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A Big Thank You To Those Who Have Sacraficed So Much..Some Thoughts Veterans Day 2012


Preface / Introduction A Big Thank You To Those Who Have Sacraficed So Much..Some Thoughts Veterans Day 2012 As I sit at my computer today and think about how different the world would be if not for our Veterans. These people gave so much and in many cases paid the ultimate price..their lives! And yet, get so little thanks. These are the men and women who are fighting or have faught so that you and I can sleep at night. So that we can go about our daily lives with a sense of peace and pride. So that we are free to say what we believe and without fear of persecution. Yes these men and women deserve our biggest thanks and the sad part is they don't get anywhere near the thanks that they deserve. Well these articles below are my way to pay tribute to these men and women who have kept us. While you are reading these articles go to any search engine and listen to the Angry American by Toby Keith http://youtu.be/5PXSK3iDeAI Thank you for reading.. Comments always welcome Dale G. Thomson 609-314-0386 Skype-dale.g.thomson


Table of Contents 1. About Spc. David Hickman, the last of the U.S. troops killed in Iraq. He was just 23. 2. Thoughts on the "war to end all wars", mustard gas, Uncle Will, and remembrance. 3. The boy next door... the best of the Great Republic. You sleep easy through the night because of him... and millions like him. A Tribute!


A Big Thank You To Those Who Have Sacraficed So Much..Some Thoughts Veterans Day 2012

About Spc. David Hickman, the last of the U.S. troops killed in Iraq. He was just 23. by Dr. Jeffrey Lant Author's program note. What you would have noticed first of all was that the pews were filled with young faces... the kinds of faces you don't usually see amongst the congregation at funeral services in Greensboro, North Carolina. And you knew right away that this was a service for someone who died young, died whilst knowing hardly a thing about life... except that he knew and embodied the most important realization in life... that to give to others is the essence of our humanity... whilst to die for others is sublime. As David Emanuel Hickman had done... "Zeus". What you would also have noticed about David Hickman was that he was as near physical perfection as a human can be, so much so that he called himself "Zeus" after the king of the Olympic gods. He didn't just look good... he looked awesome... toned, sculpted, working as the physical fitness fanatic he was to perfect perfection. He was avid in pursuit of the body to die for, organized, dedicated, committed. Such people, of course, with eye-popping muscles and the kind of beefcake you see on the covers of magazines in the check-out lane at grocery stores, can easily irk and irritate the rest of the population, too lazy to exercise and yet proud... but David Hickman knew the secret to making even the most jealous like him, for he was the class cut-up... a man whose smile was more killing than his six pack. David loved to laugh... and he loved to make everyone around him laugh, too. We could forgive this kid anything... because he made us laugh at everything... it was his real claim to fame, even when he was masterminding the complicated plays that brought sweet victory to Northeast Guilford High School. For he was, in time-honored American fashion, a grid iron hero... Complicated plans. David relished his time playing football... not least because it gave him the opportunity to create... the most complicated plays, plays which he would sit at home inventing, doodling, making notes on a page that would in due course become the moves that would bring the excited crowd to its feet shouting for David, anxious for more of the same, sure it would come... for David loved the game and relished the fact that it gave him the opportunity to dazzle... even though his ultra complicated game plans had to be put aside after he graduated... mere teen-agers were unable to understand, much less execute them. How David must have smiled when he learned that, "Don't that just beat all... Don't that just beat all?" What now? But as all grid iron heroes learn, football and its perquisites stop.. but life goes on. Thus each such hero must answer one insistent question: what now? For David Hickman this meant the service of America, this meant the army... and so he enlisted. And remember this: he did this of his own choice, his own volition. He was not compelled to do so, neither forced nor drafted. He selected the service of his nation because he believed in this nation, its great mission, and its essential goodness and purpose . David Hickman, American boy, volunteered and volunteered in time of war. This single decision, this action was the determining factor in the remaining time of his short life. Boy into man. http://www.HomeBizGroup5000.com

