Veterans Day

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I met this old guy in my local supermarket – he was handing out food samples.

He was chatty and we talked about the usual and then he asked me “Did you see the B24?

Every couple of years three WWII bombers show up at our local airport – these are restored planes supported by the Collings Foundation, an organization dedicate to keeping these old warbirds flying so that the public can see and appreciate them. I try to show up when they are in town and paid for rides on a B17 and B25 – the next time I’ll hop on the B24.

The experience is stunning – I don’t think anyone can truly appreciate what those who served on these machines went through; I got a small taste by riding on these warbirds for about 30 minutes. What I can tell you is that there is NO insulation, they are incredibly noisy, cold, small, and for most of the crew the only thing between them and the outside is a thin layer of aluminum. These machines consist of engines, lots of gas, bombs, machine guns and primitive crew comforts – and that’s it.

When they show up at my local airport, you hear them flying as they take folks for a ride – a deep, throaty sound that right away grabs your attention and you look up. Hard to describe feelings when you see these warbirds flying.

What’s harder to describe is what combat veterans experience. As I talked to the old guy in the supermarket, you could see the pride in what he did during the war; you could also see the great sadness when he talked about the buddies who did not make it back. For veterans, these are not fading memories – these long-ago events are as vivid as when they happened. Whatever branch of service – Airforce, Army, Marines, Navy – and whatever war, vets live these experiences every day.

For all veterans, this is a day to honor those who served. Almost everyone knows a vet – give him a call and just chat a while.

Links of interest:

Veterans Day

Audio slideshow: The end of The Great War


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  1. Lets not forget the ones that aren't here with us anymore. Thank you all, who help keep us safe and risk their lives daily so we can enjoy the freedoms we have.
    I just want to thank all the veterans who fought for our country, whether they are lving or not. Also, I want to recognize some of our very special veterans who are members here at OC Forums. If I forget you or leave you out, I am sorry.
    Thanks to:
    And any other veterans we have.
    It would be a wonderful treat if you guys would enlighten with some stories or tales about your past.

    Any other Veterans add your name and we will know whom you are.
    Huneycutt - USAF 1960-64, 29150 Comm Center Specialist, Crypto Ops. 1961-63, NATO and 4th Allied Tactical Air Forces, HQ 17th Air Force, 2044th Comm Sq, Ramstein AFB, Germany. 1963-64, 2135th Comm Sq, HQ USAF Comm Cntr., Pentagon.
    Dad - USMC Platoon Sgt, 1st Marine Division, KIA WWII 1943, Bloody Ridge, Guadalcanal. I was three years old and do not remember him. I have pictures but they aren't warm and didn't play ball with me or bounce me on his knee . . . .
    Uncle - 32 years USMC, enlisted 1916 fought in WWI, Bella Woods, retired 1947 Master Gunnery Sgt E-9 and passed away at 92 years old.
    Two other Uncles served in Pacific, USMC WWII.
    Six Confederate cousins Civil War, five came home, one lost an arm, one died from pneumonia in POW camp in Pennsylvania.
    Brother - Firefighter died fighting a fire, 23 years old, wife and two daughters.
    Our family has a proud history of service to the US of A and the communities in which we live and Dad paid the ultimate price for the FREEDOM we enjoy.
    Thank you for remembering us Vets and pray for safety for our fighting forces around the world. GOD BLESS AMERICA - HOME OF THE FREE AND THE BRAVE! Huney.
    PS You asked for war stories: January 1961 my TS Crypto clearance hadn't come through, guarding F-100 Super Saber on flight line 2:AM to 4:PM shift, ten degrees below zero, wind 35 MPH, 20 years old, half way around the world wondering what in the h3ll I was dong there. Having a self-pity party when Dad came to me and said, "Son, you're doing the same thing I was when I died in that stinking jungle, you are defending our FREEDOM, so stop complaining and do your duty." I never complained again.
    USAF has a saying, "Sleep well because your United States Air Force is awake!" It takes all branches of the military pulling together to get the job done, different uniforms but one Flag with one common goal; keep America FREE and her citizens safe. Bravery goes back to the Revolutionary War where our farmers and squirrel hunters in tattered clothes fought the British in spit and polish uniforms. But the good men won because they were living FREE and the British wanted to take that away. Yes Sir, you thank *everyone* who has stood up for FREEDOM because if they hadn't you could be speaking with a British accent or Russian, German or Japanese today.