A Pair Of Aces

Re-Posted From The TexasFred Blog

Veteran to Veteran And A Bit More

When a Veteran leaves the ‘job’ and retires to a better life, many are jealous, some are pleased, and others, who may have already retired, wonder if he knows what he is leaving behind, because we already know.

1. We know, for example, that after a lifetime of camaraderie that few experience, it will remain as a longing for those past times.

2. We know in the Military life there is a fellowship which lasts long after the uniforms are hung up in the back of the closet.

3. We know even if he throws them away, they will be on him with every step and breath that remains in his life. We also know how the very bearing of the man speaks of what he was and in his heart still is.

These are the burdens of the job. You will still look at people suspiciously, still see what others do not see or choose to ignore and always will look at the rest of the Military world with a respect for what they do; only grown in a lifetime of knowing.

Never think for one moment you are escaping from that life. You are only escaping the ‘job’ and merely being allowed to leave ‘active’ duty.

So what I wish for you is that whenever you ease into retirement, in your heart you never forget for one moment that you are still a member of the greatest fraternity the world has ever known.

NOW… Civilian Friends vs. Veteran Friends Comparisons:

CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Get upset if you’re too busy to talk to them for a week.

VETERAN FRIENDS: Are glad to see you after years, and will happily carry on the same conversation you were having the last time you met.
CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Have never seen you cry.

VETERAN FRIENDS: Have cried with you.
CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Keep your stuff so long they forget it’s yours.

VETERAN FRIENDS: Borrow your stuff for a few days then give it back.
CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Know a few things about you.

VETERAN FRIENDS: Could write a book with direct quotes from you.
CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Will leave you behind if that’s what the crowd is doing.

VETERAN FRIENDS: Will stand by you no matter what the crowd does.
CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Are for a while.

VETERAN FRIENDS: Are for life.
CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Have shared a few experiences…

VETERAN FRIENDS: Have shared a lifetime of experiences no citizen could ever dream of…
CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Will take your drink away when they think you’ve had enough.

VETERAN FRIENDS: Will look at you stumbling all over the place and say, ‘You better drink the rest of that before you spill it!’ Then carry you home safely and put you to bed…
CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Will ignore this.

VETERAN FRIENDS: Will forward this.
A veteran – whether active duty, retired, served one hitch, or reserve is someone who, at one point in their life, wrote a blank check made payable to ‘The Government of the United States of America ‘ for an amount of ‘up to and including my life’.

From one Veteran to another, it’s an honor to be in your company.

Thank you for your service to our country and for defending the freedoms we enjoy. […]

Read the rest at TexasFred’s


And this excellent essay from Voting American:

I grew up in the 50’s/60’s with practical parents. A mother, God love her, who washed aluminum foil after she cooked in it, then reused it.. She was the original recycle queen, before they had a Name for it… A father who was happier getting old shoes fixed than buying new ones. 

Their marriage was good, their dreams focused Their best friends lived barely a wave away. I can see them now, Dad in trousers, tee shirt and a hat, and Mom in a house dress, broom in one hand and dish-towel in the other. It was the time for fixing things. A curtain rod, the kitchen radio, screen door, the oven door, the hem in a dress, things we keep..

It was a way of life, and sometimes it made me crazy. All that re-fixing, eating, renewing, I wanted just once to be wasteful.. Waste meant affluence. Throwing things away meant you knew there’d always be more.

But then my mother died, and on that clear summer’s night, in the warmth of the hospital room, I was struck with the pain of learning that sometimes there isn’t any more.

Sometimes, what we care about most gets all used up and goes away.. never to return. So… While we have it.. it’s best we love it… And care for it…. And fix it when it’s broken…. And heal it when it’s sick.

This is true… For marriage…. And old cars… And children with bad report cards….. Dogs and cats with bad hips…. And aging parents……. And grandparents. We keep them because they are worth it, because we are worth it. Some things we keep. Like a best friend that moved away or a classmate we grew up with.

There are just some things that make life important, like people we know who are special….. And so, we keep them close!

About Bob Mack

Retired since 2003. Military Service: U.S. Army, 36th Artillery Group, Babenhausen, Germany 1966-67; 1st Signal Brigade, Republic of Vietnam, 1967-68 Attended University of Miami, 1969-73
This entry was posted in Opinion, Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to A Pair Of Aces

  1. TexasFred says:

    Thank you Sir! Much appreciated!

