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Thank you, veterans, one and all! Without you and all of the others who have served and sacrificed throughout our nation’s history, America wouldn’t be the land of the free, home of the brave.

We get a bunch of emails on a daily basis, but today I received a personal one from author David Wright. When I asked David whether or not he’d be OK with our online staff to share it, he said:

“Every year since I started scanning photos, on Veterans Day, I’ve sent a few out to friends. I find that as I’ve gotten older (now in my 70s), I want people to know what I did. Is that narcissism or just knowing that the clock is running out? So, I take advantage of it and send some photos. But also, this is a special day for our whole country to remember who we are, what we are.

“I came home in 1965, and aside from close friends and family, no one ever thanked a vet for serving—not that we needed it. But since our guys kicked ass in the Gulf War in ’90, it has become commonplace. And so it is good. Too bad so many are gone and never heard those words.

“If posting anything will bring attention to folks recognizing our vets, fine with me. I have a friend who was a medic in the Korean War—Joe Russo. Those guys endured so much more than us and are the real ‘forgotten vets.’ We were talking one day about our wars and found out that we both carried the same weapon—an M1 Carbine—which is what I was issued (mine was a converted fully automatic M2). As an ‘advisor,’ we were issued WWII arms because, as the sergeant told us during in-country briefing, ‘We don’t issue anything to the ARVNs that we don’t want to fight against.’ No M16s for us.

“I’ve attached a comparison photo of Joe and me, 14 years apart. As a medic, he really went through some bad stuff. Neat guy. Just called him and he is in really bad health. It really brings it home.”

It most certainly does bring it home to all of us at Tactical-Life.com.

David’s original email this morning hit me where it counts, too. It made me want to run out and find a veteran to thank them personally. Hopefully you’ll feel the same after reading it and viewing the accompanying photos David shared.

As he wrote: “If there is to be a day for military veterans, I reckon this is it. So, to all you vets, thanks for stepping up when called and doing your duty. And to everyone else, thanks for the support you’ve shown for us through all these years. I’m glad we’re all here to say this, and we miss those who aren’t.

“I went to Vietnam in December of 1964 as an ‘advisor’ and came home a year later, so this is my 50th year since I was in-country. The attached cartoon was in a Newsweek magazine I came across the first week I was in-country. As humorous as it was at the time, it was a good introduction to what was coming. Regardless of when and where any of us has served, we’re all veterans of the United States military—and the greatest country in the world. For those no longer with us, they deserve their just recognition on this day, too. Remember them.

“These photos have resided in boxes until a couple years ago, when I started scanning them. You may have seen some of them; if so, please bear with me. I find that as I get older, the photos have more importance to me today. I have a feeling that with other ‘old’ vets, this may be the case as our time is approaching its finale.

“Because it has been so long since I’ve served, I’m sharing some of the photos from another era—a time when I was ‘young and bulletproof’ (at times that was in doubt). And time is running out for us old guys, so I say take the opportunity today … Ladies, kiss a vet. Men, kiss a lady vet.”

—Wright, Harold D. U53382610 (I can still remember that)

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