Veterans Day in the U.S.

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Veterans Day in the U.S.

Postby SethBullock » 11 Nov 2018, 13:44

In the U.S., November 11th is Veterans Day. I found this and decided to share it. The perspective of this retired Navy Seal reminds me of my son.

When I was a boy, I remember I would sometimes see veterans. Sometimes in a documentary or some kind of history special on television. Sometimes at a parade or some other kind of local event. Sometimes it would be a friend of my parents or grandparents that had served. Sometimes it was even just an old picture in a book or painting of a combat veteran hanging on a wall.

It didn’t matter what form I saw them; these veterans would always impress me. They would conjure up visions of glory in my young mind.

After all, in the movies, it was mostly glory.

At least that’s what I saw.

And when I saw combat veterans, I would see the look in their eye – the thousand-yard stare of the infantryman – the cold look of a man that had seen too much. Even as a boy, somehow, I envied that look.

I would see the veteran’s uniform. Sometimes it would be the crisp and clean, sharp dress uniform that emanated pure discipline. Other times it would be old, worn combat fatigues, that reflected harsh combat tours. Oh, how I wanted to don those uniforms and be at once a symbol of iron discipline and at the same time an image of fierce independent will.

Of course, I would also see the medals on the veterans’ chests. Since I was too young to truly understand what they meant, for me, they were symbols of heroism and pride and a display of what they had accomplished. My boyish eyes could hardly look away from those colored ribbons and their shiny accoutrements.

Predictably, those young, naïve thoughts guided my direction in life. I enlisted in the navy, determined to one day become one of those veterans I so admired. To get that look in my eyes. To wear those uniforms. To serve with pride as my idols had.

When I arrived SEAL Team One in 1991, I had to go through a check-in process. I had to get an issue of gear from the supply department. I had to turn over my personnel record to the administration department. Lastly, I had to meet with the leadership of the team, including the commanding officer, the executive officer, and the command master chief. Needless to say, it was very intimidating for a young sailor, fresh out of BUD/S, or Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training.

At that time, there were still some Vietnam Veterans in the SEAL teams. Our executive officer was one of them. A legendary Vietnam SEAL that I had seen pictures of in books when I was a boy. As required, I went to check in with him.

He was, to my young eyes, one of the oldest people I had ever seen in my life, and certainly older than I imagined a SEAL would be; this meant he was probably in his mid-40s – likely a few years younger than I am now. He was wearing his navy working khaki uniform, which requires the ribbons that represent awarded decorations be worn above the left breast pocket, with the gold SEAL Trident insignia above the rows of ribbons. In this case the rows of ribbons were stacked so high, that they forced the executive officer’s SEAL trident upward, towards his shoulder, until it remained partially hidden underneath the collar of his khaki shirt. I had never seen so many awards on one man in my life. I looked at him in awe. I was beyond impressed. I was mesmerized. But, I was also envious and jealous. Yes, in my young, immature mind, I couldn’t help but think: He is so lucky to have done what he has done! I wish I had a war to fight!

Eventually, I got the callow wish for which I had hoped. My generation’s war started on September 11th, 2001. Since that time, there have been vast numbers of awards bestowed upon our nation’s soldiers, sailors, airman, and Marines.

But I am no longer envious of the awards I see on the chests of our military men and women. I am older now. I have been to war. I know that each little dangling piece of metal was paid for at great cost in blood and sacrifice. I know that many of those awards came in combination with fallen comrades. I know that for almost every decoration that adorns the chest of a service member, there are also mental and physical scars that will forever ache.

And yet America’s veterans hold their heads high. They fight on through the pain of loss and find new missions and continue to serve in our military or in the civilian sector. Older generations of veterans protected and then built our great nation. This current generation of veterans is doing the same.

The young boy I was didn’t understand war. How could I?

I’m a little older now. I see a little more. I know a little more. And I know that veterans sacrifice immensely.

I know that our nation’s servicemen and women put duty to country above themselves.

I know that they serve not for medals or glory – but for a cause greater than themselves: Freedom.

