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    VETERANS DAY WISHES

    Shoulder Patch 82nd Airborne Division

    To all my fellow American veterans, my sincerest best wishes. To those who have supported my writing through your contributions and readership, I also extend my thanks. Although written as novels, my books contain your stories and this makes them truly yours as much as they are mine. https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00H2YO2SS

    I recently had a veteran tell me that today’s social/political landscape is reminiscent of the years after he returned from Vietnam. It is indeed as Tom Hanks’ character Captain Miller said in the movie Saving Private Ryan: “Sergeant, we have crossed some strange boundary here. The world has taken a turn for the surreal….”

    Tom Hanks and Tom Sizemore in Saving Private Ryan (1998)

    Of all I have seen and heard, one of the most vivid examples of this paradigm was a clip I viewed on a news site when two ANTIFA thugs were outed. They wore the prototypical outfits of total head-to-toe black, with hoods and masks, and they carried big clubs no doubt intended for clubbing some “woke” into the ignorant masses.  Yes, I know: Adolf Hitler’s Brown Shirts did the same thing prior to his coming to power in Nazi Germany, but good luck finding meaningful history in the modern American school curriculum.

    So, anyway: When some local residents and business owners brought two of these fearsome black-clad monsters to bay and ripped away their hoods and masks, I found myself as a vet in that same surreal world–much as it was in the sixties and seventies. The first thug was a boy no more than nineteen or twenty years old. Lying on the ground with silver dollar-size eyes as he stared up in stark terror as several men holding him there with raised fists. The kid couldn’t grow a beard if he had a week, and he probably still lived at home with mama and daddy. So much for lessons on “consequences for one’s actions.”

    A moment later the second thug, although fighting madly, was throttled and unmasked. It was a girl with a bouncy little blond ponytail and an equally youthful face. At that moment, I actually thought of Jane Fonda sitting with the North Vietnamese anti-aircraft gunners in Hanoi. Yes, the surreal world of the sixties flashed back for me.

    So, what are my thoughts on this?

    These little rebel pawns have latched themselves to a counter-culture cause that may well change our country, diminish our Constitution, and take away our rights, but there are masses of veterans from all walks of life who may at some point make their voices heard. Therefore, don’t give up. Stand proud and be counted. Let’s lookout for one another. Give a fellow vet your best wishes on this our day.

    Rick DeStefanis

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