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Remember Veterans Day

Old-timer's picture
Old-timer
Posts: 196
Joined: Apr 2011

Veterans, this day has been set aside to honor us! Shall we express our appreciation to a grateful nation?

I am proud to say that I am a veteran of the Infantry; I served during World War II.

Old-timer

hopeful and opt...
Posts: 2326
Joined: Apr 2009

 The World War 11 GI Joe's  saved the World....Thank you Old-Timer

 

I served in the  Army Medical Corp, stateside, Vietnam era.

VascodaGama's picture
VascodaGama
Posts: 3354
Joined: Nov 2010

I became a journalist in the Portuguese army’s news magazine. I served in Africa’s Angola anti-guerrilla war. We celebrate our War Veterans Day on July 10th. However the Veterans Day of November 11th is also commemorated by the Portuguese to remember those that participated in the WWI and II armistice. I salute every veteran in particular those that volunteered.

My speciality was anti-aircraft artillery but there were no Migs flying the African skies (1971) to shoot down, so I was chosen to accompany military missions in the bushes and produce news. Interestingly, somehow, what I would write was not exactly what would be published. Much propaganda would be added at the headquarters.

In fact the journalism while in war seemed less reliable than the documentary journalism after the war. Recently I watched the video 900 days of the siege of Leningrad and was impressed with the comments and expressions of the veterans that survived starvation and fought in the city during that time. The celebrations of its 65th anniversary (2011) seem to be more important to the lovers of the old regime of Stalin (their comrades) made up of people that did not live there or were born after the siege, but loved the Soviet principles. One veteran who survived and served as a telegrapher at the siege of Leningrad, very much against the ideals and the festivities, comments that they are just continuing propaganda.

They say that in the 1940s the KGB became very “efficient” with their reprisals of those that would speak about the event. It was a secret taboo in Russia until the down fall of the regime. Saddly, the Soviet commandants that fought and protected Leningrad against the Germens were later fusilladed but they deserve to be remembered as war heroes because it was with their efforts that the World War II started its beginning of its end.
Our fathers and mothers and Jerry finished the job Kiss. Thanks to them we were not forced to pronounce the German word “Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz “.

 

Old-timer's picture
Old-timer
Posts: 196
Joined: Apr 2011

Vasco,

Good to hear about your service in the Portuguese Army in Angola.

The video about the seige of Leningrad sounds interesting. In 1988 my wife and I visited a museum in Linenburg depicting the battle. Our tour guide said her grandparents suffered through that conflict.

Old-timer

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 3646
Joined: May 2012

A hand salute to you, Old-timer, and all others.

I served in war, the cold war, as a submarine weapons' systems man, and I worked for a contractor doing support work for the Navy for some time afterward, until getting crushed in an auto accident.   The so-called "fast attack" boats, which mostly tracked enemy contacts, and various other unmentionable activities. The designator was (is still) "SSN" (ship, submersable, nuclear), but we all said it meant "Saturdays, Sundays, and Nights." We also had a a saying "long and black, and never comes back." The day I checked on board my boat, an electronics tech shook my hand and said, "Welcome aboard the USS  ------.  Last year we were underway [at sea] 272 days. You'll love it here !"  The soft rock writer-singer Al Stewart had a song entitled Life in Dark Water which describes it all pretty well.  I recall we once went 72 days without even raising the snorkel mast for fresh air....a strange way to live.

Vasco, a dear, older friend who passed about 17 years ago (not of cancer) was a bureau chief for NBC Radio in Argentina decades ago. He was also one of the only English-speaking journalists to ever interview the Nazi Albert Speer while he was in Spandau Prison, Berlin.  Speer later of course became a free man, and travelled Western nations.  Paul (my friend)  was a fascinating friend to have.... I think I would have enjoyed journalism.

max

Old-timer's picture
Old-timer
Posts: 196
Joined: Apr 2011

Max,

Serving during the cold war was no snap. Being a civilian during that time also provided moments of concern. For example, I remember being scared during the Cuban missile crisis.

Today? Just as tough, or tougher, don't you think?

However, I firmly believe we can and will take care of what needs to be done.

Old-timer

 

 

 

CC52
Posts: 103
Joined: Nov 2013

I am not a veteran. During the later stages of the Vietnam war, the draft process went to a lottery system, and I was fortunate to get a high enough number that I wasn't called.

My father served in the Navy during WWII, and my two older brothers served...one for a short time in the nuclear sub program of the US Navy (medical discharge after 2yrs), and the other got his draft notice, decided to enlist for better options (Army), went to OCS then off to Vietnam as a 2nd LT in the Signal Corps.

Like so many during the mid to late 60's...I was much more idealistic with a bit of a lean to the left...and I never gave much thought to the sacrifice of those that served our nation or around the world. I was caught up in the anti-war, anti-establishment, anti-anything attitude of our country. I was, as they said, tuned out - not tuned in. Sometime along the way things changed. I guess I was growing up. My awareness of world events and taking our freedoms for granted began to evolve, and I saw for the first time how indebted we are to the brave men and women that fought for us. Tom Brokaw wrote about many of them in his book "The Greatest Generation", and I recall watching some of his reports on TV on the subject.

So today, and with each passing day we lose more of these great men and women from that era. True Americans, true heroes of a time whose light is slowly fading away with each death, soon to be lost forever.

When I see the vets come to the WWII Memorial on an Honor Flight, it causes me to fill with tears thinking about their sacrifice.

To say thank you is simply inadequate.

Old-timer's picture
Old-timer
Posts: 196
Joined: Apr 2011

CC 52,

I too lived during the Vietnam War. I did not think we should be there but I did not take part in opposition marches or rallies. Battle scenes shown on TV newscasts disturbed me so much that I changed channels or turned off the TV when the war news came on. Avoidance is one way of coping with stress provoking matters.

The World War II honor flights you mention are offered in the city where I live. I think it is a great program, but for various reasons I have not participated.

Let's not forget that sacrifices being made today by our military personnel are as deserving of praise as those made in WW II, Vietnam, and elsewhere.

Thank you for telling your story.

Old-timer

Old-timer's picture
Old-timer
Posts: 196
Joined: Apr 2011

As one would expect, your records related to military service are varied and interesting. Here are a few specifics about my service that may interest you.

Soon after I turned 18, I was drafted, January 1945, and placed in the Infantry. Even though I was a farm boy with no electronics experience, I was assigned to a radio communications company. The Army trained me at Camp Walters, Texas, and Ft. Benning, Georgia. My class completed our schooling the week the Atomic Bombs were dropped in Japan.

After the war ended, I taught Morse Code and related communications topics to new recruits. I was discharged in August 1946. At the time I was discharged, I volunteered to join the inactive reserves for a three-year term. My enlistment in the reserves ended only a short time before the Korean War started. As you might understand, reserves were called up and many, including one of my friends, were casualties in that war.

Personally, my military experience gave me more than I contributed. First, service in the Army helped me grow up; I became more mature. The most important benefit, the G.I Bill of Rights provided me with a college education.

My older brother fought in Europe and was wounded twice in the Battle of the Bulge. And, understandably, a few of my friends and acquaintances were casualties.

I enjoyed sharing this information with you.

Old-timer

CC52
Posts: 103
Joined: Nov 2013

Thanks for sharing your experience O.T., and more importantly - thank you sir for your service.

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