Weatherford Democrat

Veterans' Corner

December 23, 2012

VETERANS' CORNER: Don’t forget American service men, women during the holidays

By JIM VINES

A story that lasts forever at Christmas time:

A soldier fingers his weapon and stares into the darkness watching for any sign of the enemy. The soldier is alone this night because his best friend, who usually shared this position with him, was killed.

The soldier misses him. He was a brave man who left a wife and two children behind.

The soldier hopes he will survive this war and someday be able to tell his buddy’s little ones how bravely their father had died defending freedom.

The soldier doesn’t know exactly what time it is, but his instincts tell him that it is approaching midnight on this Christmas Eve. Soon it will be Christmas morning at home and his own family will be getting up to have breakfast and open presents. His breakfast will consist of some cold sparse rations and a sip of water from his canteen. There will be no hot cider or coffee for him and no turkey or ham for dinner.

The soldier hopes his family enjoys the Christmas celebration and understands why he can’t be with them. There are people in the world that would destroy the things he is fighting to defend and he faces them this night. He would rather be home, but this is his choice and responsibility

The soldier hopes his countrymen appreciate what he is doing, but sometimes wonders. Then he tells himself it, doesn’t matter, he would be here anyway because of his love for his country and what he fights for.

The soldier takes a moment to reach out and gently touch the Christmas tree he and his buddy had set up shortly before his death. It’s not really a tree at all, but a branch that had been blown off of a real tree by an artillery shell. They had dug a hole in the hard ground and set it up. Of course, they had no tinsel or ornaments, so they decorated it with empty cartridge shells, fashioned an angel for the top out of a ration box and hoped the Lord would understand. It was the only way the soldiers were able to honor the birth of Jesus Christ.

Text Only
Veterans' Corner
  • VETERANS' CORNER: VA grants will expand transportation

    WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the White House Rural Council recently announced the award of eight grants, totaling $815,051.50, which will improve access to health care for veterans living in highly rural areas. The grants will assist over 11,000 veterans in seven states and 56 counties by providing up to $50,000 per highly rural area to fund transportation services for veterans to and from VA medical centers and other facilities that provide VA care. The grants are part of a program authorized by Congress to help state Veterans Service Agencies (VSAs) and Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs) operate or contract for transportation services to transport veterans to VA medical centers and other facilities that provide VA care.

    July 20, 2014

  • VETERANS' CORNER: Preserving war memories through VHP

    The United States Congress created the Veterans History Project (VHP) in 2000 as part of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. VHP’s mission is to collect, preserve and make accessible the personal accounts of American war veterans so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war.

    July 13, 2014

  • VETERANS' CORNER: VA now processing same-sex marriage claims

    After close consultation with the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is providing guidance to same-sex married couples on the benefits and services to which they are entitled under current laws and regulations.

    June 28, 2014

  • VETERANS' CORNER: Vets at risk from parasites in war zones

    Parasites are unpleasant, hard to face and sometimes hard to find. Sometimes the cure is easy and complete, sometimes not. The worst outcome usually comes from misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis or no diagnosis. 

    June 21, 2014

  • Cell Phones for Soldiers, Inc.

    Cell Phones For Soldiers Inc. is a national non-profit dedicated to providing cost-free communication services to active-duty military members and veterans. Founded in 2004 by Robbie and Brittany Bergquist, then 12 and 13 years old, Cell Phones For Soldiers has provided more than 204 million “Minutes That Matter” to deployed troops.

    June 8, 2014

  • VETERANS' CORNER: Many retreat, camp opportunities for vets

    Over the past 10 years, different organizations have begun offering “retreats” or “camps” to veterans and/or their families. Often, the retreats/camps are offered at little or no cost and are intended to provide the veteran and/or family member an opportunity to experience a place and time specifically designated to them. Many of the venues have “themes” and many of those themes relate to experiencing connection with the natural world and with others who have gone through the same experiences.

    May 31, 2014

  • Veterans Corner sig NEW.jpg VETERANS' CORNER: Stricter requirements for military recruits

    Recruiters must reach potential recruits early to set them straight on enlistment today. Recruits think anybody can enlist. Many see the military as a last resort in a tough job market, always being an option. Truth is, the class of 2014 now leaving high school will face more difficulty qualifying for the armed services than ever in the 40-year history of the all-volunteer force.  

    May 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • VETERANS CORNER: AACD offers vets oral health benefits

    The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) is promoting a unique opportunity for our military members and veterans to improve their smile and achieve good oral health. This venture is being done through ‘The Smile Story Contest,’ offering the chance to win a smile makeover from an AACD member dentist.

    May 18, 2014

  • VETERAN'S CORNER: SGLI to increase premium rates

    The Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) program will adjust its monthly premium rate from 6.5 cents per $1,000 back to the 2006 rate of 7 cents per $1,000 of insurance, a modest increase to ensure the SGLI program remains in a strong financial position. For a servicemember with the maximum $400,000 of life insurance, this change will mean an increase of two dollars a month.

    May 11, 2014

  • VETERANS’ CORNER: Veterans’ needs the target of recent discussions

    Ministers responsible for Veterans Affairs and officials from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States completed a series of meetings April 8-11 at the United States Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., discussing the latest research, best practices and various areas of collaboration to address the growing needs of veterans.

    April 20, 2014

Must Read
Top News
House Ads
AP Video
Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament