Every year, during the second week of November, I get very reflective and tend to keep a little bit to myself. It's Veteran's week. This week contains the Marine Corps Birthday, and Veterans Day. You won't find the week designated on any calendar, or noted in any article anywhere but here. The individual days are noted and honored; but, to me, the entire week should be dedicated to the remembrance of all those who have served and sacrificed so that we all can continue to enjoy the freedoms that we have; not only in this country, but in many countries around the world. Many have paid the ultimate price so that we can continue to argue right and left over the direction of this ship of state. It didn't matter what they were. Democrat, Republican, Leftest, Rightest, they were all united in one belief, that an individual should be free to state their beliefs without fear of repercussion from any governmental body. I can remember back when I was in the Marine Corps, we had men and women from every walk of life, with every form of belief, all serving one ideal: that freedom should continue to reign over this country and that it was up to all of us to protect and defend it.
It is no different today. Our troops, Marines, Navy, Army, Air Force, and Coast Guard, are all fighting to protect us from being destroyed by enemies that hate everything that the United States stands for. Freedom of Speech, Freedom to practice any religion that we wish, or practice none at all, if that is what we believe. We still have the right to bear arms. We still have freedom of the press, all of these things thanks to the sacrifices of those who have given a part, or all, of their lives to a military service. It makes me sad......, no, it makes me ANGRY, when I hear or see people called vile names and having their patriotism challenged because of their political or religious beliefs. These are the things that I felt it was my duty to help protect and defend. I have also been called a few choice names. I have been told, because I am a lifelong member of a labor union, that I am a left leaning pinko. This by someone who never spent a second in service to this great nation. But I digress, and my experiences aside, we must remember what these men and women fought and died for.
So, I am asking everyone who reads this to take a few minutes to day to reflect on those souls who have in the past put their lives on the line in defense of all of us; and I am asking also that you remember and continue to support all the brave men and women who now put themselves in harms way because they believe that they can, by their sacrifices, help to make the world a better, safer place for all people. There is no greater service than what they continue to give.
John Zaffino Cpl., USMC 1966 - 1970 Active Duty, 1970 - Once a Marine...