Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day 2009

As we gather across the country today for our BBQ's, watch the Nascar race, have a few cold ones that is notthe real reason for this holiday.

Let us not forget the heroes of our past, that who served in the Military; those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.We all signed that blank check made out to our country: Payable with our life. Many had their checks cashed in full,others were wounded and maimed, held as Prisoners of War or are Missing In Action.

We as a nation must stop and consider, think of what happened and what might have happened if it were notfor the brave and dedicated men and women who served in the military of the United States.

It matters not if we were volunteer or draftees, we were there around the world. We stood up and were countedamong the best in the world. We were far from our loved ones, in places that were harsh and dangerous. Wedid our job and were proud. We were there becaue of our love of country, our fellow mankind.

Many of us came home to an uncaring and hard, unforgiving public in general. Many were mistreated anddisrespected as veterans. From WW ii to Vietnam and beyond a veterans place in life was not alwaysthe best. Even today these veterans do not get the care they deserve. The care they were promissed.

PTSD is a big issue, Cold War Veterans are for the most part ignored, told they do not qualify for VA care; noteligible for the benefits we were told we could receive. Today's veterans may be getting a little morehelp, but it is not enough. Long wait times, having to travel long distances only to be told "come backnext month"; is this right? Is this fair? Is this the proper way to show respect to our vetreans? No. No. No.

Yes there are Veteran Service Organizations that do offer some help, but guess what? Not everyone canjoin these vaunted groups. We still find that we are turned away, denied even the fellowship of thesegroups.

It is time for all these VSO to join forces and become as one, fighting for the rights of ALL Veterans It istime for this nation to say "no more", "you earned these rights", "Welcome Home Brave and Vailent Servent".We should never be of the mindset "my war was better than your war". We all fought for freedom, sweated,bled, gave our all; and we shoud be joined together as Brothers and Sisters In Arms for all time.

I could use this time to draw attention to the Cold War Veterans around the world, who are truely ignoredand dishonored; but I prefer to say that "We must remember and learn the lessons from the past, andnot let them be repeated."

The Byrds had a hit record that I feel we should all take to heart. It was part of the "hippie" "anti-war era"but the meaning is clear even today.

Words-adapted from The Bible, book of EcclesiastesMusic-Pete Seeger
To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time to build up,a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time of love, a time of hate
A time of war, a time of peace
A time you may embrace, a time to refrain from embracing

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time for love, a time for hate
A time for peace, I swear it's not too late

So many other songs of that time period spoke the same type of care and loving. Some were a little harshand demanding; some even demeaning to our Armed Forces, but they spoke out. It seems today that no onereally wants to speak the truth. War is hell, war sucks, war is crazy. No person should have to go througthis again.

Wear your medals with pride, salute the flag as it passes in the pradade or when the National Antherm isplayed. Be proud, stand tall, smile and say Yes I Am A Vet and proud to be one.

May you all have a safe and happy Memorial day, and pay respects to all. Pray that our troops will somecome home safe and sound, and soon. Pray to what ever God or Supreme Being you believe in for us all,our country and our President.

God Bless us all.

Jerald Terwilliger
Vice Chairman
American Cold War Veterans, Inc.
"We Remember"