Copyright Dale Thomson - 2012

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A Big Thank You To Those Who Have Sacraficed So Much..Some Thoughts Veterans Day 2012

In the army Hickman learned what every service man learns... the crucial importance of the unit, the team, his buddies. Being a team player for football gave him a head start; he already knew how to turn a commitment to his team mates into victory. These crucial skills, on which more lives depended than just his, were honed in the army, in his unit, the 2nd Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry. Hickman, more man than boy with every passing day, grew up in his regiment, as so many before him had grown up. It was all about the men and women he served with, men and women who selected the army, the service of the Great Republic... and their fate as warriors in the current of America's lengthy and growing chain of wars. For be clear on this: in the year Hickman enlisted, in 2009, the great fact of America was America's current wars, in Iraq, in Afghanistan. And David Hickman knew that service to America would very likely, quite probably mean active duty in one or more of these turbulent, always dangerous war zones. Whether he enlisted because of this great fact, or in spite of it is not known... but this fact is: he signed his name on the required paperwork... and so declared himself ready for whatever should come. Thus, in due course, David Hickman took his godlike physique, his mega-watt smile, his rollicking humor, and his complete commitment to his country to Iraq and to kismet. Getting into war -- easy. Getting out -- hard. Every nation or political entity always learns one certain, irrevocable fact: that it is easy, ridiculously easy, to get a war, any war, started. The paraphernalia of war is readily at hand, the stirring rhetoric, the certainty that war, always war, must be the solution to any problem, the seemingly irrefutable argument that this war is just, honest, timely, necessary... Oh, yes, each war, all the wars, have been easily convoked... and so Johnny goes marching from home, all the necessary assurances and certainties in his kit. And the rest of us wish him well and say that this war, like all the previous wars, is necessary and proper; that our cause is always just, and our wars are all needed, each and every one. Then we discover that war isn't always the best solution... that war is always muddled, confusing, inept... and expensive. And so painful to see and experience, that the very people we have gone to save are not grateful... are in fact outraged by our presence and wish us to the devil... or at the least to go home soonest. All this invariably surprises, baffles and confuses the likes of David Hickman and all the buddies... for their certainties melt when confronted by the forge of politics, self-seeking, and its multiplicity of shades of gray, instead of the black and white they expected and which had been so clear the day they departed. And so the team, their buddies and colleagues grows in importance... as does the vital necessity to stay alive, to go home. And a kind of game develops... once the feeling is general that this once certain and necessary war will be over soon, politicians prating of the victory they didn't get... once this happens, the emphasis is on getting out alive; nothing, absolutely nothing is more important than that. And so the war that no one now believes in must be kept going, while every thought and every effort is on staying alive... going home. Killed at 23, November 14, 2011. David Hickman, so expert at so many games, knew the drill... and took his chances. And died in the process. He was killed by an improvised bomb, a device characteristic of the Iraq war, a cheap, nasty, made-up weapon that mangled and killed the military professionals of our nation. And on an ordinary day in mid-November cut down David Hickman, too... the beauty of his youth, every possibility of a life graced with goodness, empathy, and a willingness to work to make things http://www.HomeBizGroup5000.com

Copyright Dale Thomson - 2012

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A Big Thank You To Those Who Have Sacraficed So Much..Some Thoughts Veterans Day 2012

better... all this gone because of a random destructive device detonated on a day when all David Hickman wanted was to stay alive and go home. And he did go home, as nearly 4,500 of our countrymen and women came home... to flags flying, guns firing, salutes smartly given... in a box; the last casualty in a war hardly anyone understood... a war that brought us the obloquy of the world... and a church full of his buddies and comrades, every one young, every one without a line, without a single wrinkle... all thinking of God, of David, of themselves, and most of all about America, our Great Republic... and why Taps is played for so many, so often, so much expected, so little achieved. Go now to any search engine and play it for David Hickman, and for all the rest; for they all died, each and every one of them, for us. *** What do you think? Let us know by posting your comments below.

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A Big Thank You To Those Who Have Sacraficed So Much..Some Thoughts Veterans Day 2012

Thoughts on the "war to end all wars", mustard gas, Uncle Will, and remembrance. by Dr. Jeffrey Lant. Author's program note. This Memorial Day for the first time since the clock struck eleven on the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918, the day of Armistice, there are no known World War I veterans extant. The last U.S. veteran, Frank Buckles, died in 2011 after celebrating his 110th birthday. He served as a U.S. Army ambulance driver in Europe, rising to the rank of corporal before the war ended. Then there was just one more... Florence Green died in 2012 at age 110, just two weeks before her 111th birthday. She joined the Women's Royal Air Force in September 1918 at the age of seventeen. She went to work as a waitress in the officers' mess at RAF Marham in eastern England, and was serving there when the war ended in 1918. With these two deaths, now they are all dead, in their millions, the men and women who fought to make the world safe for democracy, theirs the "war to end all wars" as President Woodrow Wilson earnestly asserted and solemnly pronounced to a world which, after its great sacrifices, wanted so very desperately to believe him, no one more so than William Edward Marshall, my Great Uncle Will. How an Archduke changed the life of a gridiron hero, the most handsome man in Henderson County. "The Great War", as its survivors dubbed it, began when a zealous young Slav nationalist named Gavrilo Princip shot the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, and his morganatic wife Countess Chotek at point blank range . They both died at once... while Austrian authorities proceeded to break Princip's body like so many pretzels. Thus did Princip, just 20, become the first man of millions who yearned for home and peace, finding premature death instead. And so he died starting the invidious process that killed tit... which then had to kill tat... who outraged, had to kill tit yet again. Why did he plan to murder, to assassinate The Heir? For only the highest and best reasons you may be sure... reasons for which over 60,000,000 people around the world died, every day that trail of blood and mayhem emanating from the slumped body of His Royal and Imperial Highness grew broader and broader still. His dead eyes asked a single question, the question hitherto unquestioning millions would ask in their turn "Why"? The answer is to be found in part in William Edward Marshall, citizen of Stronghurst, Illinois, 21st state of the Great Republic. To understand World War I you must understand how Will Marshall, as everyone always called him, gave up everything he knew and valued to go fight on behalf of faraway people he didn't know and would never meet, knowingly risking life and limb, remember -- for total strangers. About Will Marshall. William Edward Marshall achieved the highest rank his country could confer the moment of his birth, for then, the very instant he was born he was Citizen of the Great Republic, a title, style and dignity unknown in most of Europe whose opulent princes had subjects, not citizens. Here Will Marshal, for all that he was not a prince or count, was better off -- and knew it. Thus his belief in the Great Republic, its whys and wherefores, came as easily as breathing. He was a free man in a free country, a man whose right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness was assured by the Constitution of the United States. These rights came from his relationship to God, not because of http://www.HomeBizGroup5000.com

Copyright Dale Thomson - 2012

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A Big Thank You To Those Who Have Sacraficed So Much..Some Thoughts Veterans Day 2012

