THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE

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It must have been Veterans Day one year during the last decade, when Charene, our Human Resources Manager, walked into my office and said “Thank you for your service, Ed.” At first I was shocked, literally. It has been over 45 years since my service days and no one had ever said those words to me . . . never . . . until then. Back in the day, we were vilified, spit upon and called bad names (things better left unsaid anymore as to not be censored). The military and anyone involved with them was the bad guy. Can you understand my feeling of “shock” when Charene came in and, unknowingly, made my day that day? It made my eyes water, there was a flood of mixed emotions . . . I remember it well. It made me feel proud. I also remember being somewhat embarrassed to say “you’re welcome.” Am I supposed to say that? I did not voluntarily enlist for any possible future accolades and I still am somewhat embarrassed if someone tells me “Thank you for your service.” After all, I was doing “a job” that I wanted to do – I volunteered.

 

And yet, I find myself telling veterans and former law enforcement folks I meet, in person or online, “Thank you for your service.” They don’t usually respond with a “you’re welcome” either. It’s okay, I don’t expect it – it is an awkward place. Perhaps one can consider a nod of the head, or merely that it was said out loud, as acknowledgement, and no further comment is necessary.

 

Men and women, who every day don the uniforms of the military, police, border patrol, or firefighters, have also volunteered to do a job they want to do. They get paid very handsomely as well. Quite frankly, these men and women do a job that most of us will not even consider – jobs that could cost their very existence on this planet; it doesn’t happen all the time but it could happen at any time, I get it.

 

From this old Marine, before he fades away to join Chesty Puller (wherever the Hell he is), to you, these men and women -- even to that COP who gave me the $85 street sweeper ticket the other day, you know who you are -- I would like to extend these five words . . . “Thank you for your service.” It is my hope that you are not embarrassed as I first was when Charene came into my office that day . . . but proud in the realization that you are being acknowledged for doing a tough job that most people do not want to do. Stand tall and be proud – Thank you for your service.

Semper Fi

Comments

John Minehan Added Jan 12, 2019 - 7:07pm
David Niven, the actor who played most upper class or official Brits in Hollywood films between the late 1930s and the early 1980s, was a Sandhurst Grad.
 
Like a lot of intelligent people, he made a poor peacetime Soldier and, in his case, officer.  He literally left The Highland Light Infantry by escaping from house-arrest.
 
Niven planned to go to Canada to sell live-stock, but wound up in Hollywood and was beginning to have some acting success by 1940.
 
Then . . . the war . . . .
 
Niven went back to the British Army (if not quite The Highland Light Infantry) and joined the Special Operations Executive ("SOE").
 
Towards the end of the War, he met Churchill.  Churchill told him leaving a screen career to be a Major in the British Army was "admirable" . . . but that if Niven had not done it, it would have be "reprehensible."
 
That sort of says it all . . . .  
Dino Manalis Added Jan 12, 2019 - 7:15pm
 Thank you for your service.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Jan 12, 2019 - 9:17pm
I'd love to be able to see Smedley Butler reply to this pablum begun by the fox news bunch during the run up to the DUHmerican crimes in Iraq. 
Ward Tipton Added Jan 13, 2019 - 5:56am
There are a great many people I think, who deserve far more recognition or at least gratitude for the services that they perform. Personally I always have mixed feelings, looking back on the service and the duties we honestly believed we were performing for God and country. 
Steel Breeze Added Jan 13, 2019 - 9:05am
my experience was similar......and still hard to get used to......Semper Fi from another ol Marine....
Unrepentant Added Jan 13, 2019 - 10:42am
Personally, I'm getting tired of it. it's mostly a bunch of phony, fake, insincere bullshit. I don't go out of my way to advertise that I'm a vet; I wasn't in combat, so don't have much to sound off about. It's not like I was drafted and/or joined because I HAD to; I did it, that's that. You're most welcome, John and Jane Q. Public...glad I was able to make the world better and more profitable for your upper classes, lol.
Liberal1 Added Jan 13, 2019 - 12:45pm
I personally cringe when people say "Thank you for your service",  especially at the VA where many of the people who are DIRECTED to say that (by their bureaucratic bosses who never served) are former service members themselves.
Whiskey River Added Jan 13, 2019 - 12:55pm
edinthemountains
 
I too never heard a thanks for your service for years. And it never bothered me because like you I volunteered, I knew what I was getting into. I didn't mind being ignored, what I did mind was the way the VA was treating Vietnam veterans, especially those with mental health problems. 
 
