Veterans Day 2003


We want to thank everyone who sent in messages and thoughts for this Veterans Day edition of Straight Track. As you know, Veterans Day honors all who have served in the military -- at home and overseas, in peace and in war, both living and the deceased. Below are some of the emails we received telling the stories of some of America's Veterans.

---Original Message-----

From: Straight Track Subscriber
Sent: Wednesday, November 05, 2003 9:11 PM
Subject: A U.S. Marine

This is a little saying that was sent to me from my uncle-in-law. I know it's not a story but I thought it was a nice little saying. He sent it to me from one vet to another. It may be something you might like, I hope so, I did. Have a great day, a greater Veterans Day, and wishes for the up coming holidays.

With Respect
/s/ The Myers Family

It is the VETERAN, not the preacher,
who has given us freedom of religion.

It is the VETERAN, not the reporter,
who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the VETERAN, not the poet,
who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the VETERAN, not the campus organizer,
who has given us freedom to assemble.

It is the VETERAN, not the lawyer,
who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the VETERAN, not the politician,
 who has given us the right to vote.

-----Original Message-----

From: Ted Pogue
Sent: Thursday, November 06, 2003 9:09 PM
Subject: Veterans' Stories

Galesburg, IL

November 6, 2003

My father had always teased the four of us kids and Mom all the time. We never knew when he was telling the truth or really teasing us. All we knew was that Dad was stationed in Washington, D. C. after he came out of the fighting in the Pacific with the 2nd Marine Division, Company K.

Dad had mentioned that he had seen Falla, President Roosevelt's dog while stationed in Washington as an aide to the Marine Corp Commandant.

It was the night before President Kennedy was to be buried. It was just after 6:30 P.M. and dad was waiting for his ride to go bowling.

CBS was having a special on that night concerning the pending funeral of JFK. As they got into the show, Walter Cronkite discussed the events that were going to take place the next day. Before they broke for a commercial he said they would show events of the last state funeral...Franklin D. Roosevelt's.

I got up and went to the living room where dad was standing by the front door waiting for his ride. I told dad that they were going to show FDR's funeral on TV after the commercial. He said, "Go on in there and you'll see me on TV." I yelled at dad to quit teasing me and he said, "No, no go on in there and you'll see me." I told dad that this was serious and quit teasing me, By that time mom came flying out of the kitchen and told my dad to quit teasing me. He told Mom, "Well go in there and see if I'm teasing him."

Well I could hear that the commercial was ending and I went back to the TV room while Mom waited at the door to give dad a kiss goodbye as his ride was coming down the street.

The film of FDR's funeral started and as it was showing the casket being carried down the Capitol steps to the caisson and there he was. Dad looked right into the camera. Dad was the Marine Corp member of the honor guard at FDR's funeral. Mom missed it. I was the only one of us four kids that saw it.

I was fifteen years old. Mom and Dad had been married 16 years and this was the first time any of us knew he was a member of the honor guard.

My father was Robert M. Pogue of Galesburg, IL.; one of seven survivors of his original platoon.

/s/ Ted J Pogue

----Original Message-----

From: Straight Track Subscriber
Sent: Thursday, November 06, 2003 8:06 PM
Subject: A U.S. Marine

Veteran's of America:  I served my country for three years in the U.S.M.C. I never seen combat but I can tell you this when I went in to the Marines, the barracks in Lebanon had been bombed and I new that I could be sent for combat. That was fine with me. All I new was I was gonna be a Marine.

I served my country proudly and had I been called up I would have fought and maybe even died but I would of done it proudly.

My father was proud of me and I was proud of myself for what I did in those three years. I have an honorable discharge and wouldn't trade it for the world. I support all troops past and present I take my hat of to those that have served died and will continue to serve this great land of ours. I hold the highest respect too all Veteran's Male and female. You are what makes us free and proud to be in the United States of America. God bless you all were ever you may be and remember this is one U.S. Marine that will never forget.

Gung ho true blue. Be safe Vets. God is with you. Enjoy the holiday. You are never forgotten.

/s/ "Semperfi152001"

-----Original Message-----

From: Straight Track Subscriber
Sent: Saturday, November 08, 2003 2:33 PM
Subject: Re: Straight Track: I'll Always Remember...

Thanks for the great letter, Charlie.

/s/ Larry Pearson

Editor's Note: Read Charlie's original article.

-----Original Message-----

 From: Will Ross, Administrative Judge, U.S. Department of Defense
Sent: November 11, 2003
To: undisclosed recipients
Subject: Dear Friends and Family,

I hope that you will spare me a few minutes of your time to tell you about something that I saw on Monday, October 27.

I had been attending a conference in Annapolis and was coming home on Sunday. As you may recall, Los Angeles International Airport was closed on Sunday, October 26, because of the fires that affected air traffic control. Accordingly, my flight, and many others, were canceled and I wound up spending a night in Baltimore.

My story begins the next day. When I went to check in at the United counter Monday morning I saw a lot of soldiers home from Iraq. Most were very young and all had on their desert camouflage uniforms. This was as change from earlier, when they had to buy civilian clothes in Kuwait to fly home. It was a visible reminder that we are in a war. It probably was pretty close to what train terminals were like in World War II.

Many people were stopping the troops to talk to them, asking them questions in the Starbucks line or just saying "Welcome Home." In addition to all the flights that had been canceled on Sunday, the weather was terrible in Baltimore and the flights were backed up. So, there were a lot of unhappy people in the terminal trying to get home, but nobody that I saw gave the soldiers a bad time.

By the afternoon, one plane to Denver had been delayed several hours. United personnel kept asking for volunteers to give up their seats and take another flight. They weren't getting many takers. Finally, a United spokeswoman got on the PA and said this, "Folks. As you can see, there are a lot of soldiers in the waiting area. They only have 14 days of leave and we're trying to get them where they need to go without spending any more time in an airport then they have to. We sold them all tickets, knowing we would oversell the flight. If we can, we want to get them all on this flight. We want all the soldiers to know that we respect what you're doing, we are here for you and we love you."

At that, the entire terminal of cranky, tired, travel-weary people, a cross-section of America, broke into sustained and heart-felt applause. The soldiers looked surprised and very modest. Most of them just looked at their boots. Many of us were wiping away tears.

And, yes, people lined up to take the later flight and all the soldiers went to Denver on that flight.

That little moment made me proud to be an American, and also told me why we will win this war.

Editor's Note: Judge Ross' experience was reported in an article issued by the American Forces Press Service.

If you or a loved one have suffered a work injury or wrongful death on the railroad, call an experienced FELA lawyer / railroad injury attorney at Hoey & Farina, P.C. at 1-888-425-1212, or complete this form, for your FREE CONSULTATION. Hoey & Farina represents clients throughout the United States.


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Main: (312) 939-1212
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