Archive for 31 May 2010

Another Veteran tells us what it’s like as a Veteran on Memorial Day. As a Veteran myself, it is probably the hardest day for me to deal with.

What Memorial Day Means to a Veteran
By T.J. Woodard

When I was a young seven-year-old, I noticed my neighbor’s mother crying. I learned that her brother-in-law, a helicopter pilot, had been killed in Vietnam. I felt bad about it, but to me, it was just a story.

When I was a high school student, my Uncle Bob, a police lieutenant, sat in our living room and told us of a police officer who had been killed in the line of duty. I remember Uncle Bob sitting there, wiping tears from his eyes as he explained the officer’s actions that day. Uncle Bob was on the scene and was about to take command when the shooting occurred. “It was a hell of a brave thing he did,” my uncle reported. Uncle Bob’s story was of valor and sacrifice, but still only a story to me.

Sacrifice became real for me many years later in Iraq. I was the executive officer (second in command) of a newly formed task force — Task Force Tacoma. We had the mission of preventing mortar attacks on the largest American air base in the country, the security “outside the wire” for 20,000 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and civilians. It was a difficult mission. The area was known as “mortaritaville” because of the constant threat of attack by rocket and mortar fire.

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In loving memory of Major Douglas A. LaBouff, KIA 7 January, 2007 in Iraq. You will not be forgotten my friend.

And to all the other heroes our country has lost in wars past and present.

I salute you.

Stole the following from Ace:

“It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they have, thus far, so nobly carried on. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us – that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion – that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom; and that this government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

God rest their souls…