It took me a few years to get over my substance abuse problems, large quantities of Jim Beam, but thanks to a close knit family and a good women I finally woke up. And when I did I got pissed off at the VA. I saw homeless veterans, drunk or drugged up, living on the streets. And thought what can I do. So in 1981 I started getting involved. I joined the VFW and American Legion and DAV. I started raging on my congressmen and senators to do something to help these veterans who need help. And the fight goes on today. There are an estimated 300,000 homeless veterans on the streets today, most of them served in the Gulf Wars, and they are not getting the help they need. 
 
Instead of worrying about getting a pat on the back for what we did 50 years ago we need to worry about the kids today that need our help. Yes I do thank you for your service, we were brothers in arms, but now is the time to put our knowledge to work, our strength, our resolve, and do everything we can to make sure todays veterans get all the help they need. 
edinmountainview Added Jan 13, 2019 - 9:56pm
John Minehan - I’ve always liked David Niven, he showed a suave-de-faire in those old movies.  I knew he was in the military during the war but I did not know the history behind him. 
 
Dino gets a nod.
 
Jeffry Gilbert - Ol’ Smedley D. Butler would have probably followed orders and gone to Iraq, beat them down badly and then come home and protest against wars not at our borders and would have smacked anyone upside the head who would dare say thank you for fighting a war, especially if that war was being fought for the profit of the “upper classes.” 
 
Ward Tipton – I can agree with both of your statements.  Compared to me, there certainly are more deserving people. 
 
Steel Breeze – Yes, it is still hard to get used to.  I am going to limit my use of the phrase in the future; I will not say “never use it again” but I will certainly curtail my use immensely.  Thank you . . . it is always a pleasure to meet another ol’ Marine. 
 
GGAJCS – Hahahahahhahahaha!  You choice of names really cracks me up, Dude!   Hahahahahahahaha!  I agree that a lot of it is phony and fake but there are some who are sincere in their thanks.   For example, a friend of mine sent me a note about his experience in a Safeway store.  With Mojo’s permission, I quote: 
 
“It's funny you bring this up.  Some years ago I was in the same situation. I was at a Safeway and wearing a hoodie with the Navy crest on the front and a Navy sign on the back.  I wear it a lot so you've probably seen it.  I remember when my dad gave it to me, I thought I wouldn't wear it much because when I joined the Navy it wasn't the popular thing to do and guys in the military weren’t highly thought of.  But things change and so when I had it on at Safeway and a lady came up and asked me if I was x military and when I said yes, she told me "Thank you for your service".  Just like you I wasn't sure how to respond but I told her you're welcome.  Again as you mentioned I joined because I wanted to learn a trade and be out on my own.  You know, get a job.  Since that incident I have had many instances where someone thanked me for my service.  In each case it made me feel a bit funny.  Not sure how else to describe it, but I always make sure that I say you're welcome in a very affirmative tone and I stand proud when I do it.  Go figure.
Mojo”
 
Mojo is a special guy – he has my highest admiration and respect.  You see, Mojo broke his back in the Navy and was told he would never walk again.  Well . . . let me tell you . . . Mojo and I went on several hikes this past Summer to places like The Pinnacles and Big Sur, among others, the longest being about eleven or twelve miles long, not to mention the elevation difference; not walk again, indeed!  Hah!
 
Liberal1 – I hear you.  I don’t know that I cringe but, as Mojo says, it “made me feel a bit funny.”  I just smile and say it right back at the folks at the V.A.  If they say they didn’t “serve” I just tell them that they are working for the V.A. . . . isn’t that serving?  They usually smile.
 Semper Fi
edinmountainview Added Jan 13, 2019 - 9:57pm
Whiskey River – Wow, perhaps yours is the most powerful and difficult comment to respond to.  I invite folks to comment on your views and, with all due respect and I mean that (sometimes things can be taken the wrong way when words are only written and one cannot see the sincerity of the person writing those words), I do not seek thanks.
 
