Veterans Day

 |  Written by Rick Yencer  |  1

By Rick Yencer


Friday had special meeting to the 11th hour, the 11th day and the 11th month when World War I ended and the Germans signed the Armistice. Hundreds of people in Delaware County gathered Friday at parks, cemeteries and schools to recognize the sacrifice of those who serve the United States military. More than 200 people were at the Shafer Bell Tower as student John Andrew Hicks played Taps as the carillon rang out 11 bells.  Services also were held at Beech Grove Cemetery and Heekin Park. This Veterans Day, it was a story of two warriors, one drawn to service in Iraq and another ordered to serve in Vietnam. Kit Crane, Henry County prosecutor, talked about how no veteran stands alone and his service in Iraq during 2004-05. "Someone has their back," said Crane. "When they come home, citizens needs to support them," said Crane. A better example came when Crane talked about getting out of truck and directing traffic in Baghdad. As the convoy pushed on, Crane thought, "I am prosecutor of Henry County and I am directing traffic in downtown Baghdad. What am I doing?" While serving with 1st Calvary Division, the group only lost one solider killed in 1,500 supervised by the headquarters unit. Crane served in the Army and was a lieutenant colonel who also is a member of Judge Advocate General's office. When the unit came home, they landed in Maine and there was tunnel of people lined up to greet them and thank them for their service. There were fire trucks shooting water across their aircraft to welcome them home. That was not the case with veterans from Korea and Vietnam, Crane said, who encourged students and others to seek out those veterans and thank them for their service. "Veterans today of Afghanistan and Iraq stand on the shoulders of our brother and sisters from Vietnam and Korean wars," the said. The date that coincides with Friday was the end of a war to end all wars, but as history showed, about two decades later, another world war caused millions of more deaths. For Gerald Waite, an Army veteran of Vietnam, Veterans Day gave him mixed feelings. He thinks of roommate Bobby Williams who died in September 1970 in Elephant Valley, one of the many battlefields. "These are nice kids," said Waite, a research fellow for Ball State's Center for Peace Studies. "These kids should not be used as weapons." Waite has a sign on his door that says, "A soldier's job is to do as he is told.  It is a citizens job to quetions those orders." There is plenty of duty and honor found among Ball State students who have served the military or deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Hondo Tamez served in the Navy on a ballistic attack submarine capable of firing nuclear missles around the world. "We are out there letting our allies and enemies know we are out there somewhere protecting our nation," said Tamez, a computer technician major. Then there's the tragedy of Timothy Senkowski, an Anderson man who lost both legs and had other injuries to is arm, back and buttock. He was serving in the Kandahar province of Afghanistan when a friend stepped on an improvised explosive device, killing him and severely injuring Senkowski. After more than a dozen surgeries, it could take a year of recovery at Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington D.C., according to  Associated Press. He is among the thousands of soliders in Walter Reed and other hospitals injured from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  We the people salute and thank them for their sacrifice in hopes of a day when there is no war and only peace in the world. As Edwin Starr sang, "War. Good God you all. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing." Those words first sung by the Temptations in 1970 still ring true today.

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