VFW Day 2023 is on Friday, September 29, 2023: What are your big plans for Veterans Day?

Friday, September 29, 2023 is VFW Day 2023. vfw-logo-high-res.jpg vfw-logo-high-res.jpg

What are your big plans for Veterans Day?

In preparation for Veterans day, I feel it only prudent to remind everybody what a Veteran is.

To all my fellow brothers and sisters that have served, are serving, and have made the ultimate sacrifice, I thank you. There is a price to pay for our freedom and I am proud of everyone of you that have paid the price. God Bless the USA!

Some veterans bear visible signs of their service: a missing limb, a jagged scar, a certain look in the eye.

Others may carry the evidence inside them: a pin holding a bone together, a piece of shrapnel in the leg - or perhaps another sort of inner steel: the soul's ally forged in the refinery of adversity.

Except in parades, however, the men and women who have kept America safe wear no badge or emblem.

You can't tell a veteran just by looking.

What is a veteran?

He is the cop on the beat who spent six months in Saudi Arabia sweating two gallons a day making sure the armored personnel carriers didn't run out of fuel.

He is the barroom loudmouth, dumber than five wooden planks, whose overgrown frat-boy behavior is out weighed a hundred times in the cosmic scales by four hours of exquisite bravery near the 38th parallel.

She - or he - is the nurse who fought against futility and went to sleep sobbing every night for two solid years in Da Nang.

He is the POW who went away one person and came back another - or didn't come back AT ALL.

He is the Marine Corps drill instructor who has never seen combat - but has saved countless lives by turning slouchy, no-account rednecks and gang members into Marines, and teaching them to watch each other's backs.

He is the parade-riding Legionnaire who pins on his ribbons and medals with a prosthetic hand.

He is the career quartermaster who watches the ribbons and medals pass him by.

He is your next-door neighbor, who endured fierce door-to-door fighting in Fallujah only to see his best friend blown up by a terrorist carbomb while returning from patrol.

He is the three anonymous heroes in The Tomb Of the Unknowns, whose presence at the Arlington National Cemetery must forever preserve the memory of all the anonymous heroes whose valor dies unrecognized with them on the battlefield or in the ocean's sunless deep.

He is the old guy bagging groceries at the supermarket - palsied now and aggravatingly slow - who helped liberate a Nazi death camp and who wishes all day long that his wife were still alive to hold him when the nightmares come.

He is an ordinary and yet an extraordinary human being - a person who offered some of his life's most vital years in the service of his country, and who sacrificed his ambitions so others would not have to sacrifice theirs.

He is a soldier and savior and sword against the darkness, and he is nothing more that the finest, greatest testimony on behalf of the finest, greatest nation ever known.

So remember, each time you see someone who has served our country, just lean over and say Thank You. That's all most people need, and in most cases it will mean more than any medals they could have been awarded or were awarded.

Two little words that mean a lot, "THANK YOU".

Remember Veterans Day and Memorial Day,

"It is the soldier, not the reporter, Who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the soldier, not the poet, Who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, Who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.

It is the soldier, Who salutes the flag, Who serves beneath the flag, And whose coffin is draped by the flag, Who allows the protester to burn the flag."

Remembrance day poppy help?

Remembrance day poppy help?

Check with your local VFW to make sure it's okay to put a poppy on a US uniform.

And if it is, then by all means go for it.

It's not disrespectful to Canadians, by any means. (I'm Canadian, I come from a military family and I checked with all my relatives who're Veterans.)

Now please indulge me for a bit. I'm going to ramble, then get to a very important point.

"Holiday" really isn't the best word to describe Remembrance Day here in Canada.

Think of it more like an annual, national funeral service: A day of mourning and sombre reflection when we Canadians solemnly & formally honour our Fallen and the sacrifices of our Veterans.

Plus a Canadian wrote what's arguably the world's most influential war poem, "In Flanders Fields".

Every school kid up here learns it, and every citizen recognizes it immediately:

"In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved, and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders Fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders Fields."

The author, Lt. Colonel John MacCrae, didn't survive the war. But that poem is eternal.

The way I was raised, I take not breaking faith as a personal responsibility.

Judging by the size of the crowd I was surrounded by at the Remembrance Day services I attended this morning - in pouring rain that turned to sleet then to snow - I'm hardly alone in that.

And it was a scene repeated in every town and city nationwide: Crowds enduring nature's wrath because we have to.

We have to because those who forget the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them and we sure as hell never want to repeat the horrors & heartbreak that resulted all the times others forgot:

"during those 96 days the Canadian Corps' four over-strength or 'heavy' divisions of roughly 100 000 men, engaged and defeated or put to flight elements of forty-seven German divisions, which represented one quarter of the German forces faced by the Allied Powers fighting on the Western Front."

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And all this too:

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That's why we make such a huge deal out of Remembrance.

And not just on Remembrance Day, but whenever Canada goes to war:

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I'm sorry for rambling on about this stuff, but the more you know the better you'll understand it.

And if you can truly understand, you'll understand how sincerely I mean (and how deeply I feel) what I'm about to say next:

"Honour" is just a word to those without any. So is "Decency" and "Humanity".

The fact you wish to honour all those for whom the bugles play Last Post on Remembrance Day in nations around the world and Veteran's Day there in the US proves you have all three, in spades.

I don't know you, but I know you were clearly born right and raised right.

Whether you realize it or not, you've caught that torch and are holding it high.

Know it, because you've proved it by your actions.

Know too that you've just been saluted by 7 former and present members of the Canadian Armed Forces:

One WW2 Veteran, one Korean War Veteran (my father, who fought at Kapyong), one Medak Veteran, and four Veterans of the Afghan War.

And your simple gesture of respect will never be forgotten. I'll personally make sure nobody in my family forgets the day one of our American neighbours stepped up and proved everything that's good and right about the United States of America.

God bless you, God bless America, and God bless all those who've fought and are fighting to make this world a better place.

Lest We Forget.

valentines day wedding!?

valentines day wedding!?

Congratulations.

This is such a special day for a lot of couples, but any day is a special day for your wedding. I eloped on Valentine's Day and then regretted it every year, not the marriage just the day to celebrate on. You have a harder time getting restaurant reservations, flowers and roses end up more than triple in price, other gifts cost more than the rest of the year. Had I known the market mark up , I might have seriously waited a week or two.

You should book now if at all possible. One thing about it you will be able to find all sorts of decorations, types of favors, along with other wedding needs. Book as early as possible any vendors to assure the saved date now. Keep in touch with each vendor every two or three months, I receive sad stories of vendors over booking especially on memorable days. Keep your name in their minds and don't let them do this to you.

I have no idea what is needed for the classes, talk with the minister of the church if they will go over what the classes consist of to put you at ease.

Best of Luck

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