    • Bob Mack says:

      Thanks to you for posting it in the first place, Fred. In October, it’ll be 43 years since I rotated stateside (or CONUS, as they called it in the acronym-happy military) & signed my separation papers at Ft. Lewis. Not a day has gone by since that I haven’t remembered the people, places, and things that I experienced during my nearly 36 months of active duty.

  2. Pingback: Webtoric.com

  3. arlenearmy says:

    Great posting.

    When ETS I drove past front gate & suddenly had a lost feeling. It hit me hard when I looked back.

    • Bob Mack says:

      Hi Arlene. During basic, I remember thinking, “How am I gonna deal with 3 years of this? 36 months later it became, “I don’t know if I’m gonna be able to adjust to life as a civilian.”

  4. Ike Jakson says:

    Hi Bob

    Thanks for this one. I am not a veteran of War and I am pleased that I never had to fight in any Wars because we were not involved in any at my time but I can relate to it because of the way we grew up; we are kind of Veterans of Time.

    The essay from Voting American brought a lump in my throat. It was like the guy was talking about us. I was born August 1940 thus suppose I grew up in the 40’s and 50’s when basic home education consisted of respect for the aged and for authority. In Small Town South Africa at that time authority was the Schoolmaster, the Postmaster, the Minister and the Head Constable, plus everyone older than you. Father and Mother taught us that by showing their respect for those older than them.

    I save some special Posts in MSWord format; this one has been done and archived. I do it with special ones because then I can re-read it any time off line and just set the zoom up with one click to compensate for my eyesight.

    Thanks my Friend, and a special thank you to Voting American. God bless America of the 50 States.

  5. samiam60 says:

    Good Morning Bob, Arlene, Texas Fred and Ike 😀

    It is a Great morning to be an American. We are doing what we do best, Fighting for Freedom. This time around, we are fighting for our own Freedom in Our Own Country. Our Parents perhaps would not have believed we would see this day come to America.

    This is a great post for all of us in so many ways. Veteran and non-Veteran alike because together We are all Americans.

    Bob, all I can say is Thank you and not just for this post but for the advice of a couple of days ago.

    God Bless the United States of America and God Bless each and everyone of you.

  6. Pingback: Memory Lane « Ike Jakson’s Blog

  7. As I mentioned over at Texas Fred’s post, Mr. AOW and I really love our veteran friends.

  8. AFVET says:

    Outstanding Post Bob.
    I still have my uniforms, in the back of the closet.
    When I look at them from time to time, I see the faces and hear the voices of the guys and gals I served with.
    The experience we had will be something that the people who never took the oath will never understand.
    It does not matter what branch we served in, or how long.
    We were and are all brothers and sisters in the fight.

    The fight is not finished.
    An internal threat to our beloved country exists even now.
    We will not sleep while our country is in jeopardy.
    Even the ones who have passed are relying on us to hold our standard high.

    We will not fail them.

  9. AFVET alerted me that I shouldn’t miss this post. He was right. The TexasFred stuff about veterans brought to mind a retirement ceremony I attended. It really is emotional. But usually, you do have to have either served or have a spouse that served to really get it.

    Me and hubs, we laugh gently about some of our family members who love us dearly, but just don’t understand what it’s like. I don’t want to think about the day when we leave the active military community. After 12 years it’s hard to imagine.

    But I know that I’ll miss it.

    • AFVET says:

      “we laugh gently”.
      I have also laughed under my breath at comments from inexperienced individuals, especially young people that can run a blackberry and hence have a grasp on life.

      You will miss it.

    • Bob Mack says:

      I just mentioned to an old friend and fellow vet the other day that I never really feel comfortable talking to non-veterans. Too many references go over their heads, too many hardships (minor & major) they’ve never experienced. So they live in a kind of fantasy land and elect people like Obama. There’s a reason Democrats are always late getting ballots out to the troops.

      • arlenearmy says:

        I also notice that dems purposely send ballots late to active duty. Democrats have never been on right side of vets & military.

        Hate to say this, but when dems try to inject gays in military , they do it cuz they military personnel can’t openly complain. When they get gays comfortably situated in our military, they will revisit the boyscout situation.

        Btw, ever notice that dems will not inject gays into NFL. I’m not talking about gays being cheer leaders.

        • Bob Mack says:

          I think the ill-considered repeal of DADT is going to eventually lead to a reinstatement of the draft. Once the PC police start to re-regulate the services to accommodate the gay minority , there’s going to be an inevitable exodus, and a simultaneous purging of those who offer their less than enthusiastic support. Basic Training then Advanced Sensitivity Training? No GI is going to stand for that unless they’re forced. And when the ranks begin to thin, the government will have no choice but to make up the shortfall in other ways.

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