Veterans Day and what it means to me – by Jacin Durham, MSTD

Jacin Durham

When I first joined the Army in 1966 the Vietnam Conflict/War was waging (take your pick, it was war to those in the military who were there and even those who didn’t have to go).

There were many times I remember getting off a plane in an airport, we had to wear uniforms on the planes to ride at a reduced rate called “Standby”, there would be small crowds which formed along our path. You would hear shouts of “Murderers”, ” Baby Killers”, “War Mongers”; and various other things that a young man who serves his country should never have to hear. I never saw a bad retaliation from a soldier in response to this kind of treatment, at least not in my experiences. Most of us knew we were the servants of the people, and that included our Mothers and Fathers and family and friends. Our job was to protect our Constitution and way of life that all of us wanted to come back to.

I’m so glad that the public we serve has come to understand the sacrifices of those who have given an arm or leg, sometimes all of them, neurological and brain damage. Some veterans wake up in a cold sweat at night and can’t go back to sleep for fear of having the same nightmare over and over again. There are those who have given the ultimate sacrifice and never heard the appreciation our Veterans are given today.

As we make our way through Veterans day:  Thank You for the respect you have shown to our veterans. As we make our way to Thanksgiving, let us give thanks for all we have and the life we have because of those who serve. We are all of us at Redstone-Military, Civilian and Contractor alike- servants of the people. I like to think that we give our best to aid our military and our country, not just for a paycheck- a certain necessity to provide for those we love, but for the love of our country and the people who live in it. At Christmas let us remember that the greatest gift one can give is to lay down one’s own life for a friend, country and family. So many, too many, have had to make this sacrifice for us. Look forward to a new year of giving all we can to help our country survive in this world. Work with the love of your country and the love of our fellow man in your heart.
Check on your neighbors and family in the bitter cold of winter or the hot summers, especially the very young and elderly. Support the agencies that provide for the poor and homeless. Visit a friend in the hospital or nursing home. The people who work in these places do an even better job if they know people are interested in what they do. If the public doesn’t care they get to where they don’t care which in turn can seriously affect the patients. We are all in this together, so remember that together we can make a difference in this life. While you’re alive it’s your turn to get the job done. Have a great and happy time throughout the holidays and beyond.
May all your good dreams come true, and thanks for all that you do. I, as a veteran, want to say to the guys who keep the grass cut, our areas clean, and our vehicles running, and right on up to the Post Commander-
Thank you all for your service.
Jacin, US Army , SFC, E-7 Retired

Comments from Bill Alcorn:  Program Manager at MSTD: 

Jacin,
Myself and several others in this contract can relate to all that you have addressed in your email subjected; Veteran’s Day. As much as we try to forget all those issues, they never go away. For everyone, including me, that served in that war, I do not think there will ever be a complete closure. The “Welcome Home” program now going on helps, but nothing will ever take away; what we did, what we saw, friends and family that paid the Ultimate Sacrifice, and all the negative slurs and comments we heard. We must continue on with all the “good dreams” by helping each other, lean on our love ones, and keep our Faith in God and Country. I believe that what we did was a “just cause” and we did what we were ask to do, and that was to serve with Pride, Honor, and Loyalty to our Country. Thanks for taking the time to put into words your thoughts and comments of what really happen to all of us that served during the late 60’s and early 70’s, AND THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE.

Bill Alcorn, US Army
Chief Warrant Officer Three, Retired