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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 5/8/2003 7:30:02 PM EDT
A young Marine reservist was having a last dinner out with family and friends before leaving after being activated for the recent conflict. During the course of the evening people at a nearby table overheard the conversation going. These total strangers thanked the Marine for his service and paid for his meal. As things went, this Marine spent most of his active duty time loading planes bound for the middle east with all the supplies required to fight a war. Vehicles, food, ammo, etc. Never going over seas to “where the action was”. Yesterday that Marine came across another Marine, recently returned from Iraq, at Camp Pendleton. They struck up a conversation and it came out the other Marine had been wounded by a mortar round. The young Marine felt a bit guilty that people had thanked him for serving, when here was someone who had actually fought and been wounded. The other Marine told him he shouldn’t guilty. That he did his part for the war. That without him doing his job here in the states, he couldn’t have done his job in Iraq. He then told the young Marine that even he felt guilty at times. See, they wanted to give him a Purple Heart for his wounds. But, he told the young Marine, his wounds seemed like nothing. Because the mortar that wounded him, cost another Marine his leg. I told this story to a co-worker of mine. He served in the Air Force on a C-130 during VN, and later as a reservist. He explained it like this. All those who serve, from the front line combat soldier to the cook in a state side base, are all part of chain. Each person an important link. Because if a link in a chain breaks, then the chain cannot be used as should be. EVERY link in that chain is important. So for all of you who serve, or have served, regardless of position, know that what you did was important and that you have our respect for making a sacrifice for others.
Link Posted: 5/8/2003 8:20:45 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/9/2003 7:23:45 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/9/2003 7:26:53 AM EDT by piccolo]
That 16d nail got 1-licked! Edited to add, (Oh, God, not another'back in my day' lecture!) It's GREAT seeing people show appreciation to our young warriors. Back in my day,(You know the rest!)
Link Posted: 5/9/2003 8:13:02 AM EDT
I understand how the parts of the machine fit together and make the whole function. That doesn't always make it easy, though. During Desert Shield I was kept at my stateside base keeping the missions flowing. We had a virtual pipeline of C-141Bs flying everything needed to fight the war into the theater. I knew that what I was doing was important, but I felt such a need to be over in the sandbox with my buddies who were deployed. I actually felt guilty going home after work, knowing what they were going through. In the end, anyone who has served honorably doing their part has my respect.
Link Posted: 5/9/2003 1:36:14 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/9/2003 1:49:30 PM EDT by nuke44]
Thanks, that was a good way to put it. I've be retired since '93 but even after all these years it's still nice to know that somebody gives a shit. I spent my first 4 years as a 461X0 Conventional Munitions Specialist, (yes, this a "Back in my day", story) including a stint in Southeast Asia when the war was going hot and heavy. I spent the next 18 years as a 463X0 Nuclear Weapons Specialist. We DID NOT exist. I spent those years as a non-entity because of opsec and comsec. We did some things that I won't be allowed to talk about for my entire life. It was great. (my wife claims that I still glow in the dark) Who needs the goddamn medals and ticker-tape parades? We still kicked ass even if nobody (besides the Soviets) knew we existed. I spent a year in the Middle-East where as far as anybody knew, I (we) were frozen food equipment repair techs. (The base meat locker).Another tour in Europe, we were motor pool mechanics. For the purpose of stroking my own ego, I would tell people that I was a guided-missile test pilot. (especially after a couple of bottles of Efes or shots of Metaxa) I'm whining, aren't I? Sorry, sometimes my ego gets the better of my common sense. Your post said it well. There are more heroes than the American people will ever know. Noel Barrett USAF Nuke-Puke retired.
Link Posted: 5/9/2003 9:16:55 PM EDT
I did a S load of training and after "missing out" on Granada, Panama and gulf 1, I felt that I wasted a lot of years. I know that I did an "important" job in the rear. Especially during this current situation, I feel that I should be over there serving my country instead of driving a Semi back in the states. It is hard some times. I thank all of those still in uniform and all others that have served in whatever capacity.
Link Posted: 5/16/2003 12:43:00 AM EDT
re opening post - agree, and understand, but damn I felt like shit sitting in SoCal with my Reserve Arty Bn, in '91. Really wanted to go. Tried to go. By the time I requested transfer to the theatre, the Reserve callup was reaching deep, and all transfers blocked / frozen. My one chance to go do what I volunteered for and trained to do, and I missed it. I'd talked to my Pop about the transfer idea, Thanksgiving '90 - he'd done 22yrs in the Navy, including two cruises in a Destroyer off the coast of Vietnam. His reply was, 'well, every generation has their war, looks like this one is yours'. He was so right. and I missed it.
Link Posted: 5/16/2003 6:04:35 PM EDT
Rayra, that's just how I felt and still feel with the current situation. My father pulled two tours in Nam, got the Purple Heart and stayed in until retirement. It does hurt some times that I wasn't allowed to do what I swore an oath to do.
Link Posted: 5/16/2003 6:12:32 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/20/2003 7:15:00 AM EDT
Outstanding post, thanks! Alex
Link Posted: 5/20/2003 9:46:02 AM EDT
very true. and in case anyone doubts this is true, think of it this way: the .gov is always trying to cut it's budget, and the military has taken a lot of hits. if your job wasn't vitally important, do you think it would still exist?
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