On this Veterans Day, this non-combat veteran wants to salute those veterans who served in combat.
Knowledgeable military veterans know that most of us who served did not actually come under fire. Luck of the draw for some of us; successful strategic planning by others. So many of us who served never fired in anger or were never fired upon. We were the "rear echelon."
In my case, my active duty military service from 1967 to 1970 was concurrent with the Vietnam War buildup. I was assigned to a U.S. Navy destroyer (USS Jonas Ingram, DD 938) that was home-ported in Mayport, Fl. We had been assigned to go to Vietnam to support the troops with shore bombardment, but the ship failed to qualify. We were sent to "patrol" the Mediterranean Sea instead. My life or health were never in danger.
So, this Veterans Day, when all military veterans are equally praised, I just want to say that special thanks should go to those who served in combat, especially to those who suffered physically or mentally, and most especially to those who gave their lives. This is for you, Brooks Alexander.