I can relate to your substance (alcohol) abuse.  I can relate to your being pissed off at the VA.  In 1999 the lady who let me stay at her place had had with my drinking.  Either I do something about my drinking or get the hell out (I was pretty much homeless at this point).  So I signed up for a “Stand Down” that was set up for homeless Veterans by the Veterans Administration and the local community; it was in Dublin, California.  It was to be a three-day affair, providing food, clothing, shelter (tents, but shelter nonetheless), even some emergency dental work.  So to make a longer story short, it was so damn hot and I was dehydrated from drinking so much liquor before arriving at the “Stand Down” that I had either a seizure or went into heat stroke.  Everything just went black . . . I woke up once on a stretcher and then again in the hospital, where they had hooked me up to a chartreuse bag.  It took two of those bags to get me released from the hospital and back to the “Stand Down.”  When I did return to the camp, the head V.A. Doctor said, “Hell, no . . . he can’t come back here.  I don’t want anyone dying on my watch.” He was talking about me I was standing right there.  There were other people around, I have no clue who they were . . . some argued against the Head Doctor’s decision but in the end I was taken back to my local V.A. office and dropped off with application papers to rehab.  I filled out the papers to get into rehab and was admitted in October 1999 (HVRP – Homeless Veterans Rehabilitation Program in Menlo Park, California).  My name must have been remembered by some people to get into that program on such short notice (only a couple of months).  I heard scuttlebutt about reference to “Dublin Man,” (meaning me and what had happened) in order to keep my identity secret or something.  I tried to look it up on the V.A. website but perhaps some sleuth could dig up the info from internal V.A. documents of the Stand Down back in 1999.
 
 So with one hand the V.A. told me to go die somewhere else and with the other hand they helped me at a time when I needed it.  All that happened in one day – I got there, fainted or whatever, went to the hospital, back to the camp and then back to her house before she returned home from work.  She didn’t believe a word I had to say – that was not a good day, I remember. 
 
I agree we should help our homeless Veterans.  Yes, we need more outreach.  President Trump has instituted some new policies that will make V.A. employees more accountable for their actions.  There isn’t much I can donate in the way of money but I can write to the powers that be and I will; although my words may fall on deaf ears here in my not-so-great-State of California.
 
Again, if you would like to give us some examples of how we can help, please feel free right here.
 
To close, a quote from my Army Ranger friend: 
 
“The Home Depot cashiers always say that when I use my old ID card to get their 10% military discount. I reply, ‘Thank you for the discount. That makes it all worthwhile.’”
Semper Fi
 
edinmountainview Added Jan 14, 2019 - 12:00pm
"Oh, just one more thing, Sir."  I  used to love it when Colombo would be walking away from his prey after saying good night, then stop, turn halfway around with his finger pointed up in the air and say "Oh, just one more thing, Sir."  <chuckles>  I want to put this out in the open:  I have not had a drink of alcohol since that fateful October of 1999, not one drop.  Not every day is a struggle but there are some times . . . well . . . that it still takes a little extra will power to say no.  The V.A. can and does help but one has to "want" that help first.  If you know of a Vet that needs help, plant the seed in their mind that the V.A., and other Veterans are with them and want to help them.  Don't push us, just plant the seed and let it germinate; you can help it along but gently.  There are numbers to call; folks who can assist -- just reach out.
Semper Fi
Liberal1 Added Jan 14, 2019 - 3:27pm
"I have not had a drink of alcohol since that fateful October of 1999..."
 
edinmountainview, just to put THIS out in the open:  I am a 100%-er, combat disabled, career Marine.   
 
Long story made short, my primary VA doc ended up sending me to a VA shrink who ended up diagnosing PTSD.  He later told me that my "self-medicating" with booze probably had kept me from totally losing it.  Thank God he and a bunch of caring people at the VA helped me get a handle on it.
 
What amazes me now is both how my drunk coon-ass didn't go postal for the last third of my career (I spent most of my time in 2nd & 4th ANGLICO...  back before it was cool.  LOL) and just how well the USMC managed to make PTSD something that was NEVER admitted to nor mentioned. 
 
I love my Corps, but I now know that simply screaming "Suck it up" and making sure you knew being a drunk was preferable to admitting to "being weak" was a disservice to a lot of us.   That I made it through 8 years of hell, all the ways to retirement, before something so obvious got identified and dealt with is unacceptable in my book.
 
