Sunday, November 11, 2012


I looked around for something special to share this Veterans Day.  Something that would show appreciation to and for our Veterans.  After some time, I felt compelled to see if I could find a speech that hit the mark.

In 2007, Coulby Dunn offered these thoughts.  Which I find.....and I hope you do to, package the who, when, where, why and how of it all.  Dunn had the distinct privilege of serving in all three Airborne units while with the U.S. Army Paratroopers.  He served with the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky in 1967, with the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina in 1968-1969 and with the 173rd Airborne Brigade in Vietnam in 1969-1970.  Coulby delivered these words as part of the Veterans Day program at the Wallenpaupack, Pennsylvania Area High School with over 1,500 students, teachers and parents present.

"Good evening ladies and gentleman....and than you for joining me this evening as we recognize our veterans for their unwavering service to America.....

Across this great country.....and throughout the world....Americans will pause today to honor our brave fighting men and women.....who for more than 230 years have underwritten our freedom by their duty.

We recognize that all our veterans have given something of themselves to this country....and some have given all...laying down their lives to defend the freedoms we hold so dear.  This evening, as we reflect on the blessing of our liberty we ask our Heavenly Father that we may be faithful stewards of the freedom we have been granted.  Let's us never forget that we cannot rightfully celebrate the joy of our freedom...without remembering the great price paid for that freedom.

 We stagger at the eternal debt we the untold number of American Veterans who chose to set aside their personal ambitions and dreams to assure the well being of our great nation.  We, the living are indeed the beneficiaries of those who made tremendous sacrifices for the advancement and surety of our liberty.  May we always be humbly grateful to those brave American patriots who suffered and sacrificed for the glory of God and for the freedom of all Americans.

It's truly an honor to Honor you!!!
For those soldiers who have stood guard in peacetime and to those who have seen the terror the horror and the inhumanity of combat and to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice...Let it be said that our soldiers have been there for America, defending the Constitution of the United States.

To all our veterans, we have a simple yet heartfelt message-Thank You-thank you for your unwavering service in peacetime and War here in this nation and throughout the world.  For all veterans regardless of their service and the era in which they have served, they have paid the price time and time again.  They have defended America through both the best and worse of times....and they have performed their duties tirelessly with little recognition of fanfare.  They have sought neither fortune nor fame.   It was merely a simple love of America and the freedoms we all cherish so much.

Soldiers know what it is like to stand guard in the chill of the night while others sleep.

They understand the meaning of hardship, standing watch at freedom's frontier far from their loved ones.  It is this devotion to duty that gives us all strength.

Looking out on the world, we see our Soldiers serving in over 100 countries throughout the world and the legacy of our Veterans continues to inspire our American soldiers today to answer the call to duty.

While we pay homage to all American Veterans, I particularly want to thank our Vietnam veterans this evening.  We served in a War that deeply divided our nation, but American is resilient.  We are a country of temperance, compassion and reason and with the passage of time we healed our wounds.

I know many of you have visited the Vietnam Memorial in Washington D.C.

During the day there, the black granite absorbs all the sunlight of the day then radiates the heat during the evening hours.  If they evening is cool and crisp, you can see a mist coming off the wall.  For me, it's as if the 58,253 names are breathing life into my body and I feel invigorated knowing that these men and women gave their lives so all of us can continue to live the American Dream.

I can tell you a short story of one of my heroes from Vietnam.  He was Dr. Loren Little, our Battalion doctor with the 173rd Airborne.  Our small 2-acre base camp came under attack with more than 60rounds of 82mm mortars and 122 rockets.

We had sustained incredible casualties....more than 90 dead and wounded in a mere 5 minutes....the carnage and horror was beyond description.  

One of my close friends sustained multiple fragmentation wounds so I ran to the aid station to get a medic or Captain Little.....

When I got to the aid station I realized no help would be coming  Men were strewn all over the compound, may withering and screaming in pain.  It was at that moment I saw the greatest act of courage and heroism and valor I would ever witness in my lifetime.

"Doc" Little was bleeding from both ears, and he had a sunken chest wound.  His bare chest was wrapped in gauze pads.  Blood was pouring thru the gauze, but with a total disregard for his own well being, I saw Doctor Little administering aid and he saved the lives of at least 15 or 20 soldiers that night... 

Doc Little practiced triage that evening, a system of treating soldiers according to the severity of their wounds when resources were insufficient to save everyone.  That evening Doc Little's best friend, Major Tedd  Lewis was severely wounded and alive, but died several hours later.  Because of triage, Doc Little could not save the life of his best friend.  Sadly, because of this unbearable experience, Doc Little never practice ever again.  Ladies and Gentlemen, this is true courage, this is a true American Hero. Dr. Little received the nation's 3rd highest award for heroism and valor that evening of January 9th, 1970.

He received a Silver Star, but I can tell you there are hundreds of Doc Littles all across America, as a matter of fact there are probably a few of them right here in this building sitting before you.  May God bless them all.

Lastly, I would like to talk about service to your country and community.  I have always felt it was a honor to serve my country and continue to serve today, not in the military, but in my community.  And all of you should be doing the same.

I know there are many mother and father sitting in the gymnasium this evening where you services and talents are needed.  I encourage all of you to volunteer you services to any number of endeavors.  Your church, the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, the Little League, the Parent Teachers Organization, your local fire or ambulance association.  We  can all make a difference in our community.  What better way can we as parents show our children how to live their lives, than by serving others.

Thank you all once again for being here this evening, for a celebration with our veterans.  May God bless you, God bless our Soldiers and may God continue to bless the United States of America".

Was this the best speech ever in regards to our Veterans and what the day should mean to us?  You be the judge.

From my perspective, Coulby Dunn hit one out of the park as he spoke to a crowded Pennsylvania High School.  Rumor has it, there weren't many dry eyes that night.  Perhaps you know the feeling.

And as famed commentator Paul Harvey would say......and that's the rest of the story.  Good Day.




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