A sailor said that he had not yet served aboard ship; and even though he is preparing for a medical MOS and will be a career officer, there is the possibility that he will never “float”.

Thinking about that comment reminded me of two men I worked with. One was a Vietnam veteran, an helicopter pilot. The other served in the Marines during the Korean War, but was on duty in Hawaii, and later as a drill instructor. The Vietnam vet labeled the other a “Hollywood marine”, because he had not faced live fire. This was a teasing camaraderie, but there is also some real attitude among the “seasoned” troops toward those whose primary responsibilities do not take them into the thick of battle.

I would address that issue, and say that for me, the soldier driver provides just as valuable a service in his capacity as the bazooka man does in his. The “spotter” is just as important as the financial clerk, and the liaison officer, when he fulfills his duty, defends his country just as much as the fighter pilot.

Thank you veterans, and troops, for the diligent service you have given.

Patrick Shepherd


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