Veterans, cookies, and … Turkey spam?

Last week I had the honor of speaking to a group of students, faculty and staff at Miles about my experiences in the military and what it means to be a veteran. The school had a program for Veterans Day and I was asked to be their guest speaker. I was flattered.

I have the impression that many students do not understand what a veteran is or how this honor was earned by military personnel who served their country. I grew up in a military family, so I guess I understood better what a person does in their military job.

When I was very young, I remember watching reports of an armed conflict taking place in a country called Vietnam. In 1965 my father was sent to serve in this armed conflict. My father was there at the start of this armed conflict which would later become a full-fledged war.

We Americans started out as advisers helping local South Vietnamese military types learn new techniques to defend their nation from their enemies in the North. For many years, this was all done under the proverbial cloak and dagger secrecy one would expect to find in a spy novel. For many years, we didn’t want the American people to know that we Americans spent time and money in a foreign country teaching foreigners the art of war. I know that sounds a bit James Bondish, but it’s true. For many years we have taught underdogs how to defend themselves.

When our counseling and teaching efforts were discovered, we shifted from advisers to soldiers helping local native personnel wage a war that many Americans were opposed to. I would say a lot of those draft burners and those who are totally opposed to our involvement in this war are gone now, but there are still many who would take their signs back and walk again if they thought it would do any good. .

The Southeast Asian War was the first major conflict America has ever lost, and it left a bad taste in the mouths of many Americans. It was a war that will be debated for years to come. It was a war where we veterans, and many serving members who never had the privilege of earning the title of veteran, served and paid the ultimate price for their efforts. I offer my deepest respect for those who have served me and who have come before me. Please respect your US Veterans throughout the year, not just on Veterans Day. Channel change.

When was the last time you washed your cookie jar? Does it sound strange? Well, think about it for a minute. Do you just keep throwing new cookies at the survivors left in the jar? How many generations has your cookie jar served. Our Tupperware cookie jar is now serving grandchildren. And no, it hasn’t been washed for a few months / years. What’s your favorite cookie to pull from this cookie jar? Yeah me too.

Good luck to all the athletes as they try out new sports or make it to the UIL Championships. Be careful and represent your school well.

Have you ever bought the ingredients for your Thanksgiving meal? Things are getting thin. Perhaps this is the year when new traditions are born out of necessity. Maybe the spam turkey will be fine. No, that won’t happen. Be well, Gary K.


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