What is Veterans Day?


First Posted: 10/29/2014

Dave Volbert is 44. Cpl. USMC infantry, 1990-1994

By Webster’s definition: “Nov. 11, a holiday commemorating the armistice ending of World War I in 1918 and honoring veterans of the Armed Services.” So, again, what is Veterans Day? Does anyone know or understand? You will in the end! Is it a somewhat celebrated holiday? Or is it just one of those days that you don’t get mail? Or you’re upset because the bank is closed?

Or, if you’re a veteran — the VA rep/clinic is closed and the VA hospital is on limited staff? So, what is Veterans Day? Who gets to take advantage of this holiday? The veteran? From the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force or Coast Guard? I am sorry, I think not. Although all schools are closed, was any child in elementary, high school or college a vet? Maybe a handful of teachers, but I highly doubt it, or maybe a janitor? I could believe a janitor.

All government employees get this day off, including:

All US military; are they vets? No! They are active duty and in my opinion, although they have their own holiday, they have the right to celebrate … they are continuing our work and carrying on our name and tradition. Your senators, mayors, governors, presidents and their staff. Are they veterans? Some are but few, but all get this day off! The employment/un-employment offices get this day off! Why? Are they vets? Maybe 2 percent are! Let’s not forget the bank employees, as I’ve been to many different bank and credit unions … most employees are women under 25 years of age, and very pretty, might I add. Are they vets? Mostly not. Maybe 1 percent per branch. They get to sleep late and relax.

All government agencies get this day off, when only 5 to 10 percent of all are vets, and all get this day off! Now, here is your veteran on Veterans Day. He or she has a civilian job in the general workforce. They have to get up knowing what this day is and remembering what they had to go through in the military. (Mostly from when they were in their teens to the day their contract expired.) They still recite some good and bad memories on a daily routine. They might have been in for four years or it could have been for 20 years.

Some were armed footsoldiers carrying an M-16 to work instead of a pen on a daily basis. Working to be the fittest, finest, most destructive fighting machine possible, looking for war. The soldier never thought of death nor was he afraid of death! Death was his life, and he challenged it.

You have your sailors who kept that fighting warship in top-top condition, the ammo dry and ready, the planes serviced and armed and at the helm steered the floating steel island to hot spots around the world. Your airmen, who tiresomely trained and flew over everyone’s heads for support and as a lookout to keep their comrades safe and on schedule.

This is your military and your veterans, we have kept the wolf off of our back door since day one. From the Revolutionary War, Barbary Pirates War, Indian wars, Mexican and American War, World War I, World War II, Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Iran, Persian Gulf, Somalia, Afghanistan and those others to follow.

We are veterans who did what most would not. We sacrificed our freedom and our lives to keep America free in every generation.

We answered the call,

To defend freedom,

To oppose tyranny,

And free the oppressed.

All gave some and some gave all

This was us then and this is us now.

We loved

We fought

We prayed

And sometimes we died

We are those brave souls

We were with you then, and we are with you now!

We did not so much think as much as we acted.

We put our lives in harm’s way so you didn’t have to.

So, what does a veteran have to do to get this special day off that was set aside for us?