Randy E. Richmond
VETERANS’ DAY, 2005
As I sit here today to assemble the words to convey my best wishes to my brothers and sisters for this approaching Vets’ Day, it is also on my mind that the numbers in our community of vets, Vietnam vets in particular, seem to have grown… a lot. In fact, according to some of the numbers I’ve seen, have more than doubled from the somewhat less than three million that served in Vietnam… unbelievable… and sad.
Call those additions to our ranks what you will… wannabes… phonies… whatever. How can that be? What could have changed so much from the first twenty years after the end of that war to the present? My recollection of those years is such that if a generic wannabe had a wish list, a Vietnam veteran wouldn’t have made the first cut!
I guess their reasons, at least for today and for my purpose here, really don’t matter much. I just wanted to take the opportunity to let them read my words here in advance of any Vets’ Day wishes that may be offered them this Friday the 11th and to say this… They may hold but never own what they have stolen. They may grasp and cling with fingernails to the fringes of the circle, but will never… can never… bond with it.
In our hearts and minds, today and when we’ve joined together on the parade ground in front of God’s throne, these thieves will be brushed from the shoulders of the heroes who head our ranks like so much dandruff… unsightly, distasteful… and useless.
Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, to all of my brother and sister veterans everywhere in our shrinking world, have a wonderful and blessed Veterans’ Day and thank you each and every one!
God bless and hold too our newest veterans who today remain in harm’s way… keep their heads down, their eyes open, and their chins up.
©Copyright November 9, 2005 by Randy E. Richmond