Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day

I am the first person in my branch of the Flora family to wear a military uniform, going back seven generations to Europe in the 1600s.
My dad was rejected by the U.S. Army after Pearl Harbor in 1941 because he waslacklandcap2 31 years old and had a heart murmur. His father and his father’s father, and so on, all the way back to Switzerland, were non-violent protestants/German Baptist/Amish/Dunkards.
I enlisted in the U.S. Air Force on Sept. 22, 1965 and spent just 41 days in uniform before I received a medical discharge for allergies.
Some guys might parlay that into a claim to be a “Vietnam Era Veteran” but I make no such pretense. As far as I’m concerned, I went to a government-sponsored fitness camp for 41 days where I got free food, clothes, shelter and a haircut and even got paid $21 a month for my trouble.
In fact, I feel embarrassed every year when Veterans Day rolls around because I was excused from the horrors that so many of my generation endured in Vietnam.
They and all of the others who did the real work of soldiering for our country should be honored every day of the year.
So on this Veterans Day, I offer my deepest thanks to everyone who has taken this oath and served:
I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

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