May 262014

There is a debt we can never repay, as individuals or as a nation. A debt that continues to grow every minute of every day. It is the debt we all owe to our servicemen and women.

There is a popular sentiment that has been floating around a long time that says: “A Veteran – whether active duty, retired, National Guard, or Army Reserve – is someone who, at one point in his or her life, wrote a blank check made payable to The United States of America, for an amount of ‘up to and including my life.’"

vietnam wall 8

Those are more than just words, folks. Every young man and woman who has ever held up their right hand and sworn their oath was agreeing that if it came to it, they would die for you and me. That’s a hell of a promise to make by someone who is often a kid too young to legally buy a beer.

And unfortunately, all too often that blank check is cashed for the full value and another American hero falls. How can we possibly repay that kind of sacrifice? What is the life of a hero worth?

What we can do, and what each and every one of us should do, is to make it a point to thank every veteran we know for their service, and to especially thank the active duty people we see, whether it be in a restaurant, a store, or on the street. You don’t have to make a big production out of it, just a simple nod and a “Thank you” is all it takes. Or a handshake if you are comfortable with that.

No, it will not pay the debt in full, but for that veteran, for that soldier, sailor, marine, airman or coastguardsman, it chips away a little bit at the interest. Sometimes that’s all it takes to let them know that their sacrifices are appreciated.

I know you’ve all heard it a thousand times before, but it’s true – if you love your freedom, thank a vet.

Bad Nick has some thoughts on this day in his Memorial Day blog.

Thought For The Day – For those who have fought for it freedom has a taste the protected will never know.

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Nick Russell

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  15 Responses to “A Debt We Can Never Repay”

  1. You are so right, Nick. Being hubby was in during Nam, we had to hide that as much as we could…not a good time to serve in this country. Regardless of whether we agree with the politics…one did their duty. I do wish however, that they would bring home all our service people from foreign lands…other than those serving with an Embassy or some such. And that they were better taken care of if injured. The last thing a hero should have to worry about is how he will survive when he gets back home.

  2. Thanks Nick! That was the best blog you have written to date.

  3. From one who knows, to one who knows,……thank you Nick.

  4. Thanks, Nick. For your Service and for such a moving blog.

  5. Thanks for your service Nick. What a beautiful blog today.

  6. Thank you Nick for your service also……..a nod and a hand shake to you sir!

  7. Thanks Nick, for your service and blog!

  8. If we really want to honor our vets then we need to fix the VA system. The problem is not the coverup, hiding the fact that appointments take longer than two weeks, bad as that is. The problem is that there are not enough resources (doctors, nurses, facilities) to do the job. We need to either pony up and pay the bill or admit that we over promised and can’t fulfill our obligations. If is the later, then we need to stop lying to our recruits and sending them into battles we can’t afford (and many of us feel were not worth the cost).

    — jcw (US Air Force 1969-1973 and US Navy 1975-1979)

  9. Excellent post! Thanks for your commitment!

  10. Thanks Nick for yours and all vet for their sacrifice and thanks for Terr’s Dad who spent 22 years in the service of our country .
    Also a special Thanks to all the families who also gave as they supported their military son , husband or daughter

  11. Thanks for the comments. I have already been wished a “happy” Memorial Day. Not a time for Happy. I have been sitting here thinking about Wally, Floyd, Manuel. Dick, Reid, Roger, Marty………..

  12. I believe we owe veterans more than just a “thank you for your service”. Our veterans have kept us safe from foreign threats, and it is our duty to them to see that our republic continues by participating in our political process. It would be a shame to see our republic fail, after our veterans have made their sacrifices, because of apathetic and uneducated citizens.

    I believe that our first duty is to our God, our second duty is to our family, and our third duty is to our country, and a lot of people do well with one and two, but fail on three.

    Paul Stough

  13. Thank you for your service Nick and to all those reading your column. As usual your thoughts and mine run along the same lines. Bless all our military be it active, in the reserves or our veterans.

  14. Thank you for your service to our country and to all of those Veterans that paid the ultimate price.

  15. Today we remember not only the fallen but also their families who suffer every day with losses, too.

    Congress needs to vote for, fund, and support the types of programs and medical care that meet the nation’s promises to our veterans. Whenever Congress votes against bills that would otherwise support our military people, those veterans and their families suffer. And that’s absolutely wrong.

    Nick, when you write about your service, I pay particular attention. You have my full respect and appreciation for your service — always.

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