some calculated gesture of a Machiavellian prince who might later rescind what he rued to give. William Edward Marshall's rights were sacrosanct for him.... and every other Citizen. This was America in 1890 the year Will Marshall was born, the land of the free and the home of the brave. Football hero, farmer, respected man of peace. Will Marshall was called without irony the handsomest man in Henderson County. "That and two bits will buy you pie and coffee," even his deflating father said. Will didn't mind the raillery; after all, tall, well made, fleet of foot and master strategist he was that most American of local heroes... from whose agile moves came a lifetime's respect from those who would tear the goal posts down after they had seen Will Marshall run past them -- again. Such feats are cherished everywhere in America, but nowhere more than in the tiny hamlet of Stronghurst, Illinois; population still under 1000 souls in 1914... everyone of them knew what a good man Will Marshall was... how hard-working, how public spirited, how well he must stand with his God. And so things might have continued but for the murderous meeting between an archduke on a sunny July day and a zealot determined to exterminate him. Will Marshall goes to war, to France, to his destiny. Will Marshall was not a warrior, not a man of marshal attitudes, uniforms, poses and gestures. Farmers, tillers of the land, bringing forth its bounty by their own incessant labor, seldom are. They know how difficult it is to create life, to spend any of their limited time on this planet destroying it. Will Marshall abhorred war, yet went to war, the greatest and most destructive war ever, because the Great Republic and its affairs needed him... and that was that. "The Yanks are coming." Thus, Will Marshall became part of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) and in due course found himself one of over one million citizen-soldiers stationed in France, over half of whom were at the front lines, including him. There as the increasingly desperate German imperial forces grew more desperate yet, considering, doing every single thing they could do to snatch victory from increasingly certain defeat, Will Marshall met his fate, in a cloud of poison gas. Mustard gas. Contrary to popular belief, gas as a weapon was first introduced by the French army. However it was the Germans with their customary organizational genius and chemical skills who perfected the process. For the defence and glory of the Fatherland anything, even the most horrid thing, was contemplated, considered and ultimately used. Some apologist somewhere would no doubt advance a comfortable rationale... And so one ordinary day an ordinary German solider lobbed the mustard gas that sent William Edward Marshall, citizen, descendant of the great Chief Justice who helped shape the new nation, one of nature's gentlemen, to his knees, brought low by the toxic beauty of gas; stealthy, silent, serene. But there, you see, is the rub. For gas is one of the cruelest weapons ever created. During the actual mustard gas attack its manifestations may not be seen, will not be seen for hours, even days. Then... the gas you inhaled, perhaps without knowing it, became the pernicious agent of your end... the gas rules you and decides whether you live or die, what manifestations and disabilities may be yours and torment you for years, for life. Thus, starting from the day he was gassed until the day he died, Uncle Will lived a life where his sight degenerated . Remedies were tried. Doctors consulted. Prayers by one and all given for his recovery, for he was a popular man. All to no avail. The effects of that gas cost him at once one eye. http://www.HomeBizGroup5000.com

Copyright Dale Thomson - 2012

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A Big Thank You To Those Who Have Sacraficed So Much..Some Thoughts Veterans Day 2012

The second deteriorated year by year until in 1934 he could see nothing at all. Light, for him, had ceased to exist. Uncle Will and Me. When I was growing up in the 'fifties, my family visited Stronghurst every so often. We never failed to visit Uncle Will and his charming wife Alma. My father made sure we behaved properly. He was especially keen on the handshake, "Firm, NOT limp!" And how to walk across the parlor properly, so Uncle Will knew how many steps you took. In this way he calculated how tall you were and how much you'd grown since the last visit. The room was quiet, sound muted, light filtered. Uncle Will sat in a great, sturdy chair, its size necessary to contain the football player of old. I looked closely at his face; this was the face of a man of resignation and calm acceptance. He remained handsome, even noble right until the end. He never complained. Never said a word about that day so long ago. Never was anything but gentle, polite, good humored and glad to see you. He had fought his war, done his bit, paid the terrible price and could look the world in the eye, his pride deep, profound, abiding. The Great Republic has besought his help. He had given in full measure, and for him it was "Over, over there", not a bitter reality revisited daily. Now not only Uncle Will but every veteran of the Great War is gone. Now they no longer die by thousands each day... but, far worse, are forgotten in their thousands each day; men and women whose lives were utterly and completely committed to us, now not even a moment's thought by us. Yet we are all the children of their unequalled gifts and should always be glad and glad to say so. They ask so little now, but we begrudge them even that, satisfied to take, satisfied to give them nothing, not even heartfelt recognition of our eternal debt. May God forgive us. Author's closing note. Like so many of his buddies, Uncle Will loved "Over There", a jaunty tune written by George M. Cohan in 1917.. Find it in any search engine. Turn up the sound and remember.

