11th Hour, 11th Day, 11th Month. Thank a Veteran.

We all owe our veterans. If you’ve ever been to the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington D.C., or Arlington National Cemetery, or the Korean War Veterans memorial, or the World War II memorial, or any of the many others, you know that you should thank a veteran today. I’m especially grateful for the service of my father, John T. Hassinger, MD, Capt. US Army (Ret.) who served with the 173rd Airborne in Vietnam as a MASH surgeon. I’m also thankful to everyone who wore the uniform, no matter how or when they served, including my friends George, Ian, and many others. Thank you all. Please feel free to thank your own veteran for his or her service in the comments.


  1. blakeage80 says:

    My great grandfather, Sgt. Leonard Little, 66th Black Panthers, European Theater 1944-1945. His company lost a coin toss so he was aboard the SS Cheshire instead of the Leopoldville with the rest of their division. This incident kept them out of The Battle of The Bulge. I’m glad I could know him until he died in 2004.

  2. PegM says:

    My father is a veteran of the Pacific Theater in WWII where he fought in every major battle aboard an aircraft carrier as a rear gunner. At 92, he still suffers from back pain from schrapnel that’s floating around near his spine and can’t be removed. It was his finest hour.

  3. Charlie says:

    I observed the House GOP caucus meeting yesterday, and returning for another term was Rep. John Yates. He’s the last serving WWII veteran in the Georgia General Assembly, and one of only a small handfull still serving in legislatures across the country.

    If you get the chance when you’re at the Capitol (or see him around Birdie Rd in Griffin), ask him about his service. He has wonderful stories. And you’ll be a better person for hearing them.

  4. drjay says:

    my dad’s dad was a helicopter pilot, my mom’s dad was a helicopter mechanic, they both ended up stationed at hunter which is how my parents met and i came to be…they both saw “action” in two wars, grandaddy’s melvin’s actual voyage to vietnam on a ship as his company’s supply officer would make a great book if i had the skill to write it for him…he left 2 weeks before his company, went throught the panama canal, had to sail around one of the busiest typhoon seasons in history, ende up in manila waiting for fair seas and got to vietnam a day after his company instead of a week before…they would sit on their flak jackets so they didn’t get shot in the ass while skimming the tree tops in their choppers…there is actually a lot of it he won’t talk about…

  5. John Vestal says:

    My dad, Donald Vestal, enlisted in the U.S. Army in January of 1941 in Cleveland, OH. He went thru basic training at Camp Shelby, MS, and was activated as part of the 118th Engineer Battalion of the 43rd Infantry Division and sailed from San Francisco to New Zealand in October, 1942 (less than 5 months after marrying my Mom). The 43rd was involved in the campaigns to take the Solomons, New Guinea and Luzon (PI). They were part of the post-surrender occupation forces in Japan until returning to San Francisco October 1945.

    Dad never really talked about the actual “war” part of his time in the Pacific, although they had plenty of enemy resistance on several islands…especially Munda, where the 118th was tasked with clearing a road thru heavy jungle to reach the island’s occupied airfield. He mostly talked about his RR time in New Zealand and the family he got to know, and the “fun” things he and his buddies did, like rig up a truck with a refrigeration unit. He was pretty sure their unit had the only chilled AND mobile “hooch” in the Pacific Theatre. 🙂

    Tonight, I will be toasting Dad and ALL veterans using one of the nickel-plated “shot glasses” (actually kinda big for a shot glass) he and his 118th buddies made from Japanese AA shell casings.

    Thank you, veterans. Miss you, Dad.

  6. Will Durant says:

    A simple high school World History term paper ended up exceeding the required minimum length by ~55 typewritten pages and changed my life probably more than any other event in my teen years.
    I asked 5 vets for their stories and got 4 of them to talk by promising complete anonymity and allowing them final approval of the text of their own story. One was a great uncle who served in WWI. One was a Navy radio operator who was commandeered ashore at Omaha Beach. One was an uncle who “led” a platoon in retreat from the Chinese in Korea. Another uncle was with the 101st Airborne who saw his first action in the Battle of the Bulge. As an aircraft mechanic my father declined to participate as he felt he hadn’t done anything special though this was contradicted by his buddies years later.

    I got these stories, warts and all, with the constant being a denial of any heroism on their own part and to a man, the senselessness of war. I will always support the troops. I will always oppose the politicians who use them frivolously.

  7. Will Kremer says:

    My cousin, Ashley, served in Iraq and Afghanistan a few years back. My father was stationed in Munich in the 80’s. I’ve heard several interesting stories from him ranging from old women on drugs to USSR Generals defecting. My grandfather was in Vietnam and, for obvious reasons, chooses not to share his war stories. I’m beyond grateful for all of them and everyone else who served. It’s not easy and can go thankless at times.

  8. saltycracker says:

    I am thankful for my father and the long line of grandfathers serving in all the major conflicts, serving the Confederacy in GA and FL and particularly several Patriots in the Revolutionary War. One in particular fought at Kettles Creek GA serving under Elijah Clarke, He lived and died in Bulloch County and is buried in a grave marked for his service.

  9. Edward Lindsey says:

    “It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the organizer, who gave us the freedom to demonstrate. It is the soldier who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag.” – Father Dennis Edward O’Brien, USMC

Comments are closed.