Some people still don't understand why military personnel do what they
do for a living. This exchange between Senators John Glenn and Senator
Howard Metzenbaum is worth reading. Not only is it a pretty impressive
impromptu speech, but it's also a good example of one man's explanation
of why men and women in the armed services do what they do for a living.
This IS a typical, though sad, example of what some who have never
served think of the military.
Senator Metzenbaum to Senator Glenn: "How can you run for Senate when
you've never held a real job?"
Senator Glenn: "I served 23 years in the United States Marine Corps. I
served through two wars. I flew 149 missions. My plane was hit by
anti-aircraft fire on 12 different occasions. I was in the space
program. It wasn't my checkbook, Howard; it was my life on the line.
It was not a nine-to-five job, where I took time off to take the daily
cash receipts to the bank. I ask you to go with me .. as I went the
day... to a veteran's hospital and look at those men - with their mangled
bodies in the eye, and tell THEM they didn't hold a job! You go with
me to the Space Program at NASA and go, as I have gone, to the widows
and orphans of Ed White, Gus Grissom and Roger Chaffee... and you look
those kids in the eye and tell them that their DADS didn't hold a job.
You come with me on Memorial Day and you stand in Arlington National
where I have more friends buried than I'd like to remember, and you
watch those waving flags. You stand there, and you think about this
nation, and you tell ME that those people didn't have a job? I'll tell
you, Howard Metzenbaum; you should be on your knees every day of your
life thanking God that there were some men SOME MEN - who held REAL
jobs! And they required a dedication to a purpose and a love of country
and a dedication to duty - that was more important than life itself. And
their self-sacrifice is what made this country possible. I HAVE held a
job, Howard! What about you?"
For those who don't remember - During W.W.II, Howard Metzenbaum was an
attorney representing the Communist Party in the USA.
Now he is a Senator!
If you can read this, thank a teacher.... If you are reading it in
English thank a Veteran.