Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Hat...
We were in the DC area during the Memorial Day weekend to celebrate my grandson's 4th birthday. And what a wonderful visit we had. Included in all the fun was a trip to Annapolis Naval Academy which we happened to visit on Memorial Day.

In the gift shop were lots of Navy shirts and caps and...and a Viet Nam Veteran's hat...the one pictured in yesterday's blog. I've never wanted to own, much less wear, one of those hats because I always thought of myself as a support guy (flight surgeon) and not one of the grunts who truly served or my pilots who hung it out there and, in too many cases, died. But I've been noticing lately that there are fewer and fewer WW II veteran's hats on old head and that that generation is fast disappearing. My generation (and the Korean Vets) are next and, well, I decided to buy the hat. People needed to remember.

Today, Lady Linda and I visited Arlington National Cemetery before coming home. For some reason, I wore the hat. No, not for some reason. I wore it out of respect for those who didn't come home with me. While standing inside the reception building, just before going out to the graves, a young school boy looked up at me and said, "Thank you." I was taken by surprise but managed to thank him back and offer a small salute. A moment later a lady stopped and thanked me for my service. I thanked her... and felt uncomfortable. This wasn't about me, so I took the hat off.

I did wear it as Linda and I read many of the grave stones, but I avoided eye contact with the many other visitors so as not to detract for the real purpose of the day. I don't know if or when I will wear it again. It's just a hat.

Paddle safe...
DS

5 comments:

Buncher said...

Just think of all of the men who didn't find themselves laying under those grave stones because of you. In my book, that's worth saluting.

Duncan and Joan said...

Ditto what Buncher said. My son, an infantry soldier, served in Afghanistan on a particularly difficult and long tour. I will always salute his courage. I served as a military chaplain for a good number of years and saw the Cold War end, while posted overseas. We thought peace was going to break out...we pray one day it will. It's worth believing in. Bravo Silbs - the previous comment is correct.

Silbs said...

Thanks for your service and your comments. And...for the record... Buncher is my oldest daughter.

DaveO said...

No2 son is in the process of moving from artillery to the chaplain's corp after his tour as a Humvee gunner in Iraq. Makes more sense to me than most things......thanks to everyone, no matter where or how they served.

Silbs said...

I'm glad he's safe. Shake his hand for me.