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

Petty County Tyrants

Last week's County Commission meeting was quite a show. Ironically, the preacher giving the opening invocation asked that "truth may prevail" because that is the opposite of what happened. What we actually saw was bickering, verbal attacks, and a collapse of democratic discourse. It is typically not my approach to "attack" individuals, but as each commissioner made public statements, ... (click for more)

Enforce The Bond Forfeiture In Padgett Case

Now that Christopher Padgett  was taken into custody by the Chattanooga Police Department and checked back into the Hamilton County jail, I trust the judge will do no favors and enforce the forfeiture of Padgett's entire $350,000 bond. Padgett was accused of murder, he was granted $350,000 bond and he ran. Padgett was found guilty. A convicted murderer was ... (click for more)

In Surprise Vote, Chattanooga City Council Turns Down Short Term Vacation Rentals

In a surprise vote, the City Council on Tuesday night turned down allowing a process to legalize short term vacation rentals in Chattanooga. Only Chip Henderson and Jerry Mitchell voted in favor. Opposed were Carol Berz, Yusuf Hakeem, Larry Grohn, Moses Freeman, Ken Smith and Russell Gilbert. Chris Anderson was absent. Afterward, Councilman Smith said, in light of the vote, ... (click for more)

Cold Case Unit Makes Arrest In Murders Of Brothers In Brainerd Almost 20 Years Ago; Detectives Say Brainerd Jeweler Rick Davis Tied To Incident

The Cold Case Unit set up by District Attorney Neal Pinkston has made an arrest in the murders of two brothers in Brainerd almost 20 years ago. The Hamilton County Grand Jury on Monday indicted 52-year-old Christopher Jeffre Johnson on two counts of first-degree murder in the January 1997 deaths of Sean and Donny Goetcheus. The 25-year-old Sean Goetcheus and his ... (click for more)

Taylor Luthringer, Thomas Porter Win Region Cross Country

COOKEVILLE – Tuesday was a pretty good day for the Signal Mountain cross country teams. Not only did they celebrate with both individual winners in the Region 4-A/AA races, but both teams finished in the top three and will advance to the state meet, which will be held at Nashville’s Percy Warner Park a week from Saturday. Taylor Luthringer and Thomas Porter captured the individual ... (click for more)

Notre Dame Draws Top Ranked Greeneville, CCS Opens With Madison Magnet

For the second year in a row, Notre Dame drew the top-ranked Greeneville in the opening round of the TSSAA Class A/AA state tournament.  Notre Dame is scheduled to play Greeneville on Wednesday at 8 p m. (EST)  in Murfreesboro. CCS will play Madison Magnet in the first round on field #1 at 7:30 p.m. (EST) . CCS and Greeneville met in the state championship game ... (click for more)