– source Elijah Murphy –
My life was late nights and early mornings, physical exhaustion and boredom, my life was hurry up and wait. My days were broiling heat, my nights freezing cold. I lived in pouring rain, freezing snow and stifling humidity. Dust, sand and mud were my bed, my pillow a rucksack, butt pack or helmet. My feet toughened by thousands of miles of roads, paths, trails and fields trod. My back made strong and wide by days upon weeks upon years of carrying my rucksack just one more click. My youth spent learning my craft, sharpening my will and hardening my body for whatever was asked of me. Taught by men who had been taught by men who had hit the beach, held that hill or leapt from that airplane. My teacher’s lessons collected by experiences written in blood, sweat and tears. My classroom was the forest, the jungle, the desert and the mountain. My certificate a colorful ribbon, a shiny badge and those stripes. My traditions are ageless, my heritage stretches back centuries, I descended from giants and am proud to be counted as one of them. My youth was spent in service to my country, my youth was spent with my brothers and sisters I served with, my youth was not misspent.
I salute all of you who served. As we approach Veterans Day let us look back and remember those we served with and also look forward and thank those that still serve. God bless you all. AND that Funny Floppy Green Hat. DOL