Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A Cold Warrior's Memorial Day

While I was heading to work on Memorial Day, I stopped by Dunkin Donuts. I ordered a regular coffee and an old fashion donut. The young lady behind the counter said "Why you're just a traditional kind of guy aren't you?". She doesn't know the half of it. She  ended with Happy Memorial Day as she gave me my change. I estimate that her age would put her as just a gleam in her daddy's eye when the Cold War ended. My guess is that she didn't even know there was such a thing as the Cold War.

My service during the Cold War is what established that "traditional kind of guy" mentality. Duty, Honor, Country. These are not just flowery words written by some journalist when reporting on the military. It is our way of life. God and Family also play a part in the traditional values earned during those long tours of duty. I am sure many of you have these ingrained into your soul as I do.

As I was stuffing the change in the tip jar, I spoke to all three of the ladies behind the counter and asked  them to take a moment sometime today, and remember the true meaning of Memorial Day. As I said those words a vision of the Wall flashed through my brain with all the names neatly listed. 58,000 plus. I guess that will always be the legacy of my generation. A period when the Cold War turned quite Hot - Vietnam.

On the balance of my drive to work I thought of the memorials in my small Pennsylvania home town and the names on those monuments in the park. I played as a child and teen with some of those men named on those memorials. If circumstances were different, my name might have been on one of them.

So many gave their lives for the freedom we have today.

Bravo Zulu to them all.

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Where did you serve? Military or Civilian? Stateside or Overseas. Fulda Gap? Berlin? NATO? CIA? State Department? The Dew Line? On a Missile Battery? Down in a Silo? At Sea? Under the Sea? In the Air? According to the VA over 26 million Vets are still alive. I'd bet that most served in the 1945-1991 time frame and I'd like to share your story on this blog. As long as it isn't still classified, email me with your story and I will post it here.