I know that when our nation called, they answered.

Generations of veterans have stepped up and held the line against evil in the world.

And to that, I am eternally grateful.

So. To all of those brave souls that protected – and continue to protect – this beacon of light and freedom that we call America, I say, simply: Thank you.


Jocko Willink is a Retired Navy SEAL Officer, author of "Extreme Ownership," "Discipline Equals Freedom Field Manual," and the "Way of the Warrior Kid" series, and hosts the top-rated podcast: Jocko Podcast.


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Re: Veterans Day in the U.S.

Postby Aussie » 11 Nov 2018, 14:08

It is named Remembrance Day here, and also 'celebrated.'



My Great-Grandfather (paternal side) and his Brother both fought in France (missed Gallipoli.) Great Grandfather copped some shrapnel in the Forrest Gump butt-ocks just missing the Crown Jewels, hence I am here. Poor bugger died of a burst appendix after he got back from the War, and when my Old Man was a very young bloke.

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Re: Veterans Day in the U.S.

Postby SethBullock » 11 Nov 2018, 14:38

Aussie wrote:It is named Remembrance Day here, and also 'celebrated.'



My Great-Grandfather (paternal side) and his Brother both fought in France (missed Gallipoli.) Great Grandfather copped some shrapnel in the Forrest Gump butt-ocks just missing the Crown Jewels, hence I am here. Poor bugger died of a burst appendix after he got back from the War, and when my Old Man was a very young bloke.

:bgrin


I cannot express in words the depth of feeling I have for our veterans ... and yours. Australia holds a special place in the hearts and minds of Americans. You have been there for us, and we have been there for you. Your soldiers are regarded by ours as among the toughest and best in the world.

That was an absolutely beautiful song, and it put a lump in my throat.

Here's one for you, by songwriter, musician, and U.S. Marine, Mike Corrado.



Some signed up first chance they could at 17
Had their mammas sign the papers so they could leave
And on the bus ride out of town
The families gathered ‘ round an waive as they'd leave

And they come from the shores of Carolina
Through the plains to the hills of California
With a hunger deep inside
And a burning desire to be free

And they stand, stand upon that wall
And they stand, stand up for us all
And they stand, for the one's who've gone before, they stand

Everyone wants to be the hero
But some don't want to pay the price
If you think living free comes easy
Just ask those who've sacrificed

As they'd stand, for the chance to believe
Stand, so we can be anything we want to be
Stand, so our children can be free, they'd stand

There's a time to fight and a time to fold
And giving in are words they've never known

So they stand, stand upon that wall
They stand, stand up for us all
They stand, for the one's who've gone before, they stand

And we stand, for the chance to believe
Stand, so we can be anything we want to be
And we stand, so our children can be free, we stand

We say prayers for those no longer with us,
& the families who stand behind those who protect us
And on that bus ride back to town
everyone gathers ‘round for those who stand
"Humility must always be the portion of any man who receives acclaim earned in the blood of his followers and the sacrifices of his friends." - Dwight D Eisenhower
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Re: Veterans Day in the U.S.

Postby Texan » 11 Nov 2018, 14:44

I sometimes feel guilty with all the respect and gratitude I get as a veteran. Even when we deployed, we launched and fixed jets and it was fun. I even finished my college while I was in the military. I lost a little hearing, but other than that, it was an awesome experience for me. I have many veteran friends, many of whom have sacrificed a lot in their service. I remember how hard it was to leave home and it was even harder when my son left.

My friend, Jerry, is the most notable veteran. He flew a rescue helicopter in Vietnam.(Jolly Green) During a rescue, his helicopter was shot and failing. He knew he wouldn't make it back, so he flew to a remote location and dropped off his passenger with fresh supplies. That pilot was rescued a couple of days later. Jerry flew as far as he could and crash landed. He evaded capture for 5 days in the jungle. He spent over 7 years as a POW in the "Hanoi Hilton" and was released at the end of the War. He finished out his career as an Air Force Chaplain. We no longer attend the same church and I miss him, and his stories.

