Tip of the Cap to Our Military Veterans

Will you join me in giving a tip of the cap to our military veterans? Better yet, how about a standing ovation?  This is a minimal investment to offer our service members who make incredible sacrifices on behalf of our nation.

U.S. military service members are always ready to salute and go as deployment orders send them into harms way to protect and serve American interests around the world.

100 yards

(Photo courtesy SPC Aristide Lavey)

So for the military personnel who’ve shouldered their weapon and carried an A3 bag, duffle bag, go bag,—or equivalent—onto a C130 cargo plane, M35-deuce and a half, or Navy ship, this recognition is for you.

disabled Navy veteran

(Photo courtesy navylive.dodlive.mil)

To everyone who’s worn the military uniform honorably, we salute your service. For our fighting force members who carry battle scars, physically and emotionally, this is your standing ovation.

Sunday focus


The elementary school attended by my grandkids invited me, along with other veterans, to attend an assembly this week to honor those who’ve served. They asked us to attend the event wearing military paraphernalia if feasible. Therefore, I found my old field jacket and brushed the dust off my beret so I could fulfill their request.

military veterans

US Army Sergeant (SGT) Brett Weir, 89th Military Police (MP), Brigade Special Reaction Team, mans a vehicle checkpoint near the main gate, at Fort Hood, Texas. A M1044 High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) with a machine gun mounted on top can be seen in the background. Heighten security measures were implemented following 9/11. (PICRYL-Public Domain)

I was thrilled to be used as a show and tell prop by three doting grandchildren. Yet of equal or perhaps greater significance, I was privileged to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with fellow servants who possessed personal knowledge of the thankless sacrifices that are made by service members.

The assemblage of military veterans that day was quite eclectic. We were represented by recently discharged Marines in their early 30s up to an Army sergeant major in his 80s. Every branch of the military was represented, about 50 in all.


(John Krasinski Instagram)


I was pleased to hear students recite the pledge of allegiance—along with the Texas pledge of allegiance—and sing the National Anthem as a matter of patriotism, without political statements or grievances being displayed.

Finally, the school played the armed forces medley, featuring service songs from each military branch: “Anchors Aweigh” for the U.S. Navy, “The Caissons Go Rolling Along” for the U.S. Army,  “The Wild Blue Yonder” for the U.S. Air Force,  “The Marines’ Hymn” for the U.S. Marine Corps and “Semper Paratus” for the U.S. Coast Guard. Hence, they asked veterans to stand in honor when their respective service song was played.

Consequently, I had a smile on my face along with a lump in my throat … and I received hugs from three devoted grandkids. It was a very cool day!

Jim McNeff

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