Happy Veteran’s Day!

Robert Terson

I want to wish everyone, especially my fellow Veterans, a Happy Veteran’s Day!

I served in the United States Navy in the mid-60s. It was a time when every male—unless he had a physical condition that precluded serving, or a student deferment, went into the military. It was prior to the lottery system, which eventually gave way to the all-volunteer military.

After basic training at Great Lakes, I spent my entire naval “career” in Imperial Beach California, NAAS Ream Field (it’s not there anymore), Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 10 (HS-10). In other words, I was an Airdale sailor, although my “weapon of choice” was an old clunker of a typewriter, an Underwood. I was certainly a lot luckier than a lot of other guys, especially the ones who were sent to Vietnam; even more so than the ones who came back from Vietnam maimed or in body bags.

Nowadays, when Nicki and I are in a restaurant and there’s a member of the Armed Forces sitting there, we make it a point to buy the table a round of drinks or desserts, or sometimes even pick up the check, especially if it’s a sailor; and when he/she comes over to say thank you, we’ll do the same—say thank you for serving.

I’m not opposed to the all-volunteer military, but I think it’s a shame that these days “service to country” isn’t something on the minds of most people, including many who wave the flag the most when promoting their politics. When I was a young man, the vast majority of the members of Congress watched their sons go off to service. Not so today. Too many of our privileged citizens today are all too willing to let the poor and underprivileged among us do their protecting.

I believe all young people should serve our country for at least one year of their lives. It doesn’t have to be in the military, as far as I’m concerned. I don’t care if they clean bedpans in a hospital, just as long as they serve their country in some capacity, give back for the privilege of being a citizen of this wonderful land

Just had to say that.

Happy Veteran’s Day, everyone!

 

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