Saturday, May 18th is Armed Forces Day. THANK YOU for your service!
President Harry S. Truman led the effort to establish this single holiday for citizens to come together and thank our military members for their patriotic service in support of our country. The first Armed Forces Day in the US was observed on 20 May 1950.
In the United States, the longest running city-sponsored Armed Forces Day Parade is held in Bremerton, Washington.
In 2013, Bremerton celebrates the 65th year of the Armed Forces Day Parade. By way of contrast, in Oak Harbor, Washington, zero local Armed Forces Day activities exist, and today’s local newspaper editorial is about the city opting into a new animal shelter for cats and dogs.
The original poster of the below video at YouTube said of it:
“I love my Country and I support our troops 100 percent, but the current Iraq war was a mistake, and like Viet Nam, our great nation will not begin to heal until after our leaders and our citizens admit that and come to terms with it.”
Vietnam was a war which I have experienced primarily vicariously via its veterans. Vietnam veterans who I know personally acquired such afflictions as heroin addiction and PTSD, and they still cope with those afflictions today.
I did, however, see a great deal of the aftermath of the first Gulf War (Operation Desert Storm) firsthand. While flying over Kuwait just weeks after the last fire had been extinguished, I saw the vast ecological disaster which the Iraqis had created by setting afire oil wells. I saw capital destruction of a great deal of the country of Kuwait. I also saw numerous Iraqi tanks buried in the sand near the coast, their turrets pointed south, awaiting an expected amphibious assault that never came: one of the best-executed and publicly known examples of Military Deception (MILDEC) and Operations Security (OPSEC) of the 20th century. In real-life, from the air, the much-reported Highway of Death far exceeded all my expectations.
In retrospect, perhaps our biggest mistake in that first Gulf War was not having finished the job, a decision which then later led to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, which itself followed the terrorist attacks on the US in September 11, 2001.
Men and women who serve in our Armed Forces do not get to pick and choose which military operations they will support after taking either an oath of enlistment or an oath of office. That point may seem obvious to some, and it certainly seems obvious to me now. However, when I took such an oath, at age 18, it was not nearly so obvious. I actually had little idea what I was getting myself into at the time.
Wars are always controversial, and so is this below video, but I think it is worth watching, for reasons I will let viewers decide for themselves, or not.