So to anyone who is drinking/drugging/mentally disturbed because of their military service, I might suggest y'all take this here little questionnaire and then think hard on the answer you get.
 
PTSD Screening
 
I also would greatly appreciate if people would make a donation to the Disabled American Veterans organization (DAV) to help defray the cost of transporting disable veterans to and from their VA medical appointments.  They provide this service free of charge and it is the only way that a lot of vets can get there and back.
 
https://www.dav.org/
 
Oo-rah, edinmountainview Sorry for hopping on my soapbox.  LOL
edinmountainview Added Jan 14, 2019 - 4:34pm
Liberal1 - Thanks for opening up here and hopping on that soapbox.  It was October 18, 1999 when I entered the Menlo Park Compound.  I was evaluated and put into the detox for a week or so to see if I was going to have any kind of serious alcohol withdrawal reactions, i.e.,  grand mal seizures.  After that stay I was signed up for a 30-day rehab program, I think it was 30 days but it could have been something different.  Anyway, there were about 45 beds available in that program. 
 
As folks rotated out of the 30-day program we were again re-evaluated and some of us were sent to the PTSD Program (fairly new at the time, I believe) or, if we requested it and were accepted (met the qualifications - in my case I was a full-blown drunk and homeless), went to HVRP, both in Menlo Park.  Needless to say, counseling was prevalent no matter which program one might have been participating in.  
 
In my view, that link you provided with the test for PTSD should be given to every member of the military as part of the exit physical.  I realize that it sometimes takes time to manifest itself but if we can help just one Veteran before they take the wrong route, it's worth it.
 
Another worthy service DAV provides is a place where serviceable clothing and shoes can be donated to help out the homeless Veterans, or go to a V.A. facility near you - they accept donations there as well.
 
Oo-Rah back at you Liberal1 - 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment have always been some bad-ass Marines.
Semper Fi
Dave Volek Added Jan 14, 2019 - 4:57pm
Sad story indeed.
 
My uncle-in-law and his brother were the second wave on Juno beach. Both battled their way almost to the German border before the big bosses figured they had enough. Both saw lots of bad things. 
 
My uncle came back to Canada and started up a watch repair business, which dovetailed into several other business. He met my aunt who had 2 kids, and adopted them as his own. He eventually became quite wealthy, enjoyed his recreation, and was well respected in his town. He never really retired, always tinkering with something, but left most of the heavy lifting for his son, who competently took over.
 
The brother, on the other hand, became an alcoholic and was plagued with venereal diseases. He committed suicide 24 years after Juno.
 
Same genetic stock; same army experience; different life outcome. I think it's important to understand that the war experience (or any other kind of trauma) affects people differently. Just because one person survives intact is not an excuse to ignore those who don't.
 
I think we are getting better at acknowledging the treatment some people need. But there is so much more to learn.
 
 
 
edinmountainview Added Jan 14, 2019 - 5:37pm
Thanks, Dave.  That is a sad story and I agree.
Semper Fi
Liberal1 Added Jan 14, 2019 - 6:37pm
"I think we are getting better at acknowledging the treatment some people need."
 
Dave Volek, I got to disagree with you on that one, un pote!   
 
If you look at my avatar you will see that it represents the VA’s 2012 Suicide Data Report's findings of approximate 22 American veterans that commit suicide every damn day.  Granted, not all of them are suicides as a result of military service, but even using other people's "lets hide this shit" numbers, veterans have a suicide rate 50+% higher than those who did not serve in the military.
 
From where I'm standing (and from talking to the current crop of jarheads) there is just as much resistance to admitting to and/or even acknowledging the existence of PTSD among the senior USMC leadership that absolutely nothing has changed.  When you add in the BS President Bone Spur shoveled out about people with PTSD being weak or not being able to "handle it" (and may I extend him a heartfelt "FUCK YOU, you 5 time draft deferring coward!") the stigma is magnified multifold.
 
Seems to me that if we can afford to send them to fight we best damn well be willing to deal with the resultant mental & medical problems one damn sight better than we have when they get back.
Dave Volek Added Jan 14, 2019 - 6:49pm
Liberal1
I was trying to be gentle. But you said it very well. I will just repeat:
 
Seems to me that if we can afford to send them to fight we best damn well be willing to deal with the resultant mental & medical problems one damn sight better than we have when they get back.
 