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Copyright Dale Thomson - 2012

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A Big Thank You To Those Who Have Sacraficed So Much..Some Thoughts Veterans Day 2012

The boy next door... the best of the Great Republic. You sleep easy through the night because of him... and millions like him. A Tribute! The boy next door... the best of the Great Republic. You sleep easy through the night because of him... and millions like him. A Tribute! Author's program note. When was the last time you considered the state of our Great Republic and did anything -- anything at all -- to sustain and improve it? If you cannot immediately say and cannot recall what you did, if you have nothing but rancorous thoughts and feelings about our continuing great experiment in the governance and well being of mankind, then stop and focus your full, undivided attention on this article and its subject: Howard Hector Martell, Jr. For this day, like every other day over the past 20 years, Howard Martell has served us... you, me, the Great Republic, all of us able to live life as we wish because of him and his colleagues in every great service of our great nation. To set the stage for this story, to provide the essential sound, I have selected music from one of the greatest public affairs programs ever -- "Victory at Sea." It is a documentary television series about naval warfare during World War II that was originally broadcast by NBC in 1952-1953. The stirring music was composed by Richard Rodgers and Robert Russell Bennett. Rodgers, well known for a string of iconic Broadway musicals, contributed 13 "themes"; short piano compositions a minute or two in length. Bennett did the scoring, transforming Rodger's themes into a variety of moods, all designed to touch your heart and fire your imagination. The result was pure magic. Find out for yourself. Go now to any search engine. Listen to a few of the "themes" to get you started. I like "Hard Work and Horseplay", "Theme of the Fast Carriers" and, of course, "The Song of the High Seas." However, to honor Howard Martell, listen to "Guadalcanal March." It is the essence of what a grand march should be... the kind of march Howard has so well earned... I'm playing it now as I write. New London. New London, Connecticut is a seaport city and a port of entry on the northeast coast of the United States. It is located at the mouth of the Thames River which locals demand you pronounce to rhyme with "James", unlike the great river of London, England which rhymes with 'hems". The folks in New London insist upon their rendering; after all, they were part of the victorious Revolution that tossed the Brits out -- and their eccentric pronunciations. As you hear this said, you begin to grasp the fact that New London is not merely a place of picturesque aspects; just what meets the eye. Rather, it is a place where young boys glimpse the great sea at hand, so beckoning, and dream dreams of faraway places and what life can be. Howie Martell was such a boy. He was born June 27,1973, attended local schools, graduating from Griswold High School. People remember him, if they remember him at all, as shy, uncertain; a boy who would smile at you... but only after you had smiled at him. Teachers with many students to instruct would remember him indistinctly and call him "average." But such an appraisal would have been incomplete, inaccurate, failing to capture his essence, for this boy was a dreamer of great dreams... and New London, for centuries the home port of audacious mariners, offered him the means to live them, mere dreams no longer. On August 10, 1992, just 19, he left the comfort of family, friends, the only place he had ever http://www.HomeBizGroup5000.com

Copyright Dale Thomson - 2012

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A Big Thank You To Those Who Have Sacraficed So Much..Some Thoughts Veterans Day 2012

