Heroes? I Do Swear.

These days when veterans are a political topic, it might be good to pause. To take a look, take little listen, to what it’s really all about.

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Veterans deeply appreciate Waterfront Warriors efforts.

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Veterans and their families are given accommodations and fun in the sun of Long Beach.

Men and women stand up and sign up…to serve. They stand with the courage to give the ultimate service. That’s it. They say with their bodies, their lives, what so many say only through their mouths, their speeches, their sometimes, patronizing platitudes.

Yes, those who serve us do so with the silent eloquence of raised right hands. From then on, fate determines whether they will come home intact…or at all.

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Al veteransl who serve are heroes, few admit it.

Some will be wounded, some will be captured, some will be tortured, some will be killed by the enemy, some will be killed by “friendly” fire, some will be killed by foreign troops they are training. Some will endure the unendurable. But every one of them stood up and said…

“I do swear.”

They leave their families, they leave their jobs, they put their educations on hold, they put their careers on pause. And they do it for all America.

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Veterans volunteer to protect theirs and OURS.

Are they heroes? Most of them would say not. But I say they are all heroes. I say they all are equal in that they stood up to protect the rest of us. They stood and said, “Put me in harms way.” And for that courage they are heroes…

I do swear!

I’m not alone in these thoughts. I’ve been taking photos of veterans events for some time now. I’ve photographed and made videos of Manhattan salutes to veterans. This was my first one:

thank youDSC_0383I’ve taken photos of Vietnam Wall memorials, I’ve taken photos of small town honors to vets. I see signs held for veterans to see: THANK YOU. I hear the cheers of those who line the streets: “Thank you!”, “Thank you for your service!.” I see the tears when they say it. I see tears in the eyes of men and women marching or riding, touched by what they see, what they hear, what they feel.

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No words needed.

I see children with tiny flags waving so vigorously, eyes so bright, expressing the gratitude that has been instilled in them by grateful parents.

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Entire families turn out to honor veterans every year.

Yes, they all see our service men and women as heroes…because they are.

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Above, Baldwin Fire Dept. Firefighters don full gear, no matter the heat, to honor our veterans.

Long Beach, New York’s, Beech Street is not the famous Broadway of Manhattan, but its love for veterans is no less real. And all across America, from Long Beach NY to Long Beach, CA Americans express that same gratitude, again and again and again. Tell those Americans that the troops they honor, those brave offerers of limbs and lives, are not heroes.

Long Beach’s Waterfront Warriors: http://www.lbwaterfrontwarriors.org/mission.shtml give vacations every year to wounded veterans at our sand and surf City by the Sea. I made a video of a small part of the parade given to these heroes.

This is not 5th Ave Manhattan. This is not spectacle writ large. This is “small town”, City of Long Beach NY, a small town like so many across America with…big, big, hearts. Long Beach parade:http://tinyurl.com/LongBeachhonors

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Long Beach New York’s display for our veterans.

Semper Fi

God bless America


2 replies »

  1. I don’t know if you saw my additional comments at the Long Beach Patch online where my blog appears but here’s what I said there:

    Never mind that the questioner has not served. To question the heroism of someone who flew over enemy skies with just a thin layer of aluminum between him and flaming death is absurd. But to question heroism further when that brave soul was “fortunate” enough to be captured and tortured is just beyond words.

    Heroes? Dare some question who is and who is not. Are there varying degrees of heroism. Should some be called heroish? Herolite? Should we say only those who’ve been killed are so designated? Only those wounded? Only those who attacked a machine gun emplacement and not reconnoitered a dense jungle? Are those who serve in support capacities not heroes because their tent wasn’t strafed? Where exactly do we draw the line?

    I think anyone who suits up and serves is a hero. And I’m not alone.

    It about sums it up. I tagged Trump because plenty of people are searching Trump today.This idiocy is way beyond politics. It’s the price he pays for speaking extemporaneously. Foot in mouth disease.

    Thanks for the interest and comment. Always appreciate it.
    Be well,


  2. Thank you for posting this, Lee. I noticed the “Trump” tag below. Not to make this political, and I’m not even a military person but I was so offended and upset by his recent comments, so I would say the timing of this post is spot on. Thanks again for doing your part not only with your own service but also in bringing to light those who have and continue to serve. In a way, they are all heroes, whether they succeeded in their mission or not, the very fact they put themselves in a position where harm could come to them in defense of their country and others is enough to warrant that.


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