The Last Nam Vet
By Richard Wangard, Navy, Air Force
Writing Type: Prose
By Rich Wangard
It is our turn now. As time goes by, it will claim all of us for God's great armed force. Already 2.5 million of my brothers and some very brave sisters have formed up in heaven.
Where else would a vet go? Sacrifice, duty, honor, love of country, the brotherhood and sisterhood, knowing how important the person next to you is, being a part of something bigger than yourself, following lawful orders, and taking action to save someone while not even thinking of yourself.
So, about 500,000 of us are left to carry on and remember and honor all those vets who have gone before us and for us. Every day is Veterans Day. Now I ask you all: Where would our country be without service, without anyone to take the oath? There would not be a country.
The only vet the country turned its back on was the Nam vet. That still hurts me to this day, but I have forgiven long ago. Now the country treats all of us who are left very well. "Thank you for your service," they say. I appreciate that, but somehow and some way it rings empty and way too late.
Maybe PTSD--a lifetime of different struggles, coping, and no filters--still has me in a bitter mood. I have improved much, done my best, carried on.
I do not fear joining my brothers and sisters, for time stops for all of us sooner or later. I will not be The Last Nam Vet. All those who have gone before us; it’s awesome. All the way back to the Revolutionary War. Love of country, sacrifice, putting it all on the line. Why do men and women do that? They do it for you and me and this country.
Then after, they fade into history. But, thank God, nobody forgets!