Veteran’s Day 2011


Shortly after returning from my first tour to the sandbox, I was at a restaurant with my new troops.  At the time, their average age was about 20, and their average time in service was less than two years.  While we were eating, an older lady came over and thanked us all for our service.  We all gave the embarrassed “thank you” in reply and the lady left.  I turned to my troops and told them that I had discovered two things in my time in the Army (around 5 years at that point):  One, you will always appreciate people expressing their gratitude.  Two, no matter what you do, where you have been or what you have endured, you will never feel worthy of it.

So many have given so much for this country.  My contribution pales in comparison.  I think of the men who stormed the beaches of Normandy in a veritable storm of machine gun and artillery fire.  I think of General Washington’s troops at Valley Forge, losing limbs not to enemy fire, but because of a lack of shoes for the Army in the bitter winter cold.  I think of the men in the jungles of Vietnam, fearing sniper fire at any moment.  I think of the men in WWI, moving from trench to trench while being attacked with artillery, small arms and mustard gas.  I think of the destroyer, battleship,  and carrier men in the WWII Pacific theater, out-manned and out-gunned, spending their days seasick or worse as open targets in the middle of the sea, many of those killed died not from enemy fire, but from being burned alive on their boats or drowning in the unforgiving ocean.  I think of the brave men and women that have kicked down doors and cleared urban battle zones in the GWOT, from Iraq to Afghanistan and beyond.

I think of those who came home missing limbs, eyes, or severely disfigured.  I think of those who returned in flag-draped coffins with an honor guard to see them safely home one last time.  I think of those who returned home but never made it back.

I do appreciate your words of thanks, even if they embarrass me slightly.  I did appreciate the free lunch I received from Applebee’s today, even though I do not feel I did anything special to deserve it.  For over 235 years, young men and women have taken up arms for this country, and we have been blessed for all that they have done.  For over 235 years, people have put their lives on the line for the greatest nation on earth to defend it from all threats without.  That makes it even more urgent that we fight on the front of politics and public opinion to defend it from the threats within.  I have hope, I attended a Veteran’s Day assembly at a local elementary school today where the kids sang “Grand Old Flag” and Lee Greenwood’s “Proud To Be An American” among other songs.  I heard the 5th grader’s essay about how much she loves America because of our freedom to be who we want and what we want.  I have hope for America and I’ve done my small part, but there is so much more to do.


God bless America.

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Scott MacHardy
Retired Army. Disabled Veteran. Constitutional Conservative. Ordained Minister.

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November 11, 2011 1:35 pm

This is the best Veteran’s Day article I’ve read today! Great job Mac!

A couple months ago I was at a restaurant and an elderly gentleman and his family were across the aisle from my table. He was wearing a 99th Infantry Division hat. As we were leaving I leaned in and said, “Thank you for your service, if men like you hadn’t set the standard our military today wouldn’t be what it is.” The look in his eyes was priceless. It made for a great day.

E Pluribus Unum
November 11, 2011 2:29 pm

To all the Unified Patriots (and other Patriots) who have served their nation in uniform, I thank you for your service. I am proud to be your associate.

In particular, you, Hooah Mac. God bless you, young man.

November 11, 2011 2:38 pm

Hooah, as one vet to another I think you for your service and for expressing that feeling of ‘I don’t deserve thanks’ that I know is a trait of humbleness that is present in the soldier before he/she enlists.
When I got back from Viet Nam I recieved no thanks and did not miss it. It was only later when I heard of those vets who were not as lucky as I that I began to see the need for thanking those who put themselves in harms way for the sake of their Country.

Queen Hotchibobo
November 11, 2011 2:54 pm

You may not feel worthy of our gratitude, but I can assure you, you are. We are the ones not worthy to have you and guys like you, young, honorable men and women, willing and able to fight, win, and sacrifice for our lives and our freedom.

God bless you and your fellow veterans. We have been blessed beyond measure by you and can never thank you enough.

November 11, 2011 5:04 pm

Hooah you sir have given 100X more then 99.9% of this Country has given, and you deserve every bit of thanks (it is not enough) that you get, THANK YOU!

November 11, 2011 6:12 pm

Thank you for your service to our great nation. A prayer for Veteran’s Day. Lord who grants salvation to kings and dominion to rulers, Whose kingdom is a kingdom spanning all eternities; Who places a road in the sea and a path in the mighty waters – may you bless protect the military of these United States of America, may they complete their mission quickly, and return home safely. May you give strength to the doctor’s treating the wounded, and provide comfort to those who have lost loved ones. May the President, the Vice President, and all the constituted… Read more »

civil truth
November 11, 2011 9:32 pm

Thank you for your service to our nation. You’ve given all to protect our freedom from foreign enemies; whether we can protect our freedom against domestic enemies is a battle who’s outcome remains in doubt.

November 11, 2011 10:00 pm

Right hand…salute!