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> The Best
> Definition of a Veteran I have ever heard-
>
>
>
> "A veteran is
> someone who, at one point in his life wrote a blank check Made payable

> to "The United States of America" for an amount of "up to and
> including my life". That is Honor, and there are way too many people
> in This country who no longer understand it.
>
>
>
>
>
>
> I just wanted
> to get the day over with and........... go down to Smokey's for a few
> cold ones. Sneaking a look at my watch, I saw the time, 1655. Five
> minutes to go before the cemetery gates are closed for the day. Full
> dress was hot in the August sun.
> Oklahoma summertime was as bad as ever -- the heat and humidity at the

> same level -- both too high.
>
>
>
>
> I saw the car
> pull into the drive, '69 or '70 model Cadillac Deville, looked
> factory-new. It pulled into the parking lot at a snail's pace.
> An old woman got out so low I thought she was paralyzed. She
> had a cane and a sheaf of flowers, about four or five bunches
> as best I could tell.
>
>
>
> I couldn't help
> myself. The thought came unwanted, and left a slightly bitter
> taste: 'She's going to spend an hour, and for this old
> soldier...my hip hurts like hell and I'm ready to get out of
> here right now!' But for this day my duty was to assist anyone
> coming in. Kevin would lock the 'In' gate and if.... I could
> just hurry the old biddy along, we might make the last half of
> happy hour at Smokey's. I broke Post Attention. My hip made
> gritty noises when I took the first step and the pain went up
> a notch. I must have made a real military sight; middle-aged
> man with a small pot-gut and half a limp, in Marine Full Dress
> Uniform, which had lost its razor crease about 30 minutes
> after I began the watch...at the cemetery.
>
>
>
>
> I stopped in
> front of her, halfway up the walk. She looked up at me with an
> old woman's squint. 'Ma'am may I assist you in any way?' She
> took long enough to answer. 'Yes, son. Can you carry these
> flowers? I seem to be moving a tad slow these
> days.'
>
>
>
> 'My pleasure
> Ma'am.' Well, it wasn't too much of a lie.
>
>
>
>
> She looked
> again. 'Marine, where were you stationed?' ' Vietnam , Ma'am.
> Ground-pounder. '69 to '71.'
>
>
>
>
> She looked at
> me closer. 'Wounded in action, I see. Well done, Marine,
> I'll be as quick as I can.'
>
>
>
>
> I lied a little
> bigger, 'No hurry, Ma'am.'
>
>
>
>
> She
> smiled............ and winked at me. 'Son, I'm 85-years old
> and I can tell a lie from a long way off. Let's get this done,
> might be the last time I can do this. My name's Joanne
> Wieserman, and I've a few Marines I'd like to see one more
> time.'
>
>
>
> 'Yes, Ma'am, At
> your service.'
>
>
>
> She headed
> for the World War I section, stopping at a stone. She picked
> one of the bunches out of my arm and laid it on top of the
> stone. She murmured something I couldn't quite make
> out.
>
>
>
> The name on the
> marble was; Donald S. Davidson, USMC, France 1918. She turned
> away and made a straight line for the World War II section,
> stopping at one stone. I saw a tear slowly tracking its way
> down her cheek. She put a bunch on a stone; the name was;
> Stephen X. Davidson, USMC, 1943. She went up the row a ways
> and laid another bunch on a stone; Stanley J. Wieserman, USMC,
> 1944. She paused for a second, 'Two more, son, and we'll be
> done'
>
>
>
> I almost didn't
> say anything, but, 'Yes, Ma'am, Take your time.'
>
>
>
>
> She looked
> confused. 'Where's the Vietnam section, son? I seem to have
> lost my way.' I pointed with my chin. 'That way, Ma'am.' 'Oh!'
> she chuckled quietly. 'Son, me and old age ain't too
> friendly.' She headed down the walk I'd pointed at. She
> stopped at a couple of stones before she found the ones she
> wanted.
>
>
>
> She placed a
> bunch on Larry Wieserman, USMC, 1968, and the last one on
> Darrel Wieserman, USMC, 1970. She stood there and murmured a
> few words...... I still couldn't make out.
>
>
>
>
> 'OK, son, I'm
> finished. Get me back to my car and you can go
> home.'
>
>
>
> 'Yes, Ma'am. If
> I may ask, were those your kinfolk?'
>
>
>
>
> She paused.
> 'Yes, Donald Davidson was my father; Stephen was my uncle;
> Stanley was my husband; Larry and Darrel were our sons. All
> killed in action, all Marines.' She stopped, whether she had
> finished, or couldn't finish, I just don't know.
>
>
>
>
> She made her
> way to her car, slowly, and painfully.
>
>
>
>
> I waited for a
> polite distance to come between us....... and then
> double-timed it over to Kevin waiting by the car. 'Get to the
> 'Out'-gate QUICK!, I have something I've JUST got to do.'
> Kevin started to say something, but saw the look I gave him.
> He broke the rules to get us there down the service road. We
> beat her.
>
>
>
> She hadn't made
> it around the rotunda yet.
>
>
>
>
> 'Kevin..........
> stand to attention next to the gate post. Follow my lead.' I
> humped it across the drive to the other post.
>
>
>
>
> When the
> Cadillac came puttering around from the hedges and began the
> short straight traverse to the gate, I called in my best
> gunny's voice: 'TehenHut! Present Haaaarms!' I have to hand it
> to Kevin, he never blinked an eye; full dress attention
> and a salute that would make his DI proud.
>
>
>
>
> She drove
> through that gate with two old worn-out soldiers giving her a
> send off she deserved, for service rendered to her country,
> and for knowing Duty, Honor and Sacrifice
>
>
>
>
> I am not quite
> sure, but I think I saw............ a BIG salute returned from
> that Cadillac!
>
>
>
> Instead of 'The
> End'.... just think of 'Taps'. Please let me share a favorite
> prayer: 'Lord, keep our servicemen and women safe, whether
> they serve at home or overseas. Hold them in Your loving hands
> and protect them as they protect us.'
>
>
>
>
> Let's all keep
> those currently serving and those who have gone before, in our
> thoughts. They are the reason for the many freedoms we
> enjoy.
>
>
>
> 'In God We
> Trust!'
>
>
>
> Sorry about
> your monitor, it made mine blurry too!
>
>
>
>
> I'm sure you
> might want to pass this one along to a few friends.
> Semper Fi,
>
 

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Thank you for posting that. We all need to remember to thank our veterans. Not just tomorrow.....
 
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