Veteran’s Day

We are a military family, though most of the time we don’t make a big deal of it. For the last 3 years, Ash was going to MIT to school, so I mostly made fun of him for defending our country from behind a desk. There were jokes about “pencils blazing” and stuff like that. I can’t, however, forget that he has made 4 tours to Iraq in the time I’ve known him. Some were long before 9/11; he was there under the direction of Clinton after the war in Kuwait. He did also go after 9/11. For that tour, they weren’t allowed to pull into port except for a couple of days (out of almost 200) because it wasn’t safe enough. I tend to think of Ash as husband, dad, student, goof ball, etc. I don’t usually have the term “defender of a nation” come to mind. I think about some of things he’s done, though, and I do marvel at his courage and focus. He was on board a ship that launched Tomahawk missiles (for Clinton), he boarded foreign ships to make sure they didn’t have contraband in the Persian Gulf, and he was part of a crew that helped a seriously injured Pakistani man on an oil tanker in the Gulf. They brought that guy onto their ship and the ship’s doc gave him care until they could transfer him off via their helicopter to get the help he needed. I doubt you’ll hear about that in the news..

 Ash reminded me today that the military doesn’t have a foreign policy. They follow orders and carry out missions of the foreign policy of the government in charge. So, today, I say thanks to all our Veterans.

Most humans truly are like sheep
Wanting nothing more than peace to keep
To graze, grow fat and raise their young,
Sweet taste of clover on the tongue.

Their lives serene upon Life’s farm,
They sense no threat nor fear no harm.

On verdant meadows, they forage free
With naught to fear, with naught to flee.
They pay their sheepdogs little heed
For there is no threat; there is no need.

To the flock, sheepdog’s are mysteries,
Roaming watchful round the peripheries.
These fang-toothed creatures bark, they roar
With the fetid reek of the carnivore,
Too like the wolf of legends told,
To be amongst our docile fold.

Who needs sheepdogs? What good are they?
They have no use, not in this day.
Lock them away, out of our sight
We have no need of their fierce might.

But sudden in their midst a beast
Has come to kill, has come to feast
The wolves attack; they give no warning
Upon that calm September morning
They slash and kill with frenzied glee
Their passive helpless enemy
Who had no clue the wolves were there
Far roaming from their Eastern lair.
Then from the carnage, from the rout,
Comes the cry, “Turn the sheepdogs out!”

Thus is our nature but too our plight
To keep our dogs on leashes tight
And live a life of illusive bliss
Hearing not the beast, his growl, his hiss.

Until he has us by the throat,
We pay no heed; we take no note.
Not until he strikes us at our core
Will we unleash the Dogs of War
Only having felt the wolf pack’s wrath
Do we loose the sheepdogs on its path.

And the wolves will learn what we’ve shown before;
We love our sheep, we Dogs of War.

#169 2004 Russ Vaughn
2d Bn, 327th Parachute
Infantry Regiment
101st Airborne Division
Vietnam 65-66



On a vocabulary note, how’deveryone do with splenetic?  Here’s the next one.

IMBROGLIO: a complicated misunderstanding

Sure hope you don’t have to deal with any imbroglios in the next few days!


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. sarah
    Nov 12, 2008 @ 16:24:59

    Thanks Ash! Who knew I would actually ever really know a hero?

    I appreciate all he and so many others do on a daily basis.


  2. Christina
    Nov 14, 2008 @ 22:17:55

    I love that poem!
    And thank you to Ash – really and truly, from the bottom of this sheep’s heart.


  3. leanne
    Nov 15, 2008 @ 14:22:56

    We all heart Ash! Especially my aunt 😉

    Thank you Ashley!

    BTW…Your kids are SOO smart! Love the video on Ash’s site of Ava and her ABC’s! WOW!!!


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