Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Groundswell of support for today's military is an opportunity to thank veterans' service

CW5 Michael Zagyva, Command Chief Warrent Officer, Oregon National Guard
In the sixties and part of the seventies all service members who flew had to do so in either Class A or B uniforms.

Having a layover in San Francisco was not a pleasant experience. Members of the Armed Forces were told to head straight to the USO and wait until the last minute to board the plane due to animosity toward military members.

While waiting for a flight from Los Angles to Portland, a young marine returning from Southeast Asia was writing postcards using the corner of a rental car booth. The Marine was approached by several angry members of the agency and asked to leave because his presence in uniform was ‘bad for business.’ Without really understanding why, he quietly left.

In this environment veterans learned very quickly not to mention they were back from war, especially if they were attending a university.

Today, because of the sacrifices of servicemembers, attitudes have changed, not just with the public, but within the military itself.

One of the reasons for this is the formation of the family readiness groups. Members of the family readiness groups have invested a great deal of time and energy to help communities support the deploying soldier.

Now, younger vets are being thanked for their service. That is something we as current servicemembers should take to heart and resolve to thank veterans from previous wars when we have the opportunity.

They have earned our gratitude for what they went through. They have paved the way for today’s soldiers who do not have to deal with the amount of animosity displayed in years past.

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