Sunday, April 18, 2010
Thinking back to the time I served in the US Navy, it was the so called cold war era. I was just a fresh kid from high school not even yet a grad and only seventeen. Two older brothers were already serving and knowing I would be draft age soon I chose to leave school and see the world with my Uncle Sam.
For years after I was honorably discharged, I kept getting all these inviting brochures in the mail inviting me to join other Vets and become a member of the American Legion. That really seemed to be an honor I would be happy to accept; however I was rejected for the time frame I served was not warranted. I don't know if any other Cold War Vets feel as I do but it appears to me that my service was not appreciated just because I never came under fire. In order to be recognized for service rendered to the country you must serve in a combat zone. Oh sure I got a medal for "China Service," playing war games with the nationalist Chinese and we found and destroyed old mines around Korea which could have killed us, but my service upon discharge was forgotten.
Even the old wooden hull minesweepers that was home to many MSO sailors are only a memory now. I still love this great country, its military forces and all the citizens who is protected by men and women in uniform who may never see a battle but are ready when called.
Perhaps someday an organization such as the American Legion will honor those who serve regardless of whether time is during a conflict or not.