Christmas over, yesterday morning my daughter headed back to college – and ROTC. But she wasn’t gone long; before hitting the freeway she stopped to help a guy that slid into a ditch so she came back to get some salt for traction. I tossed on my coat to help, too. When we got there, there was another guy helping – with a Purple Heart license plate and a Marines bumper sticker. We shoveled and we pushed; it wasn’t enough so back to the garage for a pull strap. The Marine got down on his belly in the slush and hooked up the strap. Did the trick. Sent a very happy guy in a suit on his way to work. I thanked the Marine for his service (he was injured in Iraq); he said no big deal and thanked my daughter for joining ROTC.

I tell this story because two days ago, I had the honor of watching Vietnam Veteran Tim Callister receive a medal, the Distinguished Flying Cross — 40 years late. At his ceremony, Warrant Officer Callister (and the presenter of the medal, State Senator Jim Carlson) talked about recognizing all veterans, whether they served in combat (those like the Marine with the Purple Heart that crawled in slush just yesterday) or not (those like me, that by the Grace of God didn’t have to).

Warrant Officer Callister got his medals the old-fashioned way – he earned them. A humble man, he wanted his special day to include all veterans. Yesterday, that Marine showed what Callister was talking about. Each and every day, Veterans are out there helping out – serving; giving. They did while in uniform; they continue with the uniform off.

It’s that selfless attitude so many Veterans have, that I hope those reading this will take into the new year. And I wish you all a very happy 2011.

(cross posted to MnProgressiveProject.com; comments welcome there)

On October 16th, I asked several fellow veterans about a comment the Republican Candidate for Governor in Minnesota – Tom Emmer – said to the Marshall Independent newspaper on 9/26/09. That quote by Emmer – “I don’t believe you can be a freedom-loving American and be a Democrat” was not widely reported in the allegedly “liberal” mainstream media.

This video documents a few Veterans responses to Emmer saying, essentially, that Democrats, even military veterans, can’t be real patriots.

I’d like to remind everyone that on 07 April 1775, Samuel Johnson said that “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.”

On 26 September 2009, Republican Candidate for Governor Tom Emmer demonstrated that he indeed is a scoundrel.

I paid for this with my dime. It’s not not approved by any candidate nor is any candidate responsible for it. It’s my deal and my deal only. Let’s look!

(YouTube direct link here)

(cross posted from MnProgressiveProject.com, please post comments there)