PS
The Canadian military is getting better at this, but pace of reform is still too slow. It might be another decade to really fix this problem.
 
What I don't understand that cost of assisting troubled veterans is so very small, I really can't understand why the government/military is so slow TO DO THE RIGHT THING AT THE RIGHT TIME.
edinmountainview Added Jan 14, 2019 - 9:03pm
Liberal1 - Well said.  Perhaps a thing we could have implemented is something sent to the family about signs to look for and where to seek help.  I know there are programs out there, how do we get the Vets to those programs is the question.  Pardon me if I am reading too much into your comment but it sounds like you are still participating in some sort of PTSD therapy, with a younger crop of jarheads, I believe you said.  I was worked with other Vets and just kind of faded out of it.  
 
Dave Volek - Does Trudeaux care about the military?  I don't know too much about Canada, I must admit.
Semper Fi
Dave Volek Added Jan 15, 2019 - 11:46am
ed
 
Taking care of disabled veterans has been a political issue for a couple of decades. Prime ministers and political parties have made promises to this effect and the Canadian public seems to want it.
 
We've gone through four prime ministers in this time, and none seem able to fix it. And in the grand scheme of things, proper funding is not a big deal.
 
There must be a reason as to why the Canadian government is reluctant. Unfortunately, I'm not in those rooms where decisions are made.
 
And I should close that we have made progress in the past 20 years. But there is a mystery behind those closed doors.
edinmountainview Added Jan 15, 2019 - 12:53pm
If we only knew what went on behind those closed doors in both countries.  Thanks, Dave.
Semper Fi
Mark Hunter Added Jan 16, 2019 - 3:39am
Thank you for your service, from someone who doesn't have to say it. People who go into the military don't know whether they'll end up serving through peacetime or rush headlong into a war, so they deserve our thanks no matter what their ultimate role is.
edinmountainview Added Jan 16, 2019 - 3:48am
Mark Hunter - I certainly cannot argue with your reasoning.  Thank you for your comment and interest in the article.
Semper Fi
Thomas Napers Added Jan 16, 2019 - 4:42am
I’m sorry but I don’t think people that are paid deserve a thank you from anyone.  That’s the way employment works, a willing employee and a willing employer agree to terms.  Both parties should be equally grateful to the other.  Unpaid volunteers are another matter and they deserve our collective thanks.  However, if you believe in Ayn Rand, even unpaid volunteers are doing it for personal satisfaction more than anything else.    
 
Accordingly, not so much with the military, but it really annoys me when other “public servants” are thanked or treated as heroes.  However, if they did away with their pension, I might be inclined to throw them a thank you or two. 
Unrepentant Added Jan 16, 2019 - 5:22am
Hmmm...I'm going to hold back on Napers; he's obviously a total, complete, and absolute dildo. And yes Napers, you are sorry, as in SAM...Sorry Ass Motherfucker, lol.
Thomas Napers Added Jan 16, 2019 - 6:22am
Michael B - When the only retort is ad hominem attack, I always know I've made a strong argument that my dissenters can't defend.  Thanks for that.  
Ward Tipton Added Jan 16, 2019 - 7:16am
"Accordingly, not so much with the military, but it really annoys me when other “public servants” are thanked or treated as heroes.  However, if they did away with their pension, I might be inclined to throw them a thank you or two. "
 
A great many of the special forces and other operatives receive no benefits when wounded or injured, their families receive no gold stars, and they receive no thanks or even insurance payouts for their families. 
 
They are killed in "traffic accidents", "training accidents" and a host of other areas where there is plausible deniability. More often than not, their family will not even receive more than rocks in the coffins that are brought home. Just because you do not know them, does not mean that they do not exist. I have served with a great many of them. 
 
