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The Veteran Brotherhood Must Recognize Itself


The first step to Save the Nation


Dear Editor,

I received a challenge coin a few days ago and this is how it went. I was enjoying an American Honey with my wife and a few friends at my local American Legion Hall. Post 9 Palmer, Pa. My friend Rick was in the Air Force and like myself an avid hunter. We spend a lot of time together chasing the Whitetail when the snow falls. We love to rise to the challenge, we hunt deer.

As it usually is, at the Legion there was a small smattering of veterans to jaw with, some new friends to meet and beers bought in respect for each other’s service and friendship. One of the fellows from the other side of the bar was leaving and stopped to talk with us while passing. Quick into our conversation he let it known he was navy.  So, after the traditional barrage of Marine vs navy jokes I let him have it. I blasted him with my lecture. He was void of identification.

It is a thing with me that I believe all veterans should ALWAYS show our colors by ALWAYS exhibiting some small sort of “SHOW” that we served. A service hat, pin, unit, or rank insignia to identify us, to each other, that we are Veteran Brothers however so slight is just enough. It doesn’t take much to catch the trained eye.

In these most trying of economic, political and socially challenging times, we need to be United as Veterans and must be able to Identify each other out on the street. We must be proud we took that “Oath”. That “Oath” to “Support and Defend” the Constitution of the United Stated of America. We served our country, and we must let it be known we stand beside our veteran fraternity in solidarity.

Back to my story. After my friendly chastising conversation, we shook hands for the evening, and to my surprise, within his hand was his Challenge Coin given. An enlightened navy Lieutenant Commander got the message from this Marine Corporal, and in appreciation rendered his coin. It was an Outstanding Event!

Here is the reason the “SHOW is so important to me.  A few days before that “Outstanding Event” I was at the dentist office counter checking out, paying the bill. On the other side of the counter in comes a 85ish man and his wife. He wears a hat identifying himself as a Marine. As I normally do, I trot on over to the waiting room after finishing my business with the receptionist to hail him. He was Korean War Veteran, Chosin Reservoir, served with Chesty Puller. I am Viet Nam Era Vet and spent my days in the Corp at Camp Pendleton, California.  It only took a few minutes, a short conversation and I know I made his day, as he made mine. And as most combat Marines do, he tells me from out of the blue, “You didn’t miss nothing.” After a bit we shook hands and forever parted. Anyway… Another Outstanding Event!

So, as I’m blasting down the highway on my Harley I couldn’t help to think. What did the folks in the waiting room think of these two

Marines? It was obvious we met for the first time. What did they think about the Friendship, the Brotherhood that bonds men together that are some 25 years apart in age? Did they notice the beaming pride in that ol’Jarheads wife as she respectfully, silently, enjoyed our interaction? See, I always try and make it a point to hail a fellow serviceman or women when there is a “SHOW” of service.  A simple “Hey army, what’s up?” while out at a store will do. He sees my “SHOW” and acknowledges back. We are but few, we served, be proud of our brotherhood, hail each other and it is only possible with that “SHOW” of your service. Where is your “SHOW”?

Rise up my Veteran Brothers,,, Rise up and be recognized!


Mike Ciasulli


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