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 Texas : Features : Columns : Lone Star Diary :

A time to honor our military veterans

by Murray Montgomery
Murray Montgomery

It is right and praiseworthy that we have a special day to honor veterans of our nation’s armed forces. While Memorial Day is a tribute to all those who have died in action, Veterans Day honors all those who have served in the military – living and dead.

The younger group of today’s citizens may not realize just how important it is that our soldiers be honored for their service to this country. Unless they have been individually touched by our ongoing war against terror, many people cannot seem to comprehend that this country is in a battle for survival against a cold, ruthless enemy who has absolutely no regard for human life.

Let there be no doubt that this war is going to go on for a very long time and the enemy will continue to come after us regardless of which political party is in control of the government.

This enemy hates us because of our religious beliefs and way of life. We did not start this war but we sure better finish it for the sake of the generations of Americans to come.

It is important to remember that the men and women wearing the uniform are the ones who have volunteered to fight this brutal enemy while protecting the folks here on the home front. And in my opinion when a slimy politician or a so-called movie star decides to degrade our troops and call them “uneducated,” we should respond with our vote and by choosing where we spend our money for entertainment.

During World War II a group of Americans who have come to be known as “the greatest generation” saved this country and the entire world from the likes of Hitler and Japan. It’s hard to imagine what our living conditions would be like today had this courageous group not answered the call. When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, they awoke the sleeping giant and their fate was sealed.

In the early part of the 1950s young soldiers froze in the brutal cold of Korea fighting against communist aggression. War was never officially declared and the conflict was called a police action. Nearly 1.8 million Americans served in Korea, of that number 54,200 were killed, 103,300 were wounded, and 8,200 missing in action.

Korea has since been called the “forgotten war” and those who fought there have never received the recognition due them.

From about 1960 through 1973 the United States was embroiled in the Vietnam War. Many people in this country opposed the conflict and participated in demonstrations which included burning the flag. Rather than be drafted a number of young Americans fled to Canada to await the war’s end. Returning soldiers from Vietnam were spit upon and called “baby killers.” Military personnel would often remove their uniforms to avoid confrontations with civilians.

But one thing should never be forgotten – when their country called the soldiers responded and did their duty. According to one source 58,239 were killed in action, 128,000 were wounded, and 14,000 were listed as missing in action.

It has been said that American soldiers in Vietnam never lost a face-to-face battle with the enemy and if the politicians had not placed restrictions on them; there is no doubt in my mind that they would have won the war as well.

Today we have Americans fighting and dying in the Middle East and other places around the world. They have volunteered to serve their country and protect those of us here at home. Our troops are the finest the world has ever seen and they are doing a remarkable job.

People who think it’s somewhat politically correct to criticize our troops and call them dumb for serving their country had better wake up. Because without the military there wouldn’t be a country – and there wouldn’t be a Hollywood, movie stars, and arrogant politicians – none of them being worthy enough to polish the boots of a soldier.

© Murray Montgomery
Lone Star Diary
November 9, 2007 Column

Related Topics: World War I | World War II |
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