That being said, my garbage men were paid, but come Christmas or Thanksgiving, I always made it a point to provide them with something to ensure them that their services were appreciated, despite them being paid for the job. There are a great many people working in thankless jobs and even a minor bit of appreciation can go a long way, regardless of whether or not there are any tangible benefits for anyone involved. 
Unrepentant Added Jan 16, 2019 - 7:18am
Napers, and I said I was holding back! I'll let the OP decide your fate, lol. Personally, you remind me of every prep-school yuppie larva dickhead I've ever encountered. Do your worse, you smug fag. You're most welcome!
Mark Hunter Added Jan 16, 2019 - 7:36am
Of course people who work should be thanked, if the thankful are benefiting from their service—even if they aren’t getting shot at.
edinmountainview Added Jan 16, 2019 - 12:51pm
Thomas Napers - I can totally understand your sentiments; although we mustn't forget the everyday niceties of interacting with people.  An employer can hand over a paycheck to the employee and say "Thank you, Employee, you are doing a great job . . . you've earned this."  The employee can receive that check from the employer and say "Awesome, thanks for the check, Boss."   Whenever I happen to run into the mailman, I will wave hi and say thank you . . . if I run into the garbageman I will give him a wave, thumbs up and tell him thanks (he probably can't hear me because of the noise but that's okay).  So these folks do things that benefit me personally and the public at large so I thank them for the moment that they do something for me.
 
I will assume you are speaking of police and firemen when you mention other public servants.  I can totally understand what you're saying here too and then I think that any moment, either that policeman or that firemen could actually become a hero; they are in the type of profession that at a moment's notice, they could be put into a position to become a hero, save someone's life . . . save someone's cat or dog.  
 
Thanks for your comment and I appreciate your talking about the "other public servants" and just the military.
Semper Fi
edinmountainview Added Jan 16, 2019 - 12:56pm
Blimey Limey Stymie and Thomas Napers - I don't know what your guys' history is and I have no desire to get in the middle of it.  I ask that you keep it civil.  Thank you.
Semper Fi
edinmountainview Added Jan 16, 2019 - 1:11pm
Ward Tipton - Well said.  There are those that do the thankless jobs that we do not want to do and, of course, just a little bit of a nod will go a long way. 
 
That's funny, we both say thanks to our garbagemen; although I have never left them any type of gift, neither the mailman.  
 
Here's an old Rodney Dangerfield type situation that happened to me:  I went out on a blind date and did everything by the book . . . held open the car door, restaurant door, held her seat (chair), said please, thank you and you're welcome (I always do by the way, not just on this date) and was very attentive and at the end of the evening she told me it was a nice evening but that we probably would not get along all that great because I was "too nice."  I can't get no respect.  One of my bosses even commented about that trait of mine in one of my annual reviews - get more done with honey than with vinegar.  Hahahahahahahahaha!
 
I'll keep on saying thank you to folks but I will be more aware of how that thank you is said.  Thanks, Ward.
 
Semper Fi
edinmountainview Added Jan 16, 2019 - 1:14pm
Mark Hunter - Thank you, by golly, you got it.  I say thank you to my barber; I say thank you the store clerk when he or she hands me back my change.  Nothing wrong with a lot of comment courtesy.
Semper Fi
Liberal1 Added Jan 16, 2019 - 2:04pm
"Pardon me if I am reading too much into your comment but it sounds like you are still participating in some sort of PTSD therapy, with a younger crop of jarheads"
 
edinmountainview, you caught me, dude!  LOL   Even though I have been though the same group therapy over a half dozen times the shrinks keep asking me to come back again.  I'm still not sure if it is because they secretly think I need to or if it is because of the stated reason that it helps the younger guys see that a much higher ranking, career Marine suffers from the same issues they do (you never get over PTSD, you just learn how to deal with it better).
 
 
 
As for Mr. Napers, I think he has every right to say what he has.  Protecting his right of free speech is one of the multitude of reasons that most of us served our country and earned the "exorbitant" wages we received (and that's coming from a guy who was paid the princely sum of around $500 a month when I enlisted). 
 
In fact, I'd like to invite Mr. Napers to join me some morning so that he can express his "you don't deserve a thank you from anyone" views in front of our PTSD group.   
 
I especially hope he mentions the part about how annoyed he is about “public servants” (like the revered VA doctors, nurses and other medical practitioners who saved many of our lives) are thanked or treated as heroes.
 
Of course, most of the battle tempered, hard-ass soldiers and Marines who are present (most of which are big 'ol grunts with serious attitudes, except for two WMs who, frankly, are scarier than any of them) might wish to express their own right of free speech in a much more tangible way. 
 
