Friday, November 11, 2011

Tribute to Veterans

by Bill Doughty
CNO Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert delivers Veterans Day remarks. 
(U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Jacob Sippel)
Veterans are being honored today from coast to coast and around the world.  Today, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert delivered remarks at Madison Square Park during the New York City Veterans Day parade opening ceremony.  This year the Navy is the parade’s featured service.
In San Diego, the Navy hosted a history-making sports event aboard a historic aircraft carrier.  More about that in a moment.
Last year Navy Reads reflected on Veterans Day and Sailors who transited both the Atlantic and Pacific.  The context was Tom Ashbrook’s On Point radio interview with Commander, U.S. Pacific Command Adm. Willard and Simon Winchester, author of Atlantic. We also discussed a special radio interview with veterans, including a conversation with former Command Master Chief Jim Taylor, Pearl Harbor Survivor Liaison for Commander, Navy Region Hawaii.
Since then we’ve featured other posts of interest to veterans.
In “Faith, Fear and Tom Hanks” I reprinted some of Hanks’s remarks at a commencement address at Yale, including his challenge to the college graduates about veterans, especially wounded warriors, returning from Iraq, Afghanistan and other deployments.  His words are worth reposting today:
"Whatever your opinion of the wars, you can imprint the very next pages of the history of our troubled world by reinforcing faith in those returning veterans," Hanks told the seniors. "Allowing them rest, aiding in their recovery ... empathizing with the new journey they are starting even though we will never fully understand the journey they just completed, even though we will never understand what they endured. We will all define the true nature of our American identity not by the parades and the welcome-home parties, but how we match their service with service of our own."
Over the past year I reviewed Army veteran Wes Moore’s remarkable book, The Other Wes Moore.  Moore talked about the key that unlocked his passion for education, his mother’s encouragement to read Mitch Albom’s Fab Five, a book about the Michigan University college basketball team.  Moore writes: 
I was riveted by that book.  The characters jumped off the page, and I felt myself as engulfed in their destiny as I was in my own.  I finished Fab Five in two days.  The book itself wasn’t what was important -- in retrospect, I see that it was a great read but hardly a work of great literature -- but my mother used it as a hook into a deeper lesson: that the written word isn’t necessarily a chore but can be a window into new worlds.
Navy veteran Nancy Harrity guest-reviewed two windows into new worlds of strategic thinking, Seven Deadly Scenarios and Power RulesAlways insightful and thought-provoking, Nancy has a new review on the way. Stay tuned.  
In a review of Ganbare! I discussed the juxtaposition of achievements of the veterans and heroes like the 442nd Regimental Combat Team with what happened to some of their families -- the WWII interment of Americans of Japanese ancestry.
Guest reviewer Theresa Donnelly reviewed Use Your Head to Get Your Foot in the Door, a book that can help new veterans who face challenges after leaving the service.  Theresa wrote, “This is why it is important to have a robust plan in place for your post-military transition.”
Since last November we wrote other posts with with a focus on veterans: a review of USS Arizona’s Last Band, Culturnomics (Honor/Courage/Commitment) and Revolt of the Admirals in the Centennial of Naval Aviation, with some interesting history and perspective on Congressman Carl Vinson and his vision of a two-ocean Navy.  Revolt ties in nicely, by the way, with the latest post on Courageous Followership and an interview with author Ira Chaleff.
The Navy Reads blogpost on the late Navy veteran “Amazing Grace” Hopper and her 2011 milestones was reposted on a number of other blogs, including GHC Bloggers in conjunction with the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing going on now (Nov. 9-12) in Portland, Oregon.
Rear Adm. Grace Hopper’s namesake, USS Hopper (DDG 70), recently transited the waters of the Battle of Leyte Gulf and observed a moment of silence exactly 67 years to the day of that historic battle. You can read about the veterans of WWII who fought in “the U.S. Navy’s Finest Hour” in Leyte and off Samar, Philippines in James D. Hornfischer’s Tin Can Sailors.
This Veterans Day, 2011, in addition to tributes and commemoration ceremonies around the world, the Navy is hosting a season-opening college basketball game aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) in San Diego.  The Commander in Chief and First Lady attended the Quicken Loans Carrier Classic featuring the University of North Carolina and Michigan State University.  That’s a pretty cool, all-American thing to do for and with our veterans.  The game is going on now as I post this.  
The University of North Carolina team practices aboard USS Carl Vinson. (U.S. Navy photo by MC2 James R. Evans)
Check out how USS Carl Vinson was transformed, and see ESPN’s “a look at life on USS Carl Vinson.”  ESPN also featured a Veterans Day profile of J. P. Bolwahnn, a 34-year-old former Navy SEAL, who plays football at the University of San Diego as a walk-on.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

To Whom It Would Be of Interest,

I wrote this song to pay tribute to All Veterans and

would be honored if you choose to post it on your Patriotic

Web Site. I thank you and God Bless!

A Tribute To Veterans

In Vietnam, Korea and World Wars Past
Our Men Fought Bravely so Freedom Would Last
Conditions Where Not Always Best They Could Be
Fighting a Foe You Could Not Always See:

From Mountain Highs to Valley Lows
From Jungle Drops to Desert Patrols

Our Sinewy Sons Were Sent Over Seas
Far From Their Families And Far From Their Dreams
They Never Wrote Letters Of Hardships Despair
Only Of Love, Yearning That One Day Soon:

They Would Come Home, They Would Resume
And Carry On With The Rest of Their Lives

The P.O.W.’S Stood Steadfast
Against the Indignities And Cruelties Of War
They Could Not Have Lasted as Long as They Did
If They Had Relinquished Their Hope That Some Day:

They Would Come Home, They Would Resume
And Carry On the Rest Of Their Lives

Medics, Nurses, and Chaplains Alike
Did What They Needed To Bring Back Life
They Served Our Forces From Day Into Night
Not Questioning If They Would Survive:

They Mended Bones And Bodies Too,
They Soothed the Spirits of Dying Souls

And for Those M.I.A’S, Who Were Left Behind
We Echo This Message Across the Seas
We Will search For as Long As It Takes
You’re Not Forgotten And Will Always Be:

In Our Hearts, In Our Prayers,
In Our Minds For All Time

A Moment of Silence, a Moment of Summons
Is Their Deliverance of Body And Soul
To a Sacred Place That We All Know
Deep In the Shrines of Our Soul:

In Our Hearts, In Our Prayers
In Our Minds For All Time


These Immortalized Soldiers Whose Bravery Abounds
They’re Our Husbands, Fathers, and Sons
They Enlisted For the Duty at Hand
To Serve the Cause of Country and Land:

They Had Honor, They Had Valor,
They Found Glory That Change Them Forever

Men Standing Tall and Proud They be
A Country Behind Them in a Solemn Sea
So Let the Flags of Freedom Fly
Unfurled in Their Majesty High:

In the Sun, In the Rain
In the Winds Across This Land

Years of Tears Has Brought Us Here
Gathering Around to Hear This Sound
So Let the Flags of Freedom Fly
Unfurled in Their Majesty High:

In the Sun, In the Rain,
In the Winds Across This Land


In the Sun, In the Rain,
In the Winds For All Time

Jerry Calow (copyright 2003 )