Veteran’s Day

It is November 11, Veteran's Day in the United State, a day when we remember all those who are serving and have served in the armed forces of the United States (Memorial Day is when we specifically remember those who died). The Washington Post has an article from Elizabeth L. Robbins, an Army major, commenting on the support our troops continue to receive from those back home. The thing I found most revealing about the article was the disclaimer attached to the end by the Washington Post.

Elizabeth L. Robbins, an Army major, deployed in May in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The views expressed here are her own. [Emphasis added.]

If that isn't an accurate commentary on the disconnect between those who serve, most of the common citizens of our country, and those in the halls of power, in this case the MM (mainstream media), I do not know what is. It is truly sad.

Today I also remember my brother, Alan James Meisheid, who died on September 10, 1968, during the Tet Offensive (panel 44 west, Vietnam War Memorial). A team member tripped a booby trap that wounded one other and killed him.

But beyond my brother, I remember all those others who have served and are serving at great risk for our country. I remember my own service in the Air Force from 1966-1970 and my own two near death experiences. I remember my tennis partner at Utapao AFB, a captain who lived because he switched duty to play in our semi-final match in the base doubles tournament. His replacement died when a B-52 blew up after crashing on takeoff.

Today I especially remember the men and women with whom I work with at Andrews Air Force base, in AFOSI (Air Force Office of Special Investigations). I remember that just last week we lost three agents to an IED, good men all. At this moment I remember Mark L. Walker, Special Agent, DAFC, Chief, Mission Integration under whom I work, who just left for a six month deployment in Iraq. May God guard every step he takes until he returns safely home.

I respect all the men and women serving our country, doing the hard work in difficult and dangerous places.

Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don't turn up at all. Sam Ewing [I would point out that hard dangerous work spotlights character even more.]

In closing I would note, "Some do; some don't; some will; some won't." I pray I am always among the do and will, turning up my sleeves as needed. May you be among those also.

Grace and peace to your day.

2 thoughts on “Veteran’s Day

  1. William,

    My name is Fred Hull, but you may remember me better by 1Lt Frederick L Hull, the  Army escort officer who brought your brother, Alan, home to his family in September, 1968.  I have been looking for you and your family for many years.

    I'm sorry it has taken me so long to get in touch with you.  When I was discharged from the Army, I was so disenfranchised with the military that I destroyed all copies of my orders.

    Meeting you, your brother James, your father and especially your mother under such heartbreaking circumstances, is something I have thought about many times in the last 50 years.  I will always remember your mother for her grace and composure while I was crying while presenting Alan's flag to her.  I apologized to her and she tried to console me.  I understand she has passed away and wish I could have said these things to her in person.

    I also remember your resolve to insure that it was truly your brother, Alan, by demanding that I allow you to open the casket in spite of the Army's emphatic recommendation to keep it closed.  I knew in my heart that it was what you absolutely had to do.

    I hope life has treated you and your family well for all of these past years – you all  certainly deserve it.


    Fred Hull

    P.S.  I would like to point out a couple of typos in your letter above:  Veteran's Day is always November 11th and Alan's death occurred on September 10th.


  2. Thank you Fred for your kind words and for following through on your commitment to my family. May God's best blessings follow you in everything you do.

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