Follow Book & Flag
(A Tribute to Veterans)
By Angela Shamaya, Founder/Director
Keep And Bear Arms - Click for More Information
God Bless America!
November 11, 2002
WHEN I THINK OF VETERANS . . .
I think of my friend who was wounded in Vietnam. He may not have wanted to go, but his country called him, and he went -- and faced atrocities that make Hollywood movies look tame. Men died in his arms and left their last wishes in his breaking heart. He came home and was spit on by liberal democrats. He works for freedom to this day.
I think of my neighbor who flew choppers in Nam. He'd spend 12 sweaty hours a day getting supplies to ground troops in hot zones, often under fire, try to sleep, and get up and do it again. He buried friends who knew a kind of love only a combat veteran will ever know. When he meets fellow vets who survived the same conflict, they have an instant bond that requires no words.
I think of my friend who spent years at sea, in and out of hostile ports, while his newborn son grew up far away from his loving eyes and arms.
I think of a member of our gun rights organization stationed halfway around the world who said he joined because he wants some rights to come home to.
I think of my grandfather, who was at one point tasked with picking up body parts after bloody World War II battles. When he got home, my mother was nearly four years old. Grandma said my young mother was "afraid of the big, male stranger."
I think of the young woman nurse who tended tattered soldiers in Korea until an enemy mortar disintegrated everything in sight of the makeshift hospital. She foreswore starting a family until she got back, which never happened.
I think of the hundreds of thousands of Americans who died fighting Hitler and his scummy allies and how there are people in America today trying to put the same kinds of policies in place that made a Hitler possible.
I think of people living in America who hate the military but don't mind living under the umbrella of protection they provide. They don't stop to think about the fact that there are countries where badmouthing the military publicly will get you killed by the government -- and that our military keeps that very government at a distance and keeps a watchful eye on them.
I think of the countless grandmothers, mothers, sisters and daughters who've cried, their souls in pieces, as their servicemen loved ones paid the ultimate price defending a freedom many "Americans" not only take for granted but seem willing to kill or let die.
I think of a fine human being I knew who wasted away from cancer and assorted horrid nervous system maladies due to mustard gas poisoning. He was still getting abused by liberal democrats 20 years after returning from Vietnam for having done what his country asked him to do. He never once spoke badly of them; he said it was their right to hate him and say so.
I think of the thousands of Gulf War Veterans who were subjected to chemical weapons and came back, got sick and in countless cases died as a result of what many now call Gulf War Illness -- and I think of the federal government's blatant coverup of the whole entire tragic fiasco.
I think of the dead on the U.S.S. Cole attack, how people say we shouldn't have a presence in that anti-America hostile territory -- the same people who watched Islamic freaks crash planes into the World Trade Center but who believe our nation should do nothing in retaliation, merely because the cowards behind the act didn't have the guts to stand up and take responsibility.
I think of a few hundred firemen and policemen in New York City and see those men and women -- marching toward a building from which everyone else ran as fast as they could -- as veterans of a war brought to our shore. And I think of their families and friends -- and the many children left behind in the wake of their passing. And I wish those pilots had been armed that day.
I think of what you can find at most any VFW post: men who lost limbs, men who lost friends and family, men who've lost families because they couldn't put the pieces together when they got back. Men who died on the battlefield but came back anyway, because they were still breathing. And men who just want to be around other men who understand.
I think of the cop who'd previously served aboard a naval vessel in places many of us would never want to go even if all expenses were paid. As a police officer, his job was confronting the city's pain, and he did it without complaining. I think of the Medal of Honor he should have gotten for the child he rescued from a perverted, violent kidnapper even though it meant he had to take two bullets and lose partial use of an arm for life.
I think of the great leaders throughout American military history -- heroic, and unsung -- who've innovated and agitated to make sure fewer visits had to be paid to worried mothers whose worst nightmares had just come true.
I think of all of the dog tags sitting on the bottom of all of the oceans and seas of the world that have real names on them.
I think of the colonial mothers who gave not only their husbands but all of their sons -- because they had to fight for the Republic.
I think of the men under General Washington who literally ate boot leather to keep from starving to death but got up and fought on when it was time, their frozen bodies aching for freedom.
And I think of all of our domestic servicemen and women who've never officially served in the armed forces but who stand armed and at the ready in the unorganized militia clearly and officially enumerated in Title 10, Section 311 of the U.S. Code. They work feverishly with spare time and money to assure that their rifle skills aren't needed here, that the fascists, socialists and outright communists in America fail in their obvious missions to undermine everything that makes America unique unto all the world. The unorganized militiamen and women are the modern domestic guard, and they perform their thankless tasks while the media tries to paint them as downright evil -- even though the spirit that drives them is one of overriding love for all that is good.
Being a veteran is ultimately about defending freedom, and freedom is ultimately about rights. In the war being waged against rights in America, there are many who labor and toil to defend our most sacred of rights: the right to defend ourselves, our families, our communities, and, if need be, our very liberties. The last word on liberty's defense was enshrined in the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights. Let us pray we use our First Amendment rights so effectively as to never have to resort to the Second -- but let us remember why the Second was really put in place. And let Liberty's Enemies remember it, too.
There are no words one can offer to the veterans who've already paid with their lives for Freedom; they are gone from us, their gifts cherished. Their presence lives in their descendants, and their spirits touch us all. May we remember them -- and put their ultimate price to work to extend their message.
As for today's servicemen and women and those retired from active duty who still live, one can only hope you have people in your life who will look you in the eye, embrace you with warmth and genuine enthusiasm and say something that conveys deep gratitude and appreciation. We salute you on this fine day and count you as a 21st century patriot.
--- Reprint permission granted, just make sure it reaches vets.