November 11, 2010, - 12:03 pm

Thank You For Your Service (& Our Freedoms), American Veterans

By Debbie Schlussel

I’ve posted these pictures, below, several times before on this site. But they bear re-posting. They show the sacrifice, the agony, the emotion of those who serve so we can remain free. Without them and the grace of G-d, we might all be in burqas and keffiyehs, right now. And we certainly wouldn’t be free to say and do as we please. Without them, America would be a scary place . . . if it even existed at all.

Marine Staff Sgt. Mark Graunke, Jr., Iraq War Vet, Hugs Pearl Harbor Survivor/WWII Vet Houston James (Graunke Lost a Leg, Hand, and Eye Defusing a Bomb in Iraq)


Wounded American Marine Salutes President Reagan’s Casket

Some people are upset that there’s no mail or bank service today, and government offices are closed. Others are happy that as government employees they get the day off. But the point is to take some time out–have some reminders–of why we are all free to continue our business, our lives, our families, our ambitions, our freedom of speech, religion, and everything else: because every single day, at risk of losing life or limb, they stand guard, so that we can continue our lives as we wish, without interruption or, worse, tyranny.

Today, I recognize and remember all of those who served, living and dead. I remember my own father, H.L. Schlussel, M.D., a U.S. Army veteran who served during Vietnam, my uncle, Maurice J. Schlussel, M.D., a career Army man who served during World War II and became the top U.S. Army medical officer for the South Pacific after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. I salute my cousin, Damian, a career U.S. Air Force soldier who served in Iraq among many other “paradises.” And I salute all of my brave and courageous readers who took the time to serve our country, not knowing what they would face and sacrifice along the way, but joining the U.S. Armed Forces to keep America safe and secure.

Yes, freedom is costly. Today, thank all of those who expended time, energy, limb, and even life to bear that cost for us . . .

G-d Bless You All. And Thank You For Your Service.


My Dad’s Army Uniform From During Vietnam


And for those of you who dodged the draft so others could serve and die instead of you, shame on you.

It troubles me that conservatives–including faux-conservative Sarah Palin–continue to laud and gush over draft-dodgers like Ted Nugent, who should be behind bars for fraudulently obtaining a student deferment, though he was never a student, so he could go on tour, while other Americans his age died in Vietnam.

I’m also troubled that thousands of American men died and thousands more were maimed and lost limbs in the “service” of handing over Iraq from tyrant Saddam Hussein to even worse tyrants, the Ayatollahs of Iran. They served and did as they were told, but their assignment in Iraq was misguided, and it’s a shame. We gained nothing by being in Iraq. We only lost there. That is part of what Veterans Day is also about: respecting those who served, regardless of the assignment, the questionable assignment in the case of Iraq.

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14 Responses

There is nothing honorable about draft-dodging.

And we all owe a debt of thanks to those who died as well those who survived with scars, seen and unseen so we might be free to live our quiet and peaceful existence in our country. Its a debt that can never truly be repaid.

Thank you to America’s Vets for their service and sacrifice. Your country respects and salutes you for all you have done on its behalf.

NormanF on November 11, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    Happy Veterans Day!

    NormanF on November 11, 2010 at 12:13 pm

Debbie, the aim of building a democracy in Iraq was a questionable one. Between the Ayatollahs and Al Qaeda, there is nothing to be cheery about. And sometimes a war fought for a laudable aim brings worse evil in its wake, though no one could foresee it that at the time. Unlike the Left, I appreciate the sacrifices of our Iraq War Veterans. Maybe some day, it’ll have all been worth it.

NormanF on November 11, 2010 at 12:19 pm

God bless America

jay on November 11, 2010 at 12:20 pm

All I can say to our brave men in the military and who served in the US military, thank you, without you great americans, we would be speaking german, wearing oppressive muslim outfits, be a large piece of lampshade, etc. And to the draft dodgers, shame on you, and also shame on Sean “Wallbanger” Hannity & Mark Leving for defrauding military families with his so-called freedom concert alliance scam(s)!