known, placing his future in the hands of strangers who would, in due course and short order, become comrades, a word civilians may know but so seldom understand. And so Howard Martell entered the service of the Great Republic, discovering a destination more important than any of the 48 countries he came to visit. He found himself... and became a man. From this point, his resume tells the story... it is all USN, the resume of a man who studied hard, knew his business -- the Great Republic's business -- and was esteemed by superiors who always found him ready to assist, eager to learn, and above all trustworthy and responsible. In the process a man was shaped who was the complete Navy professional, respected by all, able to be, as events required, a man who could lead, a man who would be loyal, a man you wanted on your team, because he (and this touches the heart of this man) always stood for the success of his team, never just his own. As people came to know him, they saw this... and admired the man who put collective success above mere personal gain. Thus the Navy took Howard Martell, once a shy boy no one could quite remember, to its heart. He received one deserved honor after another... Navy Good Conduct Medal... six times... Navy & Marine Corps Achievement Medal... four times... Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal... Iraq Campaign Medal... two times. And most telling of all a plaque from his fellow First Class Petty Officers who thereby saluted one of their own. He was indeed the complete Navy man... a man who twenty years before had made the right decision. The need for service in the age of selfishness. It is a truism that older citizens will engage in endless rodomontades which detail the innumerable outrages perpetrated by the young against society. How they are ill-educated, lazy, unkempt, unclean of body and language. How they cannot be depended upon... how they flout all established behavior, video game obsessed wastrels who cannot be trusted and will never amount to a hill of beans. Thus goes the jeremiad; you can catch a whiff of it whenever two adults of fifty or so gather. From the very start of the first civilization each man steps into this argument in his maturity, as easily as he dons casual clothes. It is one of the perqs of aging, and no senior citizen will ever give up this sacred right to pontificate. I shall not give it up either and so I give you some pungent thoughts on the matter of service, a concept that alternates between being an afterthought and the salvation of the nation. What we require is calm reflection and sensible policies on the matter. And so I choose to use my words not to grumble but to exhort... to touch a shy boy or girl reading this article and help them both select the responsible path, the path trod by Howard Martell and generations of young people before... the path of service... and the abiding need of the Great Republic for... you! Young friend, our way of governance, our core beliefs, the very future of our noble enterprise is not only challenged, but at risk. You have a choice -- mindless dissipation and decay, or personal development and redemption through the bestowal of your time, mind and heart to the pressing affairs of the Great Republic. In short, you can ignobly remain part of the problem, or become infinitely more valuable as part of the solution. There is nothing neutral about this decision. It is of the greatest possible consequence and can only be made by you. A great idea, the greatest notion of statecraft ever propounded, the Great Republic itself awaits your verdict, hopeful, expectant, confident. Howie Martell made the right choice. Will you? ... And now it is time to end Howard's military career with all the pomp and circumstance he has earned... and which a grateful Navy can provide. Stand forward Petty Officer First Class Howard Hector Martell, Jr.. For your service, your nation, your friends, family and comrades mean to honor you before the world in due recognition for what you have so abundantly given... above all the gift of loyalty and fidelity to a great institution so http://www.HomeBizGroup5000.com

Copyright Dale Thomson - 2012

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A Big Thank You To Those Who Have Sacraficed So Much..Some Thoughts Veterans Day 2012

needed by this great nation. And so through each of the hallowed retirement traditions all Naval personnel know so well... until this event, at once festive and solemn, reaches the Shadow Box. This is a symbol of a sailor's many career accomplishments and recognitions. Shadow boxes contain a U.S. flag folded into a triangle, ribbons and medals, insignia and revered devices. They act as a reminder of ranks earned by the retiree and the awards received. It is a mark of the highest honor and cherished accordingly. Yours, Howard, comes complete with the unqualified gratitude of the nation you have served so well... none better... and the sincere thanks of us all. May God grant you sunshine and a fair wind to your many ports of call still to come. Envoi. End this article by returning to any search engine and playing the "Victory at Sea" theme. It remains glorious.

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A Big Thank You To Those Who Have Sacraficed So Much..Some Thoughts Veterans Day 2012

Resource About the Author Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., providing a wide range of online services for small and-home based businesses. Services include home business training, affiliate marketing training, earn-at-home programs, traffic tools, advertising, webcasting, hosting, design, WordPress Blogs and more. Find out why Worldprofit is considered the # 1 online Home Business Training program by getting a free Associate Membership today. Republished with author's permission by Dale Thomson http://HomeBizGroup5000.com.

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A Big Thank You To Those Who Have Sacraficed So Much..Some Thoughts Veterans Day 2012  

For those who have given so much. A tribute to all our Us Veterans. Thank You

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