To Understand a Military Veteran, You Must Know…

When you watch the news and see protesters, unemployed deadbeat moochers, left-wing and socialist politicians, Antifa, and similar groups browbeat America, these people do not speak for the majority of our citizens. We are still the greatest country in the world, and the blessings that all of us enjoy (yes, even those who speak out against the U.S.) must be fought for daily, and it is our country’s veterans who have done the fighting. The anti-America crowd needs to remember that.

The following article entitled “To Understand a Military Veteran, You Must Know . . . ” was posted online by the Veterans Breakfast Club . . . The author is unknown.

“. . . We left home as teenagers or in our early twenties for an unknown adventure . . . We loved our country enough to defend it and protect it with our own lives . . . We said goodbye to friends and family and everything we knew . . . We learned the basics and then we scattered in the wind to the far corners of the earth . . . We found new friends and family . . . We became brothers and sisters regardless of color, race, or creed . . . We had plenty of good times and plenty of bad times . . . We didn’t get enough sleep . . . We smoked and we drank too much . . . We picked up both good and bad habits . . . We worked hard and played harder . . . We didn’t earn a great wage . . . We experienced the happiness of mail call and the sadness of missing important events . . . We didn’t know when, or even if, we were ever going to see home again . . . We grew up fast, and yet somehow, we never grew up at all . . . We fought for freedom, as well as the freedom of others . . . Some of us saw combat, and some of us didn’t . . . Some of us saw the world, and some of us didn’t.”

“Some of us dealt with physical warfare, most of us dealt with psychological warfare . . . We have seen and experienced and dealt with things that we can’t fully describe or explain, as not all of our sacrifices were physical . . . We participated in time honored ceremonies and rituals with each other, strengthening our bonds and camaraderie . . . We counted on each other to get our job done and sometimes to survive it all . . . We have dealt with victory and tragedy . . . We have celebrated and we have mourned . . . We lost a few along the way . . . We have told amazing and hilarious stories of our exploits and adventures . . . We share an unspoken bond with each other that most people don’t experience, and few will understand . . . We speak highly of our own branch of service, and poke fun at the other branches . . . We know, however, that if needed, we will be there for our brothers and sisters and stand together as one, in a heartbeat . . . Being a veteran is something that had to be earned, and it can never be taken away . . . It has no monetary value, but at the same time it is a priceless gift.”

One of our sons, Clark Dale, joined the U.S. Army after 9-11 and fought in Iraq. When he was sent overseas, we knew it would be dangerous and he might not come back home. He missed birthdays, weddings, family gatherings, and other life events during those four years. We thanked God when he returned home safe and sound. Some of his Army buddies did not make it back, or returned with life-changing physical and psychological disabilities. A large crowd of friends and family welcomed him home, and when he attended Texas Tech University to obtain his Bachelor’s degree, he was able to sit right behind the bench during the home games, thanks to coach Bobby Knight and others at the university. That was pretty special!

I have absolutely no time, empathy or sympathy for those who disrespect our veterans, or those who disrespect our flag or kneel during the playing of the National Anthem. Thankfully the people here do not fall into that category. The residents of Montgomery County love our country, and have always respected and appreciated our veterans for the peace and freedoms we all have. To all of you men and women who have served in the armed forces, THANK YOU, and we are proud of you! And to those people like Michael Moore, Bernie Sanders, Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, George Soros, Whoopie Goldberg and all the other “America-haters,” you have the freedom to express your opinions thanks to our veterans . . . I also have the freedom to say, “Love It or Leave It,” and I mean that 100 percent.

John “Butch” Dale is a retired teacher and County Sheriff. He has also been the librarian at Darlington the past 32 years, and is a well-known artist and author of local history.