Honoring Veterans on Veteran’s Day 2013

Having a son who will one day be a veteran himself, I have never been more proud of his choices, accomplishments and how he has grown from that little guy tracking mud into the house, into the man he is today who is literally a protector of our country. Our values and way of life rest firmly in his hands, as it did for thousands, upon thousands of soldiers before him. Many gave their lives defending an ideal and way of life that must never be overshadowed. Those who serve make the ultimate sacrifice because they believe in their country. The young men and women of our Armed Services stand at the ready, never losing sight of why they volunteered in the first place. Life, liberty and the protection of happiness.

The soldier has a thankless job. All to often, combat vets are coming home to new lives with no job availability, lack of adequate medical support and a world that seems indifferent to their sacrifice. Veteran’s Day should be celebrated and acknowledged every day we have a soldier in a combat zone. And for those of you who, “think that the military is too big”, or “why are we spending so much money on defense”, ask a veteran what they’ve seen, what they lived through, or about those they knew who couldn’t make it home. I’m sure you will get an answer similar to, “so our children wouldn’t have to”.

Now, I know that trying to understand what military service is like for a true civilian can be next to impossible. It’s hard enough for the family of a serviceman sometimes. There is no way to empathize because most people have never experienced armed conflict. There’s simply nothing to compare it to. But you can sympathize with them, and their families as to how difficult being a soldier is in both war and time of peace times.

You know that I am fiercely patriotic and proud to celebrate our Veterans every opportunity I get, so I wanted to share an email I got from a reader who’s father, 1st Lt. Joseph N. O’Hearn, served in the Army in Vietnam from 1967-1969 with the 1st Infantry Division. Below is a portion of his letter and pictures he included that Lt. O’Hearn had taken in February of 1967.

veteran's day, joseph o'hearn, joe o'hearn, joseph n. ohearn, tet offensive, tet, 1967, vietnam 1967, 1st infantry division, 1ST Infantry Division,  1st Battalion 28th Infantry, “C” Company, Machine Gunner

Copyright 1st Lt. Joseph O’Hearn

Dear RV Nana,

I’ve been reading your blog from time to time and saw that you always take the time to write a few entries filled with patriotic appreciation for our country and, specifically, those who served our country. I want to “Thank You” for that!

My father served in the US Army from 1965-1969. He volunteered in 1965 so he would be eligible for Officer Candidate School.

veteran's day, tet offensive, tet, 1967, joseph o'hearn, joe o'hearn, joseph n. ohearn, vietnam 1967, 1st infantry division, 1ST Infantry Division,  1st Battalion 28th Infantry, “C” Company, radio operator

Copyright 1st Lt. Joseph O’Hearn

He won a Silver Star for gallantry in action during the Tet Offensive, which was, arguably one of the most brutal and violent encounters of the Vietnam War and he volunteered to do it. While others evaded service, he walked into an Army office and signed his name on the dotted line, because he felt that was his duty. Just a few months later, the city streets of his beloved Bronx, New York were replaced with thick jungle, leech filled rice paddies and an enemy that was just waiting for you to step out into the open. Again, he volunteered to go.

veteran's day, tet offensive, tet, 1967, joseph o'hearn, joe o'hearn, joseph n. ohearn, vietnam 1967, 1st infantry division, 1ST Infantry Division,  1st Battalion 28th Infantry, “C” Company, Machine Gunner

Copyright 1st Lt. Joseph O’Hearn

 

All too often, we allow men like my Father to endure the horrors of war and then forget about that service. The men and women of honor are those who put others lives before their own and demand no recognition for it. Though they don’t ask for accolades, we should always remember to celebrate and recognize the hard, dangerous work that our Veterans have contributed.

I’m proud of my father. He will always be a Hero who did more than what was needed of him not just for his country, but for his fellow soldiers.

God Bless All Veterans, They have done more heroic things in a single day than I’ve done in an entire lifetime.

So, thanks Dad; thanks for offering a piece of yourself in hopes that others would not have to do the same.

David O’Hearn

“A nation reveals itself not only by the men it produces, but also by the men it honors, the men it remembers.” –JFK
“For those that will fight for it….Freedom…has a flavor the protected shall never know”. – L/Cpl Edwin L. Craft, B Co. 3rd AT’s, Khe Sahn Combat Base, February 1968

Happy Veteran’s Day from everyone here at PPL Motorhomes! Your contributions haven’t gone unnoticed and we are all forever grateful for your sacrifice. For those who are still serving, we pray for your safe return and for a job well done, there are very few people who share your passion and professionalism. Happy Veteran’s Day!!!