He is the cop on the beat who spent
six months in Saudi Arabia sweating two gallons a day making
sure the armored personnel carrier didn't run out of fuel.
He is the barroom loudmouth
whose behavior is outweighed in the cosmic scales by four hours
of unparalleled bravery near the 38th Parallel in Korea.
She is the nurse who fought against futility in DaNang and went
to sleep sobbing every night for two solid years.
He is the POW who left one
person and came back another.
He is the drill instructor who has never been in combat, but has
saved countless lives by turning no-accounts into Marines.
He is the parade-riding
legionnaire who pins on his ribbons and medals with a prosthetic
He is the white-haired guy bagging groceries at the supermarket,
aggravatingly slow, who helped liberate a Nazi death camp.
A vet is an ordinary and
extraordinary human being — someone who offered his life's vital
years in the service of his country.
He is a soldier and a
savior and a sword against the darkness, and nothing more than
the finest, greatest testimony on behalf of the finest, greatest
nation ever known. We will never be able to repay the debt of
gratitude we owe.