Veterans Day – What does Veterans Day mean to you?
My Dad, Marcus Klein, was a Survivor of the Attack on Pearl Harbor, and a Submarine Combat Veteran of WWII. His dream was that I serve, and I did from 1968 to 1978.
When I was growing up in Honolulu in the 1950s, just about all of the men in my parents circle of friends were combat veterans. I was fortunate to be in the constant company of many who understood that the price of freedom is commitment and personal sacrifice. And they were all willing and anxious to pass the importance of these values on to me, and I was an avid listener…and I wanted to be like them, especially my Dad.
Part of Mom and Pop and all of their friends and shipmates enduring legacy and gift to me/us is the preservation of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” and a national identity…which may seem quaint today, but something I believe helped make freedom the way we know it today, possible. We were a “Melting Pot.”
Today, it seems, that many aspects of these freedoms are taken for granted by many, not understood by many, not valued by many.
If we do not remain forever vigilant, and diligent…many of our freedoms will be lost. Each day I become less confident that there is the ability to save these freedoms for future generations. We are rapidly losing history’s important lessons.
The passing time, for me, brings a deeper appreciation of the sacrifices of those who came before us. They conveyed their virtues and values by words…and, more importantly, by their acts and deeds…unlike much of what we see in our society and culture today.
Thank you to all who served and all who lit the path for me to follow.
Flight Deck Officer aboard USS Mount Vernon (LSD 39), Deployed 1973 (“What are they going to do to me, put me on an LSD and send me to WestPac?”
Pop in Saipan. He also spent time in New Guinea building an R & R Camp.
Pop and his friend from the Japanese Navy, Mr. Fuji (Pop was a Pearl Harbor Survivor Pop was proud of his relationship with Mr. Fuji.
Setting the Watch onboard Elliot (DD967). She was my second ship and I was the Junior Department Head, Navigator. Brought her from Pascagoula to San Diego through the Panama Canal in 1977.
My Steaming buddy, Andy Porter (RIP) in Olongapo. I was never alone on Liberty. Andy was always with me.
Andy and I as Shore Patrol at a ship’s picnic by Subic City.
USS Mount Vernon (LSD 39) prior to commissioning.
Balao returning from a War Patrol
Pop’s Ribbons. My favorite from the time I was 7 years old was the World War II Victory Medal (second row, far left)
Rick Baker visiting me at USNA when he was at TBS
Hoover Grads…Rick Baker, Jim Nuss, me
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