November 11, 2011
Veterans Day 2011: Most Every Family Has a Story to Tell as We Recognize Our Stakeholders in America
For this Veterans Day, I simply wish to remind readers that something like 20% of the US population consists of living war and peace-time vets and the dependants of living vets and survivors of deceased vets. See last year's Veterans Day post.
My grandfather dodged conscription in the Russian army as a Pole living in occupied Poland before WWI by immigrating to the US. That would have been a life "sentence" since conscription in the Czar's army at the time meant 20-years service. He ended up being drafted by the US Army during WWI but was never sent overseas. My father was a WWII vet. In his case, he enlisted in the US Navy once he graduated high school and became a Navy nurse. Good duty until some Marine Corp Lt. Col, called him during a roll call and said he looked like he was "full of piss and vinegar" so my father was assigned to a scout company of Marines at their medic. He participated in three first-wave island invasions in the Pacific Theater included the last combat he engaged in at Okinawa because of that assignment. After seeing the devastation of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, he mustered out of the Navy and returned to Chicago in 1946. During the Vietnam War, my lottery number was in the 300's so I has not drafted and did not enlist because I opposed the war.
Regardless of my personal opinions about the Vietnam War, the sacrifices our Vietnam vets and their families made then certainly require recognition from me. This, of course, includes our vets who served their county in the first and second Irag wars -- regardless of what some, include me, think about the justifications offered for second Iraq war -- as well the war in Afghanistan.
By serving our country, our Veterans and their families have and continue to make sacrifices for us at home. Thanks to all. [JH]
Thanks Mikhail! The 20-year thing is the family history or I now should say family legend.
Posted by: Joe Hodnicki | Nov 14, 2011 5:22:07 AM
My grandfather dodged conscription in the Russian army as a Pole living in occupied Poland before WWI by immigrating to the US. That would have been a life "sentence" since conscription in the Czar's army at the time meant 20-years service. He ended up being drafted by the US Army during WWI but was never sent overseas.
With all due respect, check your sources or revise your family legend. *25*-year service was abolished in 1874, replaced by general 6-year conscription. According to most published scholarship, only about 25% of those eligible for service in any given year were actually drafted.
Posted by: Mikhail Koulikov | Nov 13, 2011 10:03:07 AM