I'm glad that Australia also recognizes their veterans. Nobody is perfect, but you have to respect someone who agrees to risk his life for the security of his country. I'm glad recognizing veterans is not just an "American" thing. I'm glad you are our ally.
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Re: Veterans Day in the U.S.

Postby Aussie » 11 Nov 2018, 14:50

Texan wrote:I sometimes feel guilty with all the respect and gratitude I get as a veteran. Even when we deployed, we launched and fixed jets and it was fun. I even finished my college while I was in the military. I lost a little hearing, but other than that, it was an awesome experience for me. I have many veteran friends, many of whom have sacrificed a lot in their service. I remember how hard it was to leave home and it was even harder when my son left.

My friend, Jerry, is the most notable veteran. He flew a rescue helicopter in Vietnam.(Jolly Green) During a rescue, his helicopter was shot and failing. He knew he wouldn't make it back, so he flew to a remote location and dropped off his passenger with fresh supplies. That pilot was rescued a couple of days later. Jerry flew as far as he could and crash landed. He evaded capture for 5 days in the jungle. He spent over 7 years as a POW in the "Hanoi Hilton" and was released at the end of the War. He finished out his career as an Air Force Chaplain. We no longer attend the same church and I miss him, and his stories.

I'm glad that Australia also recognizes their veterans. Nobody is perfect, but you have to respect someone who agrees to risk his life for the security of his country. I'm glad recognizing veterans is not just an "American" thing. I'm glad you are our ally.


Remembrance Day has always been part of Australian heritage. We also have ANZAC Day......a far bigger event, on the 25th April each year.

Jerry did well!
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Re: Veterans Day in the U.S.

Postby SethBullock » 11 Nov 2018, 14:53

Texan wrote:I sometimes feel guilty with all the respect and gratitude I get as a veteran. Even when we deployed, we launched and fixed jets and it was fun. I even finished my college while I was in the military. I lost a little hearing, but other than that, it was an awesome experience for me. I have many veteran friends, many of whom have sacrificed a lot in their service. I remember how hard it was to leave home and it was even harder when my son left.

My friend, Jerry, is the most notable veteran. He flew a rescue helicopter in Vietnam.(Jolly Green) During a rescue, his helicopter was shot and failing. He knew he wouldn't make it back, so he flew to a remote location and dropped off his passenger with fresh supplies. That pilot was rescued a couple of days later. Jerry flew as far as he could and crash landed. He evaded capture for 5 days in the jungle. He spent over 7 years as a POW in the "Hanoi Hilton" and was released at the end of the War. He finished out his career as an Air Force Chaplain. We no longer attend the same church and I miss him, and his stories.

I'm glad that Australia also recognizes their veterans. Nobody is perfect, but you have to respect someone who agrees to risk his life for the security of his country. I'm glad recognizing veterans is not just an "American" thing. I'm glad you are our ally.


I know how you feel. I served in the Army in Hawaii from '74-77.

I have many friends who never served who now wish they had. I've heard that from them many times. It's something we did for our country, even though we didn't fight in a war, that nobody can take away from us. I wouldn't change that decision I made when I was 18 for anything.

Seth
"Humility must always be the portion of any man who receives acclaim earned in the blood of his followers and the sacrifices of his friends." - Dwight D Eisenhower
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Re: Veterans Day in the U.S.

Postby Aussie » 11 Nov 2018, 14:55

SethBullock wrote:
Aussie wrote:It is named Remembrance Day here, and also 'celebrated.'



My Great-Grandfather (paternal side) and his Brother both fought in France (missed Gallipoli.) Great Grandfather copped some shrapnel in the Forrest Gump butt-ocks just missing the Crown Jewels, hence I am here. Poor bugger died of a burst appendix after he got back from the War, and when my Old Man was a very young bloke.

:bgrin


I cannot express in words the depth of feeling I have for our veterans ... and yours. Australia holds a special place in the hearts and minds of Americans. You have been there for us, and we have been there for you. Your soldiers are regarded by ours as among the toughest and best in the world.

