Today we remember those who served our country in
uniform, including one old curmudgeon WWII veteran
who passed away 2 years and 6 days ago. R.I.P., Sergeant Rooney.
9> Bet you never gave much thought to the etymology of “veteran.”
It’s from the Latin, “veteranus.” I’m told “veter” means old.
You can figure out the rest.
8> Did you ever notice when our military marches in American
parades, it’s usually a bunch of old vets without a weapon to
be seen? But in places like China, they roll out all the cool
tanks and missiles that any 9-year old kid would love to get
his hands on?
7> When you return from an overseas deployment, everyone will
gush about how much they’ve missed you, and how glad they are
that you’re finally home. That will feel strange and
wonderful, right up to the moment they ask you to take out the
6> Why is it that when my three teenage buddies enlisted in the
Navy, they “shipped” them off to boot camp by *train*?
5> Did you ever notice that wars we didn’t win got memorials in a
few years, but it takes decades to get monuments for the ones
where we kicked some butt?
4> Did you ever wonder why Veterans Day isn’t a Monday holiday?
It’s not like Columbus anchored offshore until the second
Monday in October. Or George Washington’s mom held on until
the 3rd Monday in February. I bet it’s because “11/11″ makes
sure the vets get the day and month right, whether or not they
use military calendar notation.
3> Back when I was a soldier, we didn’t have MREs. Our field
rations came in cans. I served as a reporter for the Stars and
Stripes newspaper, which was very popular with the troops.
They used it to heat their rations.
2> Ever wonder what an RPV or an SPAAG is? Me neither. Good thing
they don’t let old vets like us get near modern weapons.
and the Number 1 Veterans Day Andy Rooney-ism…
1> We older vets had better names for our military operations –
for example, Overlord. Not Odyssey Dawn — that sounds like a
teenage girl vampire movie. Or Enduring Freedom — as if
freedom is something that has to be endured.