I'm sure as a good libertarian Mr. Napers won't have any issues if several of them express their own "free will" by assisting him behind the building to discuss his beliefs further.  
edinmountainview Added Jan 16, 2019 - 3:29pm
Liberal1 - It doesn't surprise that you still go to the group meetings.  One could probably venture the thought that those therapy sessions were/are never really the "same."  I'm sure you, "most of the battle tempered, hard-ass soldiers and Marines who are present (most of which are big 'ol grunts with serious attitudes, except for two WMs who, frankly, are scarier than any of them)" and the doctor overseeing the group learn some new insight with each new person coming in.  I've been participated in a lot of groups, one-on-one, etc., it helps immensely to be able to just talk about it with other likeminded folks.  This is why I believe your statement holds so much truth:  "you never get over PTSD, you just learn how to deal with it better."
 
Crack me up about the WMs.  Hahahahahahahahahahaha!  And, for the history books -- I was paid a whopping $307 a month (Private, E-1) when I enlisted in January 1973.  Of course, that came with three hots, a cot and my M14.
Semper Fi
Ward Tipton Added Jan 16, 2019 - 3:56pm
The M14 is truly a marvelous piece of work ... but I still miss my M1 Garand as well ... probably more accurate to a limited degree ... as both were phenomenally accurate ... but the M14 was just beautiful. 
edinmountainview Added Jan 16, 2019 - 4:14pm
Ward - did you ever get that picture of you and the M-14 posted?  I priced one a few years back and it was over $1,200 - the guy said it had all the bells and whistles.  Bells and whistles?  Hell, just give me a couple of mags, point me in the direction of the target(s) and let me have at it with those iron sites.  
Semper Fi
edinmountainview Added Jan 16, 2019 - 4:33pm
In a moment you will read an excerpt of a comment I made and posted elsewhere in a response to ChetDude.  First, I would like to say that I have the highest respect for every branch of the United States military, especially the Coast Guard, believe it or not.  The type of work done by the Coast Guard just amazes me (to me they seem crazy to go out there in all that water and rough seas to save people, it's like dudes, you cannot fight Mother Nature - hahahahahhahahahaha!; but they do).  So with that said:
Quote:
The United States Marine is not cut from one cloth, we come from all walks of life, and there is a certain “esprit-de-corps” that can never be taken away from a Marine.  I sign off Semper Fi because I am proud to be an old Marine . . . not because I am proud to have served.  So yeah, if we did not have that title of United States Marine, we would probably not have too much else in common.  I don't know that one could classify old Marines as meaningless, if one day we would again become necessary.
Unquote
This is my personal feeling and why I sign off with
Semper Fi
Liberal1 Added Jan 16, 2019 - 5:15pm
edinmountainview, during my career (I was mostly in ANGLICO so we worked with a lot of military people from different countries) and getting to know a bunch of diverse people from different military branches via the VA, the true understanding of "esprit-de-corps" is unique to Marines. 
 
You see some of it with the Royal Marines and a bit of it in other elite units like the 82nd Airborne, but no one has the whole magilla like the veterans of the USMC do.  That old story about the Battle of Belleau Woods that goes, "100 Marines opened fired and 99 Germans dropped. The British were amazed, the French were astonished and the Marines... were still looking for that S.O.B. who missed."  is funny, but if also true IF you were a Marine.
 
So unless somebody occasionally says, "God bless Chesty, where ever he is", thinks Dan Daily was the most kick ass "smajge" in history and considers "Smedley" to be a great name for their first kid, they probably will never understand what every Marine feels when they see the "bird, ball and hook" waving free or why they stand a little taller when they hear this song:
 