That was an absolutely beautiful song, and it put a lump in my throat.

Here's one for you, by songwriter, musician, and U.S. Marine, Mike Corrado.




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Re: Veterans Day in the U.S.

Postby SethBullock » 11 Nov 2018, 15:15

One more from Mike. Love and respect to you all.



The nighttime is the hardest,
with the loneliness and the darkness.
I find myself getting to know these scars.

Yeah, you got a piece of me
But it's just a little piece of me -
And I've still got this fire inside my heart.
And though the battle's far from over
I'm still getting stronger.

CHORUS
And I'm still
In the fight
Been knocked down
But I will be alright
And I'm still by your side
I may seem broken, but I am whole inside
I'm still here
I'm still in the fight.

No one said it would be easy
but there's still those who need me.
I won’t be the one to let them down.
So bring on the rain
Bring on the pain
It may take time but I am coming back around.
There's a hope inside of me
Getting stronger with every breath I breathe

CHORUS
And I'm still
In the fight
Been knocked down
But I will be alright
And I'm still by your side
I may seem broken, but I am whole inside
I'm still here
I'm still in the fight.

Cause when I wake up
I've already won -
I get stronger when the going gets tough
You cant stop me now,
'cause I'm still here.


CHORUS
And I'm still
In the fight
Been knocked down
But I will be alright
And I'm still by your side
I may seem broken, but I am whole inside
I'm still here
I'm still in the fight.
Last edited by SethBullock on 11 Nov 2018, 15:20, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Veterans Day in the U.S.

Postby Aussie » 11 Nov 2018, 15:17

SethBullock wrote:
Texan wrote:I sometimes feel guilty with all the respect and gratitude I get as a veteran. Even when we deployed, we launched and fixed jets and it was fun. I even finished my college while I was in the military. I lost a little hearing, but other than that, it was an awesome experience for me. I have many veteran friends, many of whom have sacrificed a lot in their service. I remember how hard it was to leave home and it was even harder when my son left.

My friend, Jerry, is the most notable veteran. He flew a rescue helicopter in Vietnam.(Jolly Green) During a rescue, his helicopter was shot and failing. He knew he wouldn't make it back, so he flew to a remote location and dropped off his passenger with fresh supplies. That pilot was rescued a couple of days later. Jerry flew as far as he could and crash landed. He evaded capture for 5 days in the jungle. He spent over 7 years as a POW in the "Hanoi Hilton" and was released at the end of the War. He finished out his career as an Air Force Chaplain. We no longer attend the same church and I miss him, and his stories.

I'm glad that Australia also recognizes their veterans. Nobody is perfect, but you have to respect someone who agrees to risk his life for the security of his country. I'm glad recognizing veterans is not just an "American" thing. I'm glad you are our ally.


I know how you feel. I served in the Army in Hawaii from '74-77.

I have many friends who never served who now wish they had. I've heard that from them many times. It's something we did for our country, even though we didn't fight in a war, that nobody can take away from us. I wouldn't change that decision I made when I was 18 for anything.

Seth


I blame my Old Man for the view I have on this stuff, even though I obviously come from a Family with a Military background. My Dad fought the Japs in WW2, his Old Man fought the Germans in WW1, my only (and elder) brother was conscripted to go to Vietnam, but while was on the next ship out so to speak, PM Whitlam pulled the plug, so he missed that one, but was deployed to Bougainville and was up to his eyeballs in Timor, then a Brigadier.

Neither my Old Man, on behalf of himself or his Dad, ever made the claim that he fought for King/and or Country. In fact, we found out almost all of his and his Father's and Uncle's military history after he died in his 90s. The Brigadier said he was doing his job...simple as that.

