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Got a good reason For taking the easy way out
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© MSNBC Nightly News

I bawled!!
For many reasons.
"O'er the land of the free, and home of the brave!"

Firstly, I come from a family of several military veterans. My great great grandfather was injured in the Civil War with the New York regiment. And after the injury, his life was never the same. My uncle was in the Army Air Force during World War Two. He was on a B-17 Bomber over the English [from Norwich, England] Channel on flight to bomb Germany. Returning from one sortie, his plane was shot down...he was the "Belly Gunner". Rescued in the Channel, he was severely wounded with head injuries. Tho, he had a steel plate in his head from the wound, he recovered, but later died because of the injuries. My father was a civilian mechanic for the government...repairing vehicles. Two of my brothers were in the Korean War. One saw combat [USMC]. The other was a radioman [USAF]. My third brother was in the Army, but during peace time. Just after high school for me, with a promising future perhaps, my high school sweetheart called to war was now in the war zone; ...the Viet Nam War. He was in Army Cavalry/Special Forces. I soon got word he was Killed In Action. His platoon mate described it all --at the end, he told me, Frank got one bullet to the head. My dear high school friend died, yes, but that fateful day, he didn't know what hit him!! I will never forget his youthful, ornery, loving smiles he gave to me when we were inseparable! [GENERAL ORDERS 14 MAY - He was given the AWARD OF THE DISTINGUISHED SERVICE CROSS --posthumously]. My husband, before we were married, was aboard a USN Destroyer. My son was a United States Marine during the Gulf War [The worst experience a mother can have!! Fear of the unknown each night trying to fall asleep, wondering all the "if's". Thankfully, he survived his call to duty, an is with us today on this land!!!]

Then, Friday evening before I started to prepare dinner, I was working in the kitchen, and I could hear the beginning of the Nightly News segment on the Medal of Honor Recipient. Of course being military grown, I was interested. After all, these elite few served far beyond the calling of duty!!

The Real Forrest Gump.
[at the site, click on "video"]

The segment is telecasted by MSNBC Nightly News.
The Marine shared his call to duty. He showed little emotion yet said he swims the river nightly. The river in Viet Nam. Where he heroically saved American men from the OTHER side. These men are the epitome of heroes.

To all those who have served, died, or came back alive...I thank you for keeping the country's freedom. When you come home, in a flag draped coffin or broken somehow, alive yet traumatized, because of you, we are the LAND OF THE BRAVE AND HOME OF THE FREE.

Lastly, the videoed segment, at the end, the MOH recipient was sitting by a lone tree, near a flowing river. The news correspondent concluded his recitation....the Marine was playing the harmonica...as they said "He still swims that river, every night"--the Marine played Oh Shenandoah! This is when I lost control. So many memories flooded my thoughts. Because of my own family pride, because I lost a loved one I was thinking of marrying one day, because of my love for my country....because when I was young....MY DAD PLAYED THIS SONG ON THE HARMONICA!!!!

More so because of the song on the harmonica, I bawled.

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WHO IS A VETERAN?

He/she is the career soldier who places[ed] his/her life on the line.
He/she is the cop on the beat.
He/she is the bar room loudmouth, dumber than five wooden planks.
She - or he - is the nurse who fought against futility and went to sleep sobbing every night.
He is the POW who went away one person and came back another [or not at all].
He is the drill instructor who has never seen combat - but has saved countless lives by turning slouchy, no-account BOYS AND GIRLS into Marines and soldiers; teaching them to watch each other's backs.
He/she is the parade.
He is the three anonymous heroes in The Tomb Of The Unknowns.
He/she is the old guy/gal bagging groceries at the supermarket.
He/she is an ordinary and yet an extraordinary human being.
He/she is a soldier and a savior and a sword against the darkness.

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Most times in my life I try to make things/moments that are handed to me laughable and cheerful. But, there is another side to me that can come out of nowhere. Like today---

Haiku
[7 -5- 7]



Crimson with Amber & Gold
Calm silence broken
The brilliance, of a new day.
~A RED DAWN
© 2007 - Hootin' Anni

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A lone whistle peals through
Brume of gray wisps dwell
The crack of waves resounding.
~ ANGEL MIST
© 2007 - Hootin' Anni

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Lurching, hissing with the whiff
The wind shrieks my name
Forest rustles in the wind.
~ MOUNTAIN TEMPEST
© 2007 - Hootin' Anni

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Simple, complex, nature's art
A lacework of silk
Original internet!
~"GOD'S" WEBSITE
© 2007 Hootin' Anni

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My current read is "Portrait of an Unknown Woman: A Novel" Of course, being my favorite subject, it once again is about King Henry VIII's era, England. It's first person. And last night I read about 20 pages before my eyelids got so heavy that I had to close it and go to sleep before I fell sound asleep with the light on. LOL And what I read so far, it promises to be another excellent England epic.



