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Korean War Veterans Association, Inc.

Incorporated June 14, 1985... Chartered by Congress June 30, 2008
*Korean War and Korea Defense Veterans...
A Continuity of Service in the Defense of Freedom


Comments/Letters -

What is a Vet??
By Bob Jack


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Some veterans bear visible signs of their service: a missing
limb, a jagged scar, a certain look in the eye.

Others may carry the evidence inside them: a pin holding a bone
together, a piece of shrapnel in the leg ~ or perhaps another
sort of inner steel... the soul's ally forged in the refinery of

Except in parades, however, the men and women who have kept
America safe wear no badge or emblem.

You can't tell a vet just by looking.

What is a vet?

He is the cop on the beat who spent six months in Saudi Arabia
sweating two gallons a day making sure the armored personnel
carriers didn't run out of fuel.

He is the barroom loudmouth, dumber than five wooden planks,
whose overgrown frat-boy behavior is outweighed a hundred times
in the cosmic scales by four hours of exquisite bravery near the
38th parallel.

She ~ or he ~ is the nurse who fought against futility and went
to sleep sobbing every night for two solid years in Da Nang.

He is the POW who went away one person and came back another ~ or
didn't come back AT ALL.

He is the Quantico drill instructor who has never seen combat,
but has saved countless lives by turning slouchy, no-account
rednecks and gang members into Marines, and teaching them to
watch each other's backs.

He is the parade-riding Legionnaire who pins on his ribbons and
medals with a prosthetic hand.

He is the career quartermaster who watches the ribbons and medals
pass him by.

He is the three anonymous heroes in The Tomb Of The Unknowns,
whose presence at the Arlington National Cemetery must forever
preserve the memory of all the anonymous heroes whose valor dies
unrecognized with them on the battlefield or in the ocean's
sunless deep.

He is the old guy bagging groceries at the supermarket ~palsied
now and aggravatingly slow ~ who helped liberate a Nazi death
camp and who wished all day long that his wife were still alive
to hold him when the nightmares come.

He is an ordinary and yet an extraordinary human being, a person
who offered some of this life's most vital years in the service
of his country, and who sacrificed his ambitions so others would
not have to sacrifice theirs.

He is a soldier and a savior and a sword against the darkness,
and he is nothing more than the finest, greatest testimony on
behalf of the finest, greatest nation ever known.

So remember, each time you see someone who has served our
country, just lean over and say, "Thank you!" That's all most
people need, and in most cases it will mean more than any medals
they could have been awarded or were awarded.

Two little words that mean a lot, "THANK YOU."


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