My guilt trip is that my school Mates were conscripted and were sent to, and suffered in or died in Vietnam, a War we entered to honour and keep the bargain of our alliance with the US....not because Australia was ever under threat from the Vietnamese. My vintage got conscripted in a brutal and very public way. I recall it well. On a night nominated in the media, we were told that "All you suckers born in (say) 1949...you are in the raffle tonight." So.....that night, I was glued to the radio. (By this time, Elder Bro was already in.) So......the Man on the Radio said......"And.......the marble has been drawn, if you were born in the month of June.......stay tuned....anyone else, can piss off." I stayed tuned. "And now we will draw dates........Ist June.....yer in. 3rd June.....you win too..... etc." (until they finished the draw.) So if my Mother had gone one day early or one day later....I was in. I missed by 24 hours. A lot of my mates did not get so lucky.....and off they went...just disappeared from Town. "I haven't seen Harry for a while." "Oh, he won life's lottery, and is now wearing khaki getting ready to go to Vietnam."

So......their life was irrevocably changed. Mine, well....no War.

Not one of my Mates who went to Vietnam and came back ever said anything other than that they did the job they were given.

:beer
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Re: Veterans Day in the U.S.

Postby Texan » 11 Nov 2018, 15:27

Aussie wrote:
Texan wrote:I sometimes feel guilty with all the respect and gratitude I get as a veteran. Even when we deployed, we launched and fixed jets and it was fun. I even finished my college while I was in the military. I lost a little hearing, but other than that, it was an awesome experience for me. I have many veteran friends, many of whom have sacrificed a lot in their service. I remember how hard it was to leave home and it was even harder when my son left.

My friend, Jerry, is the most notable veteran. He flew a rescue helicopter in Vietnam.(Jolly Green) During a rescue, his helicopter was shot and failing. He knew he wouldn't make it back, so he flew to a remote location and dropped off his passenger with fresh supplies. That pilot was rescued a couple of days later. Jerry flew as far as he could and crash landed. He evaded capture for 5 days in the jungle. He spent over 7 years as a POW in the "Hanoi Hilton" and was released at the end of the War. He finished out his career as an Air Force Chaplain. We no longer attend the same church and I miss him, and his stories.

I'm glad that Australia also recognizes their veterans. Nobody is perfect, but you have to respect someone who agrees to risk his life for the security of his country. I'm glad recognizing veterans is not just an "American" thing. I'm glad you are our ally.


Remembrance Day has always been part of Australian heritage. We also have ANZAC Day......a far bigger event, on the 25th April each year.

Jerry did well!

Our Memorial Day is much like your ANZAC Day. We honor our fallen on this day. I never knew anybody who died in battle, only some aquaintances. My wife's uncle, Allen Sills, died as a POW after the Bataan Death March. He carried his commanding officer because those that couldn't walk were shot. He died of neglect and starvation. Uncle Allen died 28 years before my wife was born and had no children of his own. My MIL is his only surviving sibling, and she is 87. We have Uncle Allen's death notice from the president, his Purple Heart, his military photos, and his letters to his mom. We just acquired all of his stuff after his other siblings died. We are proud of him and we have a wall dedicated to all of our family service members. We try hard to not forget him, even though my mother in law is the only person we know alive that ever knew him.
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Re: Veterans Day in the U.S.

Postby SethBullock » 11 Nov 2018, 15:28

Aussie wrote:
SethBullock wrote:
Texan wrote:I sometimes feel guilty with all the respect and gratitude I get as a veteran. Even when we deployed, we launched and fixed jets and it was fun. I even finished my college while I was in the military. I lost a little hearing, but other than that, it was an awesome experience for me. I have many veteran friends, many of whom have sacrificed a lot in their service. I remember how hard it was to leave home and it was even harder when my son left.

My friend, Jerry, is the most notable veteran. He flew a rescue helicopter in Vietnam.(Jolly Green) During a rescue, his helicopter was shot and failing. He knew he wouldn't make it back, so he flew to a remote location and dropped off his passenger with fresh supplies. That pilot was rescued a couple of days later. Jerry flew as far as he could and crash landed. He evaded capture for 5 days in the jungle. He spent over 7 years as a POW in the "Hanoi Hilton" and was released at the end of the War. He finished out his career as an Air Force Chaplain. We no longer attend the same church and I miss him, and his stories.

