I want to thank all my fellow veterans who served the nation honorably; whatever our differences, we will always have that in common.
No one needs to thank me, I made almost no sacrifice during my more than two decades of service. I was a career man who made that choice with my eyes wide open. I accepted that way of life and the hardships that came with it although I never saw combat. For the most part, I was fairly compensated and I left the Army under my own terms, they even allowed me to select my final duty station which was Fort Ord. That led me, eventually, to Hollister.
Not every veteran and not every veteran’s family was as fortunate as me and mine. In many cases, the government came in and disrupted their lives asking them to drop whatever they were doing and shelve their plans for the future to serve the nation. Most answered the call, if not enthusiastically at least with some sense of duty. Too many did not come home or did not come home whole.
It is to them, above all, and their families and loved ones we owe a debt we cannot repay. Part of the tragedy is that so many were so young with most of their futures ahead only to have them disappear or permanently changed; do not forget them.
I dedicate this to all and especially to two soldiers: one I knew well in life and one I knew only in death, who both gave their all for their country in a faraway place and to all those wounded in body and spirit who we cannot heal. You are forever in my heart.
COMMENTARY: Gideon at 60; A right to a lawyer
Gregory LaForge writes about the andmark 1963 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Gideon v. Wainwright.