Marine Corps Hymn 
edinmountainview Added Jan 16, 2019 - 5:37pm
Liberal1 - Damn!  Nicely put.  We're still looking for the guy that missed.  hahahahahahaha!
Semper Fi
Thomas Napers Added Jan 17, 2019 - 1:31am
I get the fact in the course of the day we say thank you to people that do stuff for us.  What you’re asking is for people to go out of their way to thank a cop, teacher or member of the military versus someone in another profession.  Commercial fishing is the most dangerous job there is, when’s the last time you thanked a fisherman? 
Mark Hunter Added Jan 17, 2019 - 2:04am
Edinmountainview, I once had a girlfriend break up with me because I was "too nice". You're not alone! But I'd always rather be too nice than not nice enough.
edinmountainview Added Jan 17, 2019 - 2:07am
Thomas Napers - Hahahahahahaha!  Point well taken; I have not thanked a fisherman for a long time, since my last fishing trip with my step father and he's been gone for a while now.   Thanks again for stopping by and commenting.
Semper Fi
edinmountainview Added Jan 17, 2019 - 2:09am
Mark Hunter - Thanks, I needed that and I agree with you 100%.
Semper Fi
Ward Tipton Added Jan 18, 2019 - 6:57pm
"Commercial fishing is the most dangerous job there is, when’s the last time you thanked a fisherman?"
 
The last time I was on a commercial fishing vessel working as one ... and hopefully again soon if the current negotiations go well. 
 
One of the worst ass whoopings I ever got from my dad was after I enlisted and he asked if I joined his corps ... and I replied "No Sir, I had an IQ so they would not let me join." Still reeling from that one. In truth, I did not join the corps for the same reason I turned down a patch with a well known Motorcycle Club I used to do security work for, as the patch is just too damn heavy. If some second louie in the army is trying to get you killed, "oops" is not exactly an uncommon expression. If my brother goes into the bar and starts a fight, as long as everyone else stays out, I remain neutral. In the corps and with the Bikers, you have to back your brother right or wrong. 
 
Another experience with the corps ... just moved to Virginia, living in a little log cabin off route one and was already drunk, ended up in a bar and ... got my arse whooped pretty good ... don't really remember as it was right up the street from my house and I was still walking so I figured I could still hold a drink or three more back in those days. Went back the next week, laid a twenty on the bar and said I was buying the first round regardless of who won, but somebody had chunked my arse and I wanted at least a chance to get that chunk back ... and would gladly buy the first round in return ... come to find out it was right off Quantico and owned by an old Gunny ... he actually would not let me buy any drinks after we settled our score that night ... sat around swapping stories and getting toasted after we got back in. After that, after a bad week, I would go on a Friday night ... they would draw straws and me and somebody would go out back and dance, loser always bought the first round after that ... and I bought a lot ... but not all the time ;) 
edinmountainview Added Jan 18, 2019 - 8:33pm
"No Sir, I had an IQ so they would not let me join." 
 
Hahahahahahahahaha!  I needed that laugh, thanks.  I have not really considered being a Marine as a heavy patch; although I can understand where you're coming from.  All of my fights, and like you I won some and came out the worst for wear in most, were one-on-one, not Marine against whoever, but one dude against another.  And, interestingly enough, these fights happened only when I was drinking heavy.  But yeah, if I saw a Marine getting beat down by more than one person, I would get involved, even at my age.  If I saw a Marine getting beat down by one guy in a fair fight, I might step in to stop it before too much major damage was done and declare a winner (which I have done before) because the loser would not quit. 
 
Imagine that, an old Gunny hanging around Quantico who likes to dance behind his bar.  
Semper Fi
edinmountainview Added Jan 18, 2019 - 9:01pm
Oh, and just one more thing, Sir (there's that Colombo coming out of me again).  I would like to extol the virtues of the East Bay Stand Down, or any Stand Down in your area, if you are interested in volunteering or donating, these folks are a worthy cause.
Semper Fi
Ward Tipton Added Jan 18, 2019 - 9:26pm
Not many in the Philippines I do not imagine. Though I am working on my own efforts. Like Dave, I seek to change the world ... though I do not see government so much a means to accomplish the change ... meaning it has most likely to be implemented among the indigenous and/or aboriginal tribes ... but still working on it. Unfortunately, it has bankrupted me and left me without an identity so far ... we will see what the future holds. In the meantime, I am still alive and still in the fight and as far as I am concerned, that may be a pathetic little victory ... but it still beats the hell out of any minor defeat. 
edinmountainview Added Jan 18, 2019 - 9:37pm
Probably not, Ward.  Any victory, even the "pathetic little" victory you speak of, is still a victory.  Well done.  
Semper Fi
edinmountainview Added Jan 19, 2019 - 7:15pm
I have reached out to East Bay Stand Down for information relating to my experience back in 1999.  Hopefully, one day I will be able to tell everyone the whole story, front and back.
Semper Fi

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