"IN COMPLETE AWE"

Discussion in 'The Duck Hunters Forum' started by Irishwhistler, Nov 10, 2017.

  1. Irishwhistler

    Irishwhistler Senior Refuge Member

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    Aye Mates,
    As we are about to observe Veterans Day, I am transported back a few weeks to a surprise 40th wedding anniversary party I recently attended for two dear friends. I had brought a camera in hopes of capturing some photo's of the honorees and was mingling with other guests while awaiting the arrival of the guests of honor. I observed an elderly gentleman seated some ten feet away and wearing a hat that proudly proclaimed him as a World War II Veteran and I promptly rose to my feet and went over and thanked him for his service to our nation while shaking his hand. He was gracious and humbly replied "thank you". He went to stand up like a true gentleman and I insisted that he did not and he sat back in his chair. At that moment it never occurred to me that he was the father of one of my best friends. I asked a mutual friend that was also a guest at the party if he knew whom the old Veteran was. He told me, "Mike, that's Bill's Dad". It all became very clear to me and I found myself in complete awe of the old gent. Bill had often spoke to me about his Dad and did so with palpable pride and respect of what the man represented. Bill had told me that his Dad had served in the United States Marine Corps as a machine gunner during WWII. I had asked Bill if he knew much about his Dad's military service and he told me that what he knew amounted to very little because his Dad was highly reluctant to talk about it. Having shared that much with Bill about his Dad I found my eyes continually glued to the man and wondered at the horror and hardships he had faced as a young Marine so many decades ago. As he sat by his wife of over six decades, I contemplated what must continually run through his mind, the sacrifices he made himself, the slaughter of Brother Marines he had no doubt witnessed all about him, and the survivor's guilt so many warrior's must deal with when they come home and their best friends do not. I wondered as he sat at the party if he questioned why he had been spared to enjoy such joyous gatherings when so many of his Brother Marines had never lived long enough to marry and have families of their own. My heart ached for Bill's Dad at that moment for the cruel memories he has endured for the majority of his years lived. My heart simultaneously found joy for him in knowing that he was not robbed of knowing the blessings of the family and friends that had gathered on that very day, the event of his sons' and daughter in-laws' 40th wedding anniversary. I was blown away as I watched him hold the hand of his tiny great grandson and thinking what that very act must have meant to him. Once again I found myself in complete awe of this living, breathing, personification of American history and all those like him that endured the unthinkable to guarantee the freedoms we enjoy today. God bless all of our Veterans.

    [​IMG]
    "SEMPER FI" - Once A Marine, Always A Marine. I captured this photo of Bill a proud USMC WW II Veteran as I wondered at the years he has endured of his sufferings in silence, that so commonly shared by himself and the many others that have given so much of themselves in service to our country.

    To Bill and all of his Brother and Sister Veterans, I thank you all with my most heartfelt appreciation. I hope all that read this will join me in doing the same.

    With Utmost Respect,
    Mike
     
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  2. burgawboy

    burgawboy Elite Refuge Member

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    Very well said Mike. My Grandfather whom passed in 1989 was a WWII Vet. My Father whom passed in 2012 was a Vietnam Vet. I think about their sacrifices on almost a daily basis, as well as all the other Veterans in this country.

    To all of you Veterans,

    Thank You, God Bless You. Happy Veterans Day to you all. I hope those that are able to go, shoot a limit tomorrow.
     
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  3. Irishwhistler

    Irishwhistler Senior Refuge Member

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    EXPRESS YE GRATITUDE AND KEEP THIS THREAD GOING MATES. :tu

    Mike
     
  4. mpkowal

    mpkowal Senior Refuge Member

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    Nice read,thank you. My brothers served and the oldest one turned out to be a great man in my eyes,2 tours of Nam,and countless hours teaching pilots,which he enjoyed so very much,he felt like he was Giving something back.Unfortunatly he lost an arm in a non military acciden,But he never waivered,he kept working and took care of a great family,without hesitation.All you Veteras,you are my heroes,Thank You for your service and God be with you.
     
  5. WHUP ! Hen

    WHUP ! Hen Elite Refuge Member

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    Beautiful post Irish. So true, no one who has not been in that position will never understand.

    Vietnam 1968-69
    25th Infantry Division
     
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  6. duckbuster5901

    duckbuster5901 Senior Refuge Member

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    very well spoken.
     
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  7. Fowler267

    Fowler267 Elite Refuge Member

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    We all have the highest respect for our WW2 vets but we can never come close to repaying the debt we owe our Viet Nam Vets.

    They went in spite of it not being the easy or popular thing to do and fought a war in a forced limited fashion with an enemy who was happy to use the rules against US. They won every battle and yet were spit on and dis respected upon returning home... And it is the Viet Nam vet who stuck around and raised the Military of the war out of the ashes and turned it back into the World dominating force that it has been ever since
     
  8. widgeon

    widgeon Elite Refuge Member

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    Thank you veterans. Thanks for posting this. And the buzzard picture.
     
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  9. tomturkey

    tomturkey Elite Refuge Member

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    I grew up in the 50's with out my father being in my life that much. It was the WW2 Vets that I looked up too as I grew up. I noticed one of them, that was a bomber pilot, getting into his truck at his house one day a few years ago so I turned around to talk to him. I almost brought him to tears when I thanked him for being one of the many Vets that helped me in growing up. He was 96 at the time and going in for back surgery in a few days. The Drs. could not believe the shape he is in. He was still walking 45 minutes a day in the hills behind his house. Few people his age are not in shape enough to go through back surgery.
     

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