Veteran’s Day

Today has been Veteran’s Day all day. I have had a pretty chaotic day; they are cutting a door in my already small office, so they built a ‘wall’ to protect me as the wall comes down. That being said I had a moment of disbelief, one of my friends had to take her son to school today. His private school does not recognize “war,” thus does not acknowledge Veteran’s Day. Our lunch conversation centered around if support of war had anything to do with support and recognition of Veteran’s. It does not, Veteran’s Day is not about war. Veteran’s Day is about acknowledging and thanking men and women who stand willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to protect the liberties that so many take for granted. Amazingly enough, if not for veteran’s the school probably would not exist or have the option to support of not support a war. Like many people, I have connections to the current Iraq War, Desert Storm, Vietnam, and WWII, it is my obligation to show appreciation whenever the opportunity arises not only today. That being said, this poem was posted by an elevator today at work, and I wanted to share…not my thoughts, not my words…

‘Good people sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.’

—ascribed to George Orwell (with a nod to the Mudville Gazette)

Rough Men

There’s a character trait that’s decided by fate
Comes (sadly) to many, far too faint, far too late.
They won’t face the aggressor, stand up to his ire
They have not the will to fight his fire with fire.
So they bend over backwards to see all sides as fair,
Till they’re faced with dragon breath fire in their hair.
Like our brethren in France, who’d know better than we,
Yet seem never to learn, seem doomed never to see.

Yes, it seems there are some who’re determined by fate,
To possess not the courage to step up to the plate,
Who shrink from all threat because nothing’s worth war.
But how can they know lest they’ve been there before?
Thank God some have courage, the will, yes, the grace,
To stand for the shirkers, stand strong in their place.
Thank God we have stalwarts who’ll stand for us all,
Who will rise to the challenge at their nation’s call.

The faint—hearted, who fear, whose reaction is flight,
Have no comprehension of those who will fight.
To hide their own trepidation they attempt to demean
The rough men, who defend them, as barbaric, obscene.
Yet these rough men stand ready, hard weapons to hand,
To put placaters behind them, draw a line in the sand,
To preserve for the peaceniks what they won’t defend,
So their own unearned freedom won’t perish, won’t end.

To appeasers, rough men are coarse government tools.
To rough men, appeasers are dumb delusional fools.

Russ Vaughn
2d Bn, 327th Parachute Infantry Regiment
101st Airborne Division
Vietnam 65—66

Russ Vaughn is the Poet Laureate of The American Thinker

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