(Palm-Print
Photo by Edward F. Palm)

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Forest, Virginia, United States
A long time ago, my sophomore English teacher, Father William Campbell, saw something in my writing and predicted that I would someday become a newspaper columnist. He suggested the perfect title for my column--"Leaves of the Palm." Now that I have a little extra time on my hands I've decided to put Father Campbell's prediction to the test. I'm going to start using this blog site not just to reprint opinion pieces I've published elsewhere but to try to get more of my ideas and opinions out there. Feedback is welcome. To find out more about me, please check out my Web site: www.EdwardFPalm.com (Click on any of the photos below for an enlarged view.)

Monday, October 12, 2009

No Thanks Needed!


(Yours truly in Vietnam, 1967)
It happened again today.  A guy I just met thanked me for my "service."  This time around, however, I finally figured out what bothers me about the current compulsion to thank veterans and active duty people for serving in the Armed Forces.  Now that no one has to serve, merely joining the military is seen as going above and beyond the call of civic duty.  That's unfortunate.  I may be jeopardizing my standing as a card-carrying liberal, but I'm conservative enough to believe that all of us have an obligation to give something back to our country. 
       In my day (am I sounding old or what?), it was just expected that the majority of able-bodied young men would be drafted at age 19 or 20. Major employers, in fact, wouldn't even talk to male high-school graduates. Their standard stall was "get your military obligation out of the way, and then come back to talk to us."   Merely serving back then was considered a given, a commonplace, and not a mark of distinction.  Would that it were viewed in that light again.
       Of course, there is such a thing as legitimately going above and beyond the call of duty, and those who do so deserve our gratitude and public recognition.  As for me, I just did what I was expected to do, and no one need thank me for that.  --EFP

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hello Ed, Thanks For Your Service Marine!!!! Semper Fi Sarge

J. David Bell said...

Ed,
You're right on the money about this one. I've long felt that some sort of service--whether military or not--should be required of all high school grads. (In fact, I think it would be a good idea for people to defer college for a couple years after high school; in my completely unsubstantiated opinion, they'd be much more mature and much better prepared for college after a period of service.) But alas, too many of us, young and old alike, would rather let someone else carry the burden. So I do thank you for your service--not just in Vietnam, but in all the years afterward.
Josh

Anonymous said...

Hello Ed, Josh has a great point about service before college. They (those right out of High School with brains full of mush) may be more mature before being brainwashed by some Liberal Professor. Notice I said some Liberal Professors. S/F Sarge

Mack said...

Just a quick note to tell you I appreciate the service you provided to your country. Not only to the Marines you served with in Vietnam but all the future Naval and Marine officers you trained at Annapolis.

My father preached the same thing as did I as a result...
My son was set to join the Marines out of high school but I told him to get an education first. The travesties of war would still be available afterward. I thank God he listened and he now has a trade and if he desires he can still go it is his call. But I feel he is better off at this point in his life.Mack Garrett Gysgt USMC Ret.