be like in the military?? I admit my sentiments that patriotism will never exciite them as much as paychecks...

  • http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article.aspx?id=512103

    Look at this article in the investors business daily ...11/11/09

  • Dennis & Mainer -- if we're going to engage in the spirit of dialog promoted by the Net, I wonder if we users can really say the Net is what Al Gore promised?? I have some doubts at "ARE WE GORE'S FRANKENSTEIN" at http://www.takingasecondlook.blogspot.com/ I'd be interested in whether you share such doubts...

  • Nice photo! Very seldom do I see them nice & big like this one. WOW! Thanks for being there . . .

  • Dennis,

    You and I both chose to go to Navy OCS and so I guess we qualify for accolades. However, we were lucky to never have been shot at. (Actually, I was once but it wasn't even close - Formosa Straits, October, 1958).

    What I got from my Naval service is something I hope these young heroes are getting today: an overwhelming sense of patriotism. I also had the luck to be thrown into a situation of huge responsibility at age 23; division officer/department head on a Fletcher class destroyer. It used to make my father mad when I would say that "In the Navy I learned to overcome my college education", but I know he realized it was true. The United States Navy has no bigger booster than I.

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    Chicago Tribune contributing op-ed columnist and author of forthcoming historical novel, "Madness: The War of 1812." Reporter, editor and columnist for Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Daily News. Freelance writer and editor.

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