Tuesday, November 11, 2008

VETERANS' DAY..........


ON THE 11th HOUR, OF THE 11th DAY, OF THE 11th MONTH, in 1918....Germany signed an Armistice with The Allies in a secluded railway boxcar in The Compiegne Forrest in Northern France, ending the hostilities and carnage of World War One. The Great War. The War to End All Wars!!!
We all know now what a foolish and idealistic statement that was...It was known as Armistice Day until 1954 when President Eisenhower signed a bill renaming it Veterans' Day. It is always celebrated on the 11th of November, unless the 11th is on a Sunday. Then it is celebrated on the following Monday. If the 11th is on a Saturday, then it is celebrated on the preceding Friday!!
.
In 1965, the Viet Nam war was just getting started. I was in 10th grade. We didn't know how long the war would last, and we were all hoping it would be over by the time we graduated...No such luck!! I remember like it was yesterday my buddy Smitty saying to me in class in our Senior Year, " did you hear about Dan Desco?" I said , "No, what?"...Smitty said, "he came home in a body bag!". I think thats when it finally hit me. We were going to the drive-in, playing football, watching Star-Trek on "Color TV", and our life-long friends were getting Jungle Rot and blown up by children.
To get out of the military draft, you went to college. The only drawback to that is you had to maintain a 2.0 gpa, and major in something else other than Fraternity Hi-Jinx and Euchre!!
So in 1969 I lost my 2-S student deferment and became 1-A. I was drafted and was sent to Fort Wayne in Detroit for my Induction Physical. Now you have to understand something, these were some very heavy war years, and they told us that you may not come back home right away. There was a chance that upon passing your physical, that you could immediately be sent to Fort Knox Kentucky for boot camp. I remember leaving the Post Office by bus that day, watching my Grandma crying on the sidewalk, not knowing when we would see each other again.
The induction physical was a crazy experiance. The place was a huge drafty (no pun intended) facility, and you were one of about 2000 young men shuffling about in nothing but your underwear, getting weighed, probed, poked, ande tested. At the end of the day I stood at attention in front of an old grizzled Army Doctor, as he very closely read my chart, he looked up at me, then down at my chart. Up at me, then down at my chart. Finally he said..."Son, normally we give you six months to take that lard off, but at 305 we'll give you a YEAR!! Uncle Sam can't use you right now..." So I was issued a 1-Y deferment, and was sent home. At the end of a year my family doctor was given a military form to send back to the Army. I weighed a robust 340#'s and was given a 4-F deferment...PERMANTLY DEFERRED!! I then went on a diet and lost 70 pounds..hehehe.
Let me say this...I would have went into the Military. I didn't have the guts to go to Canada!!
I respect every single person that ever served our country. My sister was in the Navy for 14 years. My brother Mark is retired from the Air Force, and my brother Matt is retired from the Navy.
BLESS YOU ALL, that are serving, or have served your Great Country!
Peace
Peace
Peace.....!!!!!

12 comments:

lime said...

yahtzee

buffalodick said...

I got to play the lottery! My number was 299- they drafted up to about number 146 that year.

lime said...

i can't imagine what those times must have been like for your generation or for that of my grandfathers. the draft is such a scary idea. though i am grateful for all who have served.

barman said...

The draft was ended two years before I turned 18. The requirement to register for the draft ended about 3 months before it became time for me to register for the draft. So I missed out on aspect of things. I was very thankful because had I been drafted I would have went but I do not think I would have done very well as a soldier.

I too am very thankful of all our brave and dedicated men and women of the United States who defended us and our interests. They do have a special place in my heart. A deep debt of gratitude is owned to all especially those who did not return.

Lulda Casadaga said...

Wow...that was a time when being a fat ass paid off... :D Sorry, don't mean to be mean! I'm a fat ass too!!

Well, I remember those times and every nite the tv played the scenes. You kinda got numb just watching it all.

My boyfriends older brother was in Nam and I remember asking him if he ever killed anyone...I was drunk; but the look he gave me sobered my stupid ass up fast! :(

ann said...

