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Military Wit and Wisdom

picture for Veterans Day poppy

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all who currently serve our nation in the armed services or who have ever served. Veterans Day was originally known as Armistice Day to celebrate the end of World War I and to honor those who served. In 1954 President Eisenhower's signature changed the name to Veterans Day and the purpose, to honor all veterans.

World War I (also called the Great War) has a special place in my heart. If it had not been for that war, my Grandpa Loach, a soldier boy from northwest Ohio, would never have met a pretty little French girl in Calais, France, and I would never have been born. Calais is not far from an area in France called Flanders. Many of you are familiar with the poem In Flanders Fields, by John McCrae (1919) and its famous first line "In Flanders fields the poppies grow...." I have seen and loved fields full of wild poppies (coquelicots) in that part of France. When I was growing up in NW Ohio, people sold artificial poppies for Veterans Day. I don't know if they still do since I've been gone from there at this time of year for over 40 years.

William Tecumseh Sherman is known for his quotation, "War is hell." I've never been in the military nor lived in a war-ravaged area, but I would imagine from what I've read that that is indeed the case. To combat the stress and difficulties of military life and war, many people in uniform have a great sense of humor. A sense of humor can bring you through a lot of bad situations. Today's iv is a list of quotations, some of which came to me unattributed, from military people.

"Aim towards the Enemy." – Instruction printed on US Rocket Launcher

"When the pin is pulled, Mr. Grenade is not our friend." – US Marine Corps

"Cluster bombing from B-52s are very, very accurate. The bombs are guaranteed to always hit the ground." – USAF Ammo Troop

"If the enemy is in range, so are you." – Infantry Journal

"It is generally inadvisable to eject directly over the area you just bombed." – US Air Force Manual

"Try to look unimportant; they may be low on ammo." – Infantry Journal

"A slipping gear could let your M203 grenade launcher fire when you least expect it. That would make you quite unpopular in what's left of your unit." – Army's magazine of preventive maintenance.

"You, you, and you ... Panic. The rest of you, come with me." – US Marine Corp Gunnery Sgt.

"Tracers work both ways." – US Army Ordnance

"Five second fuses only last three seconds." – Infantry Journal

"Bravery is being the only one who knows you're afraid." – Col. David Hackworth

"If your attack is going too well, you're walking into an ambush." – Infantry Journal

"Any ship can be a minesweeper ... once." – Anonymous

"Never tell the Platoon Sergeant you have nothing to do." – Unknown Marine Recruit

"Don't draw fire; it irritates the people around you." – Your Buddies

"The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire."

"Blue water Navy truism: There are more planes in the ocean than submarines in the sky." – From an old carrier sailor

"Never trade luck for skill."

"Mankind has a perfect record in aviation; we never left one up there!" (This does not apply, of course, to satellites, etc.)

"Flying the airplane is more important than radioing your plight to a person on the ground incapable of understanding or doing anything about it."

"There is no reason to fly through a thunderstorm in peacetime." – Sign over squadron ops desk at Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ,

"If you see a bomb technician running, follow him." – USAF Ammo Troop

Do any of you have any thoughts to add to the comments?


"Here's my strategy on the Cold War: We win, they lose." – Ronald Reagan

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There are three kinds of people. Those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who wonder what happened.