My uncle spoke with wonder of the massive aerial response at Normandy that saved him and his men. "At times, there were so many planes in the sky you couldn't see the sky. You could see them forming from all directions into one pattern. And that's how we got off the beach, darlin."
This Veterans Day is a good time to initiate a conversation about a memorial to the veterans who have fought our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, our longest wars. Forgetting wars is bad history. Forgetting sacrifice is irresponsible history.
Technology is both overhyped and misunderstood in America, and that applies particularly to our enormous investment in military technology. This Veterans Day, we need to turn away from the false promise of robot weaponry.
Some people don't ask me to explain why certain odors elicit such a visceral emotion. Perhaps they are unsure or even afraid of what I might say next. But for those who want to hear what I experienced in combat, I will always continue. It's a story I want to tell.
Can we visualize with prophetic daring, like Isaiah rather than Joel, strategies to equip our soldiers to turn swords into plowshares? Can we imagine, this Veterans Day, effective ways to train them to make peace -- and be at peace themselves?
On this Veterans Day, as we honor the men and women who have sacrificed for our freedom, we must focus our attention on those veterans whose own freedom has been lost to incarceration due to substance abuse, mental illness, and trauma.
As on many Veterans Days in years past, this year we find our nation at war. The war in Afghanistan -- the longest conflict in our history -- sharply reminds us at the Department of Veteran's Affairs of our urgent and ongoing commitment to Servicemembers and Veterans.
My criteria: Books which influenced my thoughts and writing; books which should still receive attention; and books which help to set the record straight or were part of the early record before the distortion.
It is vital that we focus on helping veterans find jobs and work with employers to identify qualified candidates so they can continue to fully contribute at home as they did during their military service.