Onto another topic, I would like for all of you to look at what’s going on in Great Britian:

So let me get this straight, the worthless British government has the audacity to ban Dr. Michael Savage for his speech being taken out of context by the American far left wingers, and they don’t ban and deport these cockroach fanatical islamist zealots from their country! You have these subhuman radical muslims with signs that reads, “British soldiers burn in hell”, “Allah is our protector & you have no protector”, and the friggin police escort these ass-backward muslim protesters throughout London. Thank god the English Defence League are doing their counter demonstration against these muslim zealot cockroaches.

“A nation is identified by it’s borders, langauge & culture!”

Sean R. on November 11, 2010 at 1:55 pm

You are right that we should take time out for reflection today regarding why we are free and how the veterans played a crucial role.

Unfortunately, the only day that the PC police allow for reflection today is MLK day. Nothing wrong with reflecting on King, but not at the expense of Columbus or our veterans.

Little Al on November 11, 2010 at 6:44 pm

Last year, as I hope they do again, our church held a special service for the Veterans in our neighbourhoods, many of whom are now frail old men. It was a sight to see how proud and tall these men stood when the bagpipes played their respective hymns!
God Bless our Veterans. A simple “Thank You” just isn’t enough but then, for what they gave us, what is?

theShadow on November 11, 2010 at 8:49 pm

God Bless all American Veterans. Especially my Dad, whom I miss so much.

Perhaps Iraq would have worked out if we had the guts to approach it as we could and should have. I have learned a lot about war and it’s hard for me to support going to (I will ALWAYS support our brave, American soldiers, thou’) war if we are going to fight it PCly and with both arms behind our backs.

Iraq remains to be seen, but with Cap’n Zero as CIC, I do not have high hopes. I fear Savage’s fears he wrote about in “The Enemy Within” will come true.

Afghanistan is a total mess thou’. It’s so painful we are staying there.

Please consider becoming a soldier’s angel and sponsoring a soldier by writing every week and sending a care package once per month. They deserve it so much.

God bless our soldiers and God bless America!

Skunky on November 11, 2010 at 10:27 pm

Happy Veterans Day!

G-d bless America and all of the American Soliders.

JeffE on November 11, 2010 at 10:47 pm

I’m glad to see pro-military conservatives who aren’t bamboozled by the fools errand called “democratizing” the Middle East. Destroying enemy regimes is one thing. Occupying alien territory to pursue dreamy goals that cannot, and need not, be achieved is another. Time to disentange ourselves from the Muslim world entirely, including ending GWB’s preposterous nation-building campaign. The correct paradigm to apply here is the Cold War: separation, containment, and eternal vigiliance. Not the post-WW2 reconstruction of Germany and Japan.

Steve W. on November 12, 2010 at 9:53 am

I personally want to thank Debbie Schlussel for exposing the hypocrisy of ted nugent. I confronted that son-of-a-bitch in person one night in front of 6 to 7 hundred of his minions. I told him what a god damn coward he was as he ran behind his podium screaming fuck you to me from a distance. Ironically right down the road was a vets hospital where 40 years later Nam vets are still being treated. While nugent that night collected his $30,000 for preaching about the Constitution and patriotism, and hiding the fact that he has boasted on numerous occasions to urinating and defecating in his jockeys to avoid serving his country. He should be hung first and then thrown in prison.

pitman on November 12, 2010 at 4:52 pm


Betty on November 12, 2010 at 6:07 pm

The Vet’s I appreciate are those who Fought in the Revolutionary War, and those who fought for Southern Independence. Those had meaning.

Steve on November 13, 2010 at 8:50 am

Thanks, Debbie.

Awesome article and heart-wrenching pictures. It makes me feel extra proud and privileged to have served my country in the Army.

You’re a true patriot and great reporter. Your dad must have been very proud of you, indeed.

united states of sharia on November 14, 2010 at 8:28 am

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