Veteran’s Day Message
By SGT William A. Geresy (ret)
Michigan Army National Guard
November 11 is Veteran’s Day. It is the time we celebrate what was the end of a bloody World War that ended on the Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month in 1918. That was 99 years ago. We sincerely hoped it was the War to end all Wars.
It should have been. If we had learned from what led up to that war, it just might have been. Instead it sowed the seeds of the next World War. That war sowed the seeds of the Cold War, Korea, and Vietnam.
We have lost so many fighting to defend America both here and in places many can’t find today overseas.
Today, we honor those that have served both in peace and war. Whether a draftee or a volunteer, these men and women came forward and honorably wore the uniform. Whether they served in peace or in combat, whether in the states or in a far off land, they served.
Today is the day we take time at the Eleventh Hour to remember. This Veteran’s Day is on Saturday. I ask that you join me in going to an event near you. I will be wearing my Desert Uniform I wore in Iraq. Veterans that can still fit in your uniform, join me in wearing the uniform you served so proudly in. It doesn’t matter if it is Class A or fatigue. Wear it with all the pride you did when you served.
Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day shouldn’t be the only day we think of those who have or are serving. It should be every day. When you are out and about, if you see a person wearing a cap that indicates they served, don’t be shy, walk up to them and thank them. That person has earned it.
If the cap says Vietnam Veteran, remember they didn’t get a welcome home like I did from Iraq. Too darned many were spit on, cursed, and worse. That disrespect should never have happened. We can’t change history. We can still welcome them by thanking them. They sure earned it.
Keep your ears open and listen for when a Talon Flight is happening in your area. Go to the reception when they return. These are mostly WWII and Korea Veterans. These Veterans are so humbled by all that show to welcome them back from a very long day in DC.
We are still fighting the War on Terror. This war didn’t begin on 9-11. It started over two centuries ago. This is just the latest flare up. It was the first overseas action by this very new United States of America. As we saw last week in New York City and a bit earlier in Niger, we are losing Americans, both military and civilians in this war. The Veterans of this difficult conflict need our thanks when they come home. This type of warfare is a most difficult warfare in very difficult places. Remember and thank them when you see them. They have earned it.
Veteran’s Day shouldn’t just be for a brief solemn ceremony. It should be every day. They gave so much of their time and youth to go to places many times you wouldn’t go on vacation. They gave up their freedom for a time so we could all be free. That is sure worth saying thanks for!