Veterans Day Reflections

Sunday, November 11, 2012

As a Vietnam Veteran , I was never personally spat upon, was never called names by ignorant -illiterate-unwashed protesters, even though I have met veterans who say they were, and I believe them.  Even worse to me, was the cold, distant atmosphere that developed in the immediate area when I truthfully answered when an old friend or classmate asked "Haven't seen you in a while, where have you been?"

People would get that "look," and start edging away. "Good to see you, later!" And gone. So I learned to avoid the question and places where it might be asked. When Pat told her great-aunt that I was a veteran, she was corrected that I wasn't old enough to be one. WWII was the only real war, and the only place veterans were made.   

I worked for the same employer for over 35 years, and although the company knew my status, very few if any of my co-workers knew that I was a veteran.  I never mentioned it to anyone for at least 30 years. After many of those years, I learned that the guy who was the general manager of the company when I was hired, was afraid that if I became antagonized, I might "go postal" or something. After all, I was one of those crazy Vietnam vets.

I don't remember hearing a lot about Veterans Day back then, but when I would see something on the local news about the service a National Cemetery, they always showed a very small crowd, of very old veterans. Now, the place is packed at every celebration. I don't remember when it began to change, perhaps sometime around the first Gulf War, that people began to honor veterans more.   

I was shocked the first time someone thanked me for my service. Never imagined restaurants giving vets free meals, and other discounts at other merchants. Don't get me wrong, the change of attitude, coupled with the advent of the internet has enabled me and others to find many of the guys I served with, and has helped us in organizing reunions. With everything I've seen and been through, I can borrow from Barbara Mandrell , and paraphrase; "I was a veteran, when veterans weren't cool."

Don Hill


Roy Exum: The Manger Scene Stays!

When the Freedom From Religion Foundation struck the tiny town of Jay, Fla., earlier this month, the town mayor had a life-sized Nativity scene that had been displayed every Christmas for the past 40 years taken down and sold as “city surplus.” But in Alabama, things are different. When the foundation tried the same thing in Rainbow City, Ala., more people than all those who live ... (click for more)

Jody Baker: Arthur Conan Doyle, T.S. Eliot And Andrew Lloyd Webber

T.S. Eliot (Thomas Stearns Eliot: 26 September 1888 – 4 January 1965) was an essayist, publisher, playwright and considered one of the twentieth century's major poets. He is best known among our group for his appreciation of the Sherlock Holmes tales and his admiration of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.[For more details on Eliot, see Wikipedia.] One of Eliot’s many outstanding works ... (click for more)

TVA Sues Cleveland's Allan Jones Over Dock, Retaining Wall, Boat Ramp, Boathouse On Hiwassee River

TVA has sued Cleveland, Tn., Check Into Cash millionaire W. Allan Jones Jr. over the construction of a dock, retaining wall, boat ramp and boathouse on the Hiwassee River. In the lawsuit in Federal Court, TVA said it told Mr. Jones before the construction was finished that he was on TVA property. The complaint says he has refused to move the construction from the river. ... (click for more)

Bobby Dodd Lawsuit Against City Moved To Federal Court

A lawsuit brought by former Chattanooga Police Chief Bobby Dodd against the city of Chattanooga and the Chattanooga Fire and Police Pension Fund over his pension has been moved to Federal Court. The lawsuit was earlier filed in Chancery Court by attorneys Jerry Tidwell and Adam Izell. The suit says former Chief Dodd opted for a plan that would have half of his pension go to ... (click for more)

Vol Seniors Have Final Practice At Neyland Stadium

KNOXVILLE, Tenn .  – Tennessee football coach Butch Jones had a holiday version of "Sudden Change" for the bowl-bound Vols on Sunday afternoon. The Vols practiced in Neyland Stadium, providing a big-time atmosphere for the final full day of on-campus preparation for the TaxSlayer Bowl before breaking for Christmas. "Obviously it's very special any time you can come ... (click for more)

Hawks Defeat Riverdale, 55-43, For Rhea Title

EVENSVILLE, Tenn. – Hamilton Heights had a chance to win the boys and girls title in the Rhea County Holiday Hoops tournament Saturday night. The Hawks delivered. The Lady Hawks came up short. Once-beaten Hamilton Heights, getting pivotal back-to-back 3-pointers by Silas Adheke and Joan Duran in the final two minutes and sterling efforts by Ezekiel Balogun and Abdulhakim ... (click for more)