A VIEW ON VETERAN’S DAY 2019 FROM A VETERAN

Hilbert Morales | El Observador
Photo Credit: Unsplash

The United Veteran’s Council of Santa Clara County has organized the parade and related festivities which will happen on Monday, November 11, 2019. The Reviewing Stand will be located facing Cesar Chavez Plaza. The parade will begin shortly after 10:30 AM. This parade is reputed to be one of the largest in America. SJ Mayor Sam Liccardo and SJ City Council members plus members of the Board of Supervisors, and various other leaders of this community will be at the viewing stand.

Veterans Day (originally known as Armistice Day) is a federal holiday in the United States observed annually on November 11, for honoring military veterans, that is, persons who have served in the United States Armed Forces (and were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable).

It coincides with other holidays including Armistice Day and Remembrance Day which are celebrated in other countries that mark the anniversary of the end of World War I which was supposed to be “the war which ended all wars.”

“Major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, when the Armistice with Germany went into effect. At the urging of major U.S. veteran organizations, Armistice Day was renamed Veterans Day in 1954.”

“Veterans Day is distinct from Memorial Day, a U.S. public holiday in May. Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans, while Memorial Day honors those who have died while in military service.[3] There is another military holiday, Armed Forces Day, a minor U.S. remembrance that also occurs in May, which honors those currently serving in the U.S. military.” (Source: Wikipedia)

This Veteran’s Day Holiday is meant to honor the military service of men and women who defended this nation with their service.

In the Guadalupe and Toribio Morales family had 12 children of which 9 were boys, FIVE (5) of the nine brothers served in this nation’s military. Brother Seville Morales was a master mechanic who kept General Patton’s tanks well-tuned up during WWII.

His supply battalion did its best to keep all tanks operating very well and fully supplied with the appropriate munitions. During a family get-together, Seville told all of us of the time he extended the available gasoline supply by adding French wine (18% alcohol) to stretch available gasoline supplies.

Brother Andrew was with a 4.5-inch Mortar Battalion which landed in North Africa, Sicily, Salerno and Anzio. At Anzio, his was the only mortar unit that was not destroyed. Andrew had located his mortar unit 300 yards in front of the infantry picket line. Said Andrew, I knew that the krauts were very logical, they would never consider looking for my group where I placed it some 30 yards in front of the infantry. Andrew experienced over 240 days of front-line combat duty.

I myself served 36 months from August 1946 to August 1949 as a medical-Surgical technician assigned to the 155th Station Hospital, Yokohama, Japan. My service included being an assistant during surgery, dealing with the surgical instrument table, and learned applied sterile surgical techniques. During my hospital assignments, I attended over 30 live birthing’s, as the hospital provided hospital care to military families in the Tokyo-Yokohama area.

Brother Guadalupe (Lupe) could never tell anyone what he did and where he was assigned. Some 40 years after being discharged, Lupe finally told me that he was a member of a cryptographic unit located at the Pentagon. That unit’s job was to crack any and all secret communications codes used by the enemy.

Brother Ralph served during Korea in the U.S. Air Force guarding military air landing strips and planes parked there. He endured the very severe blustery and very cold winter weather.

Our family was very fortunate in that five brothers served and all five returned home physically intact. In those days, combat fatigue was a term used to describe what is now termed PTSD (post-traumatic stress syndrome). Brother Andrew had the worst case of PTSD.

On reflection, this American nation has become the Global Military Police Force of this world since WW II. Right after WW II which was declared ended by the U.S. Congress on December 30, 1946, we have had military skirmishes in Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, Afghanistan, Iraq, and so it continues today in the Mid-East. Many of the soldiers are under age 30. Many use their service to take advantage of education programs. That is how I was able to earn my B.Sc. Degree in Chemistry.

Today, our community’s youth, especially those from impoverished low-income families may still use military service to obtain a college education’. All five of the Morales family brothers did just that.

It was Seville and Andrew who told me to pick an M.O.S. (military occupational specialty) which translates easily into the civilian job marketplace. Capitalistic corporations do not employ riflemen or those who know how to fire mortars. Seville’s expertise as a mechanic enabled him to become a master mechanic for a MAC Truck dealership located in Lake County, Indiana.

The local clinics and hospitals would not recognize my army hospital service at all. So, I augmented by G.I. Education support by being a cafeteria busboy at Indian University.

Today, I support the election of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren who propose that college education be free. I personally would feel better if, for every month of military service, one month of college or vocational training would be funded in full today.

In general, for each month of community service, a month of college or vocational training would be earned. I prefer a hand-up type of development program over a hand-out type of program because nothing is free, somebody underwrites the program costs.

Becoming a knowledge worker requires one’s full investment and commitment. Half-hearted efforts invariably do not make it

But let me be explicit; Today’s youth need to learn some vocation very well. WELL ENOUGH TO BECOME A KNOWLEDGE WORKER! And it is best to become very well informed in more than one specialty field of know-how (knowledge). Be willing to try any field especially when you are still youthful.

The objective is to become a life-long veteran of the learning process. I have never stopped learning something new each day. Things change; with maturity comes perspectives and insights not thought of during prior youthful innocent times.

Veteran’s Day is a time to tap the experience and know-how of a veteran. Knowledge needs to be shared by experienced mentors. This American democracy will survive the assaults of self-serving leaders such as Mr. Trump who really is an enemy of “We, The People” who are individuals of color. His white supremacy ideology undermines the concept that each of us will receive equal access to opportunity and the protection by the Law of this land.

The Trump Administration is all about taking full advantage while in office. The consequence is that We, The People end up enduring what wrongful ideology is proposed (as propaganda). We, The People must defend the ideals already embodied in the U.S. Constitution because they are being undermined and desecrated by actions of the current administration.

We, The People must become fully committed to defending the U.S. Constitution as the Law of this land. Let us all commit to becoming “conflict veterans” who were successful repelling many of Trump’s wrongful projections of American ideals and sense of what is fair to each and every one of us. Each of us is daily being provided the opportunity to push back the many Trumpisms being forced upon our communities. This is a domestic civil war wherein what is an American ideal is being denigrated by Trump and his colleagues.

We must honor and pay our respects to prior veterans who successfully fought and defeated Nazism and Fascism. Both ideologies contained white supremacist features.

We, The People must prevail against those White Supremacists who do not support democracy with their daily racist practices. Too many of our brothers and sisters served in the U.S. Military to protect and defend American democratic ideals. We cannot allow any domestic racist leader to prevail here at home. Decide to push back when appropriate.

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