17 comments :

  1. This is a wonderful tribute to our service men,Anni! I had tears in my eyes reading about your family!!

    My brother Ray was in the Army, Margaret was a Wave and Don was in the Navy during World War Two.I was just little girl, but I remember my Mom had a little flag in our window with 3 stars on it for each of her kids serving in the war. All of my family have gone on now, but for Dorothy,Ray wife and Ruth Don's wife.
    When my kids hear me say this, they go WE are still here!!! I just mean my folks and brother and sister!! I have lots of family left!!

    Ok. the Chiefs will be on in an hour and I don't think we can beat Denver in Denver we always have a hard time even in good years!! My when John Elway was the quaterback he beat us so many time in the last two minutes it was just painful!! Not for Denver!! But he was good!! I hope you have a good Sunday! Love and Hugs, Carolyn

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  2. Remembrance Sunday always makes me think of my grandfather and uncle, now both deceased. My grandfather was a stretcher bearer during WWI - he had to dodge the shells and bullets to retrieve dead and wounded colleagues. He survived all that, to die of pneumonia in his old age. My uncle was a Royal Navy gunner in WWII. Despite his ship being hit numerous times, he survived, and succumbed to cancer in 1986.

    Oh - before I go - hope you don't mind - I've tagged you with a meme over at Siani's Pot-Pourri.

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  3. After reading your great tribute for Veterans Day I posted one for my family!!

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  4. have your phone turned on i'm going to call at 4 my time zone

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  5. A big thank you for this post from a Veteran. I too come from a family line of Veterans. My grandfather served in the United States Navy for 30 years. He retired one year before the American entry into World War II, just to see his country overrun by Imperial Japanese forces, and to see it liberated by the Americans. My father served in the US Army in "peace time". An uncle served in the US Navy in Viet Nam. My brother served in the US Army in Grenada, and then Desert Storm, with myself. There is irony to this chain of events. Here it is: My family has given sons to serve since the 1920's. I am the first to be born American.**LOL**

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  6. Gorgeous tribute to OUR veterans - and to YOUR veterans Anni! I've got a mess o' veterans too - all deceased now except Amanda... I haven't been able to get ahold of my favorite veteran today to see what she's up to! Scamp! I'll get her later though...

    I'll be back in the morning to comment on your 30 paces! :) After I get mine up! ;)

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  7. absolutely beautiful tribute.

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  8. Grams sent me over here and I am very pleased with what I found. Thanks for a great post.

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  9. Wow!! My Goodness!! My folks lived up and around Stratford and Stanhope... other relatives lived in Dayton! My folks moved down to a farm near Boone when I was in primary grade.

    My sister-in-law's people were from around Boone and her last name was Wirtz.

    My grandpa was from Sweden! My folks sold their farm and moved to New Mexico after the war! I am getting ready to write about our move over on Traveling Grams real soon! Maybe we our kin!!! How neat would that be!! What is that song It a small world after all!

    Well, for ALL of 5 minutes I thought we might win today!! But that soon went down the drain!
    But we play again next week!

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  10. Anni,

    I too am very sensitive when it comes to Remembrance/Veteran's Day. Tears came to my eyes as I read your post. To have lost a sweetheart must have been very difficult.

    I enjoyed meeting the Real Forest Gump and exploring the website.

    And thank you for visiting and commenting on my Remembrance Day post. I always enjoy visiting with you.

    May God Bless our troops who are overseas fighting to keep the world a safe place in which to live.

    Blessings,
    Mary

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  11. What a touching tribute. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

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  12. Beautiful, Anni, just beautiful.
    Thanks for this...

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  13. Dearest Anni, such a beautiful and heartfelt tribute to those men and women who fought for our countries and continue to do so. You have every right to be proud of your own family members who served in the war...one can't even begin to imagine the horror their eyes saw. That video clip had me bawling also and the part with the harmonica...no words can describe how hauntingly beautiful that was. xoxo

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  14. Amazing post! Veteran's Day brings tears to my eyes too. My Uncle Willard was injured in WWII and had a metal plate in his head. They said he was never quite the same. His brother George served too. So did my Uncle Abraham (Abe) in the navy. All my mom's brothers served. My mom was in the WAC and that's how she met my dad who was in the army. My brother Dennis was in the army and so was his son Jason who served 1 year in Iraq. Please visit my post for Veteran's Day if you get time.

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  15. Oh, and that book looks interesting. Did you ever read Girl With a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier? I know they made a movie of it but the book is wonderful. About Vermeer's painting.

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  16. Superb post for Remembrance Day. It's very special here in the UK too.

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  17. Beautiful tribute to the veterans who have and still do, keep us safe. Loved the photos and the Haiku too - especially the spider's web -"God's Internet." Great job.

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