A Tale Of Two Veterans Days


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Veterans Day at Sea — 2016

We were on a trans-Atlantic cruise somewhere off the coast of Portugal on the Royal Caribbean ship “Jewel Of The Seas”.
At 11:00 AM, the cruise director assembled the ships officers in the Centrum and they conducted an amazing and wonderful Veterans Day celebration for all veterans present on the ship — truly a moving and emotional event for all.

The celebration included veterans from all countries represented — I met a Norwegian soldier who served in Bosnia and Afghanistan.
Most of us appeared to be US veterans of Vietnam, but I did meet a few Korean War veterans.

In talking with some of these guys in the following days, we were all greatly blessed by the celebration put on by the ship. We were called to stand in front of the senior officers and were presented by these officers a medal, which was prominent around many necks for the remainder of the day.

A common comment from the Vietnam vets was along the lines of “this was sure a lot different than what I got when I came home!”
You may not know this, but the “Thank you for your service” which is common place today, was unheard of when these guys returned home from Vietnam. They were vilified — called baby killers and other vile names — and spit upon on many occasions. I didn’t receive such treatment, probably because I came home in 1966, early in the war. So this celebration, I believe, was greatly welcomed by most, if not all, present out there in the mid-Atlantic.
And the wives also appreciated it vey much.

Click on the images below to see the video of this celebration.

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Now to Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. for a different kind of Veterans Day. (click on the image below)

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When I was about the same age as these Hampshire college snowflakes, attending a Navy school, I distinctly remember commenting to my buddies “I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it!” — and there was general agreement with what I said.
These Hampshire students – useful idiots as Stalin would call them – are indeed manipulated idiots, but we sailors meant what we said that night in 1965, and shortly thereafter we all were deployed to a war zone and were faced with living up to those words.

 

Don Johnson – November 2016 

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