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Thought some of you might enjoy reading this. Jackie B.



When a Veteran leaves the 'job' and retires to a better life, many are jealous, some are pleased, and others, who may have already retired, wonder if he knows what he is leaving behind, because we already know.



1. We know, for example, that after a lifetime of camaraderie that few experience, it will remain as a longing for those past times.



2. We know in the Military life there is a fellowship which lasts long after the uniforms are hung up in the back of the closet.



3. We know even if he throws them away, they will be on him with every step and breath that remains in his life. We also know how the very bearing of the man speaks of what he was and in his heart still is.



These are the burdens of the job. You will still look at people suspiciously, still see what others do not see or choose to ignore and always will look at the rest of the Military world with a respect for what they do; only grown in a lifetime of knowing.



Never think for one moment you are escaping from that life. You are only escaping the 'job' and merely being allowed to leave 'active' duty.



So what I wish for you is that whenever you ease into retirement, in your heart you never forget for one moment that you are still a member of the greatest fraternity the world has ever known.



NOW! Civilian Friends vs. Veteran Friends Comparisons



CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Get upset if you're too busy to talk to them for a week.

VETERAN FRIENDS: Are glad to see you after years, and will happily carry on the same conversation you were having the last time you met.
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CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Have never seen you cry.

VETERAN FRIENDS: Have cried with you.


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CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Keep your stuff so long they forget it's yours.

VETERAN FRIENDS: Borrow your stuff for a few days then give it back.





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CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Know a few things about you.

VETERAN FRIENDS: Could write a book with direct quotes from you.


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CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Will leave you behind if that's what the crowd is doing.

VETERAN FRIENDS: Will kick the crowd's ass that left you behind.


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CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Are for a while.

VETERAN FRIENDS: Are for life.


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CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Have shared a few experiences...

VETERAN FRIENDS: Have shared a lifetime of experiences no citizen could ever dream of...


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CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Will take your drink away when they think you've had enough.

VETERAN FRIENDS: Will look at you stumbling all over the place and say, 'You better drink the rest of that before you spill it!' Then carry you home safely and put you to bed...

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CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Will talk crap to the person who talks crap about you.

VETERAN FRIENDS: Will knock the hell out OF THEM...for using your name in vain.


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CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Will ignore this.

VETERAN FRIENDS: Will forward this.


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A veteran - whether active duty, retired, or reserve- is someone who, at one point in their life, wrote a blank check made payable to 'The Government of the United States of America' for an amount of 'up to and including my life'. . . and military wives are as much veterans as their spouses.



From one Veteran to another, it's an honor to be in your company.



Thank you.



Happy New Year to all you Vets and Spouses.
 

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Your comments are very timely Jack. Got a phone call from a long lost Air Force buddy yesterday morning reminding me that it was our 50th anniversary of graduateing from boot camp. Ten minutes after that call ended another of our small group called from 4000 miles in the other direction. There is only 3 of us still around.It isn't a bond formed in combat with us as the only battles we were ever involved in was trying to get out the front door of the Pearl City Tavern when the brown shoe and black shoe Navy types went at it. We looked out for each other and absorbed the best in each of us. It was a great four years.
 

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No one phrase fits everybody but the military sure gives everyone a diffrent perspective on life. All the stuff one goes through you know when you have a buddy after seving with them.
USARMY MP CORPS RET.
 

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Chuckles, are you an idiot or what. Nowhere did I accuse anyone of being a scumbag as you did. If indeed you did serve 5 years in the service then you would know that the relationship between service members is unlike any civilian relationship you have had. I have lived in several other countries and we were family. A good example is when I was stationed in Japan, running a radar site on a small island out from Fukouka. There was a Air Force base that had been closed and navy personnel from Sasebo were taking care of security and upkeep until a decision was made of what to do with the base. I had a house that had a real tub, a shower and a real toilet. Word went out and all of them knew about it and came to my house for baths. I never ran out of something to drink either. Oh and I was Air Force. I still keep in touch with a lot of those guys. I've never had a GI to tell me he couldn't help when needed. I can't say that of all civilians. Jackie B.
 

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Always have that one who has to complain about something and call names when none have been implied. I agree with the above statements and unlike civilians, I can see the humor in them and take them to heart.

ExFedex, glad you got those phone calls as they truly make your day. Nothing can compare to getting a call or visit from one of your military friends. Everything seems like it was just yesterday you were together and there is no lack of communication when you talk to each other.

Gary
 

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My life as a civilian, holding a civilian job is not even close to my military time. The military experience may not be for everyone but those that served know there is something special about the time and bonds you created while serving. What shooting Jack has stated above is right on the money!

Rick
 

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Great post Jack.I have been to the VA hospital many times.I have seen men broken down with little or no hope.Men that were upbeat.Men that did not know where they were at.The (HOMELESS) rate for VETS. is all too high.

The adminstration we have now and ones before it have somehow turned their backs on our VETS.

Let none of us forget,if it were not for these brave men and women we would not have our Freedom today.

Americans all to often take things for granted.

The Veterans owe us nothing,we owe them everything.

Bocephas
 

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Great post, Jack, every line rings true. Got together last October with a group of squadron mates I lived and flew with in Nam. After 40 years, it was like we'd only been apart for a few months.

Jack - While you're at Quantico make sure you get to the new Marine Corps museum they're building there. Extremely well done and an experience to visit, especially with a bunch of guys that were there together.

Semper Fi

Joe
 
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