Memorial day 2011. This day we honor and remember those who have served this great nation, and especially those that have fallen. We oftentimes refer to their deaths as sacrificial, and I suppose that is a pretty good way to sum up their absence from their families. I would never want, in any way, to dishonor the brave men and women that have not, nor ever will, return to their families, wives, kids, jobs, and adventures and dreams they all had. Everyone that died, I’m sure, had some sort of a future plan. They should of been able to return home, and live their dreams, as most of their fellow comrades did. It is truly unexplainable why Richard died, and his pal Bob came home. The old saying “War is Hell,” is much more true to those that have experienced it’s horrors. Today I’m thinking about friends and acquaintances who’s lives ended way to prematurely. Some were gung-ho and couldn’t wait to “engage” the enemy, while others were shy and timid, as they entered the” fray” with fear and trepidation. I think I can safely say that not a one of these fallen wanted to be a war casualty! Most were just kids, (teenagers and early twenties) when our country called on them to abort their future plans, and serve in this nations military. I personally know of no one that fled to Canada, or dodged the draft. Yes there were sacrifices made, but these wonderful lovely band of brothers and sisters all wanted to return home. Their plans, hopes, and dreams, were cut short, so you and I could realize ours! I sometimes feel guilty about that. Why them and not me? Many parents and loved ones rejoiced at their son or daughters return from war, while others will forever mourn the death of a child, father, husband, brother, uncle, aunt,or friend. We need to remember them today, as though their lives meant something, as those whose sacrifice is sacred.
Just recently I have had two brothers diagnosed with “Post traumatic stress disorder!” Over forty years ago they served in the jungles of Viet Nam. Their experience’s still have a hold on them in ways that non-combatants can not understand. Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are returning home with horrific injuries, as well as mental challenges. Families forever changed, material hardships, lives altered beyond belief. We need to stand behind these valiant warriors, as they return home and try to reestablish their shattered lives. They should not be denied housing, a job, or the best medical advancements this country has to offer. If I had my way each returning war veteran would receive a substantial sum of money so they didn’t have to worry about a roof over their heads or where their next meal was coming from. We can prop up foreign dictators, and send billions of dollars overseas to despots and crooks, but we can’t lavish a few bucks on our own hero’s. That, my friends, is a bunch of “bull” that should be recognized in Washington, for the travesty that it is. Let your Congressman and your Senators know that you want our veterans fully supported, by the country that put them, in a position, where they were sacrificed to the ravages of war.
Please remember the veteran’s today. Shake a hand, give em a salute, push a wheelchair, send a note. Let them know you haven’t forgotten, and that they are appreciated for their service to this nation. As you enjoy this day, just remember “why” you can enjoy it!
My good friend Staff Sargent Joe Giarmo is in the first picture (European Theater.) Next is my dad Staff Sergent Norman Ansel (Pacific Theater.) The last is of my dad and three of his six sons. Marine Sargent Norman “Randy” Ansel (Viet Nam) Specialist 5th. class Michael Ansel, and Sargent Darryl Ansel (Viet Nam.) I thank all you men and women who have served this nation with honor, valor, and integrity. You are the best! Have a great day, just remember why your having it!