Today is Veterans Day. If you see a vet, thank them. And do it not only today but every day. The men and women of our Armed Forces willingly put it on the line for us, risking everything without the lure of riches and fame. They do it so you and I can remain free and live life how we want to. They deserve our gratitude.
Last Veteran’s Day I shared my Veteran’s with you. Since then, our middle son, John, joined the Army. His father and I were amongst the hundreds of proud ‘patriot’ parents in attendance at his graduation ceremony this past September at Ft.Knox, KY. In October, John was deployed to South Korea, serving in the 2nd Infantry Division as a Cavalry Scout.
Yesterday, the day before Veteran’s Day, our youngest son, Matthew, signed a 4-year contract with the Army. Matthew is scheduled to leave February 22nd for Ft. Jackson, SC and then onto Ft. Benning, GA to complete his Bootcamp and OSUT (one station unit training). Matthew chose the Infantry/Airborne with an ultimate goal to make it into the Army’s Ranger program.
My Father, graduated from the eighth grade in June 1949, and enlisted in the Army Guard on October 15, 1949. In June 1950 his unit was activated for Korea: Police Action. He volunteered 8-years of his life in defense of our great Nation and its people. Later, he was discovered as UNDER-AGE and was honorably discharged. My Father, is a Life Member of VUMS (Veterans of Underage Military Service), and a Montana volunteer transportation driver for DAV (Disabled American Veterans).
When my Father alerted me to the fact that it was up to the volunteer transportation driver’s themselves to raise the donations to replace the wore-out Vans, I wanted to help this cause!
Within the Montana community that my Father volunteers, the DAV transportation volunteer drivers must raise $14,000 in order to replace a van. Between the 12 drivers, they have two Vans that they drive about 250,000 miles annually — taking Disabled American Veterans to clinics and the VA Hospital at Fort Harrison. There are nine clinics all over Montana. Some times they must pick up a Vet where he lives, maybe transfer from Hospital to another clinic — sometimes to Cody, Wyoming if directed. Donatoins are their lifes blood in providing Transportation for these former Warriors. The VA (Govt) buys their gas, and maintenance – BUT it’s the volunteers’ who must muster up the $14,000 for each Van, and the public is unaware of what DAV is all about.
How I propose to help this great cause
Saponifier Magazine will donate 10% of all sales throughout the months of November and December, and will present a check directly to the DAV volunteer transportation drivers in my Fathers Montana community to help towards the purchase of this much needed Van!
“It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us the freedom to demonstrate. It is the soldier, not the lawyer, who has given us the right to a fair trial. It is the soldier, who salutes the flag, who serves under the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag”…. By Father Dennis Edward O’Brien, USMC
In my other life before founding Saponifier, I worked in one of our nations largest cemeteries, which also had a very large veterans section.
Although some would view working in a cemetery to be gruesome or gross – I found it to be an honor. I found it an honor to lay to rest the Veterans who devoted their lives for the freedom of many. I found it an honor to manicure their graves and to clean their headstones. I shed many tears while I worked there.
I not only had the honor of burying someone else’s brother, grandparent, aunt or uncle – I was honored to have buried my own brother, grandmother, aunt, cousin and my husband’s parents. With that, I’d like to share *My* Veteran’s with you.
More than a million Patriots stand ready, or are actively defending our nation today. These men and women were not drafted into service, but volunteered to serve. To all of them – Thank You! Thank you for the freedom I have enjoyed by your unselfish sacrifice to our Country.