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


Towers

“Yo! White boys! What do you think you’re doing?” “What you mean, man? Workin’. Layin’ block. What’s it look like we’re doin’?” responded one. “Don’t you know you’re doing work Americans won’t? You’re going to give us all a bad rap working along side the main drag like this, in broad daylight too. Boss-man around?” The Gang and I were on a road trip a while back. ... (click for more)

Joe Smith Is The Best Choice For County Commission District 3

After spending 20 years of my life working in and around campaigns and elections, I have been basically silent over the past six years. I just wanted to step away and let others have their time. The one thing that could bring me to voice my opinion on a particular race is the fact that my dear friend, Joe Smith, wants to represent me and everyone else in the County Commission ... (click for more)

Highway 58 Man Charged In Fatal Hit And Run In Dayton, Tn.

A Highway 58 man has been arrested in connection with a fatal hit and run of a Rhea County man.   Walter Hale was badly injured and later died after he was struck in Dayton.   Authorities were led to Douglas Edward Alvey, 52, through video from the We Care business in Dayton, where the 60-year-old victim worked.   After officers with the Dayton ... (click for more)

Man, 78, Found Dead With Gunshot Wound To The Chest At Residence On Central Avenue

A 78-year-old man has been found dead with a gunshot wound to the chest at a residence on Central Avenue. Chattanooga Police were called to the 1900 block of Central Avenue on Thursday at 10:08 a.m. Upon arrival, Chattanooga Police officers located George Garth deceased. At this time there is no suspect information available. Chattanooga Violent Crimes Bureau investigators ... (click for more)

No. 3 Chattanooga Rolls Past Samford, 41-21

CHATTANOOGA---The 3rd-ranked Chattanooga Mocs utilized a balanced attack in a 41-21 win over Southern Conference rival Samford Saturday afternoon. Balanced is the operative term as both sides of the ball contributed to the victory.   "Great win," coach Russ Huesman said. "We beat a good football team that has great skill kids that are hard to tackle. It was great to ... (click for more)

Vols' Astonishing Rally Wrecks Florida, 38-28, Before 102,455 Stunned Fans

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Quack. Quack. Quack. As it turns out, Teez Tabor, Florida’s trash-talking defensive back, a duck can pull a truck, sir. Tennessee’s 14 th -ranked Volunteers sent shock waves throughout the college football world Saturday, rallying from a 21-point deficit against No. 19 Florida to stun the Gators, 38-28, before a sellout crowd of 102,455 at Neyland Stadium. ... (click for more)