I'm glad that Australia also recognizes their veterans. Nobody is perfect, but you have to respect someone who agrees to risk his life for the security of his country. I'm glad recognizing veterans is not just an "American" thing. I'm glad you are our ally.


I know how you feel. I served in the Army in Hawaii from '74-77.

I have many friends who never served who now wish they had. I've heard that from them many times. It's something we did for our country, even though we didn't fight in a war, that nobody can take away from us. I wouldn't change that decision I made when I was 18 for anything.

Seth


I blame my Old Man for the view I have on this stuff, even though I obviously come from a Family with a Military background. My Dad fought the Japs in WW2, his Old Man fought the Germans in WW1, my only (and elder) brother was conscripted to go to Vietnam, but while was on the next ship out so to speak, PM Whitlam pulled the plug, so he missed that one, but was deployed to Bougainville and was up to his eyeballs in Timor, then a Brigadier.

Neither my Old Man, on behalf of himself or his Dad, ever made the claim that he fought for King/and or Country. In fact, we found out almost all of his and his Father's and Uncle's military history after he died in his 90s. The Brigadier said he was doing his job...simple as that.

My guilt trip is that my school Mates were conscripted and were sent to, and suffered in or died in Vietnam, a War we entered to honour and keep the bargain of our alliance with the US....not because Australia was ever under threat from the Vietnamese. My vintage got conscripted in a brutal and very public way. I recall it well. On a night nominated in the media, we were told that "All you suckers born in (say) 1949...you are in the raffle tonight." So.....that night, I was glued to the radio. (By this time, Elder Bro was already in.) So......the Man on the Radio said......"And.......the marble has been drawn, if you were born in the month of June.......stay tuned....anyone else, can piss off." I stayed tuned. "And now we will draw dates........Ist June.....yer in. 3rd June.....you win too..... etc." (until they finished the draw.) So if my Mother had gone one day early or one day later....I was in. I missed by 24 hours. A lot of my mates did not get so lucky.....and off they went...just disappeared from Town. "I haven't seen Harry for a while." "Oh, he won life's lottery, and is now wearing khaki getting ready to go to Vietnam."

So......their life was irrevocably changed. Mine, well....no War.

Not one of my Mates who went to Vietnam and came back ever said anything other than that they did the job they were given.

:beer


They are modest and understated. Much respect to them all.
"Humility must always be the portion of any man who receives acclaim earned in the blood of his followers and the sacrifices of his friends." - Dwight D Eisenhower
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Re: Veterans Day in the U.S.

Postby Aussie » 11 Nov 2018, 15:33

Yes....Bataan was very ugly.
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Re: Veterans Day in the U.S.

Postby johnsmith » 11 Nov 2018, 17:25

SethBullock wrote: Your soldiers are regarded by ours as among the toughest and best in the world.


Our boys punch well above their weight. :thumb
FD.
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Re: Veterans Day in the U.S.

Postby mothra » 11 Nov 2018, 17:35

johnsmith wrote:
SethBullock wrote: Your soldiers are regarded by ours as among the toughest and best in the world.


Our boys punch well above their weight. :thumb


The girls too.
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Re: Veterans Day in the U.S.

Postby johnsmith » 11 Nov 2018, 17:36

mothra wrote:
johnsmith wrote:
SethBullock wrote: Your soldiers are regarded by ours as among the toughest and best in the world.


Our boys punch well above their weight. :thumb


The girls too.


of course. .. :bgrin


how can I forget the girls. :WTF
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Re: Veterans Day in the U.S.

Postby Aussie » 11 Nov 2018, 17:49

how can I forget the girls.


Totally understandable.

:c
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Re: Veterans Day in the U.S.

Postby johnsmith » 11 Nov 2018, 17:51

Aussie wrote:
how can I forget the girls.


Totally understandable.

:c


at your age? yes.

:up
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Re: Veterans Day in the U.S.

Postby Aussie » 11 Nov 2018, 17:56

:grn
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Re: Veterans Day in the U.S.

Postby johnsmith » 11 Nov 2018, 17:58

:yahoo
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