... we must never never forget - we still call it Armistice Day here - and still lessons have not been learnt :(

Akelamalu said...

My father joined the Air Cadets, when it came to the real thing they found he had a perforated ear drum so he couldn't do his national service. My eldest son wanted to join the forces but he's deaf in one ear so they wouldn't have him, he was gutted, I was thankful. :(

God bless all those who do serve, and those who have lost their lives have my everlasting gratitude.

javajazz said...

well, maybe you can come to
Canada now, and visit me...
xo

ciara said...

i am from a military family..my dad was in the navy 22 yrs. he went in when he was 17 (as you could do at the time) and got his g.e.d. right after (as they require you to do). my brother was in the army and his stint was shortened by volunteering to go to the middle east for 6 mos. he came home, soon after, desert storm happened. his friend was called back into service, but he was not. my cousin was in the navy for a few yrs, too. my dad's adoptive mom's 2nd husband was a retired navy commander who passed away in late 90's.

when my son turned 18, he had to sign up w the post office. i'm not sure if they'll ever draft him. i hope not. isn't there something where if it's your only son, they wouldn't? of course he's not his father's only son, but he's mine. AND his father is practically non-existent.

Strumpet said...

When my Dad was 18 he was the only one left of all his friends and family that had not been drafted for four years into the army.

He decided that instead of being drafted, he'd sign-up for two years.

As a Marine.

My Dad was just a little overweight, so they sent him to Fat Man's Camp for Boot Camp.

And after however long that was, (because he told me and I don't remember)....he looked HOT.

I mean, my Dad looked so smokin' hot.

I have this picture of him from this time, and he looks EXACTLY like a young Matt Dillon. Everyone says it.

So, I don't know what they do to you in those Marine Fat Man's Boot Camps....but he looked great in a relatively short amount of time.

By signing-up himself he sort of had more options in his job as a Marine and being an excellent driver, he was given the job of driving the water truck to the troops.

When I was little and didn't understand what that meant, I thought it had been a relatively easy job and was happy cos it meant he wasn't on the front lines.

But, he had to drive that truck on dangerous roads and through fields where landmines were located and had one guy on the back with a machine gun with him shooting while my Dad was driving to bring water to the other guys.

One time his truck rolled over an un-steady cliff due to an explosion and the truck rolled down the hill.

My Dad got himself into a cartwheel stance somehow inside the truck as it was rolling down the hill, with two arms on the inside roof of the car and his legs spread bracing him below. He survived unscathed, somehow. His partner, however, was pinned beneath the truck.

Those stories about superhuman strength in times of extreme duress must be true, because somehow my Dad was able to lift the truck of his buddy. They both survived, but his friend lost the lower half of his arm in that accident.

Anyhow, despite how proud my Dad was to be a Marine, being in that war messed him up bad with what they all saw over there.

He RARELY spoke of his time there, and the above story is the ONLY one that I know about the events that unfolded for him in those two years.

He only told it a few times and I was pretty young, so I tell it as I remember it, (being a young girl and learning something about my Dad, some of the details may be a little off) cos I really never knew all that much about him, he was pretty quiet.

Semper Fi.

The world really needs to give peace a chance.

Anyhow, after he returned, two years later I was born.

Yay!

I wear his dress Marine coat around all the time.

People who know what it is, usually older men, always ask me about it.

And it's still in great shape.

It looks brand new.

Serena said...

I went to school with boys who didn't make it home alive from that war. And I knew a lot of other boys who became perpetual students to avoid the draft. I'm glad you managed to stay Stateside. Back then, whatever it took was worth it.

G-Man said...

Chocolatty Lime...

You won that Lottery Buff!!

Your just a pup Bryan...

No offense taken Lulda..:p

Hi Anne!...Shalom!!

Hi Ake...God Bless them all!

Lisa...I don't have a passport..:-(

Ciara...I have only one son as well, I know the feeling.

Chandra...Semper Fi!! R.I.P.

Sherry...I'm forever grateful for not going to that stupid useless war..xox