A moving tribute


On Nov. 6, a veteran passed away at the Sacred Heart Emerald Coast hospital.


As the body left the building, a “Code Veteran” was announced and the hospital staff lined the hallway and foyer as “Taps” was played. A hearse took his body and as soon as the hearse pulled away, the hospital announced “Veteran Departed.”


It was a very touching and impressive tribute.


Felix Sambogna, Fort Walton Beach


A story worth sharing


At one of the many military reunions of which I have attended, one of my old flight crew members gave me an article which seemed very appropriate at that time, and, also now during Veterans Day activities.


“I now know why men who have been to war yearn to reunite. Not just to tell stories or look at old pictures.


Not just to laugh or weep.


Comrades gather because they long to be with the men who once gave their best, men who suffered and sacrificed, men who were stripped raw, right down to their humanity.


I did not pick these men. They were delivered by fate. But, I know them in a way I know no other person.


I have never given anyone such trust. They were willing to guard something more precious than my life.


They would have carried my reputation, the memory of me. It was part of the bargain we ALL made, the reason we were so willing to die for one another.


I cannot say where we are headed. Ours are not perfect friendships, those are the province of myth and legend.


A few of my comrades have drifted far from me now, only sending back an occasional word.


I know that each day some of these fall silent. Some of the men will stay close, a couple, perhaps, always at hand.


As long as I have a memory, I will think of them all, every day.


I am sure that when I leave this world, my last thought will be of my family and my comrades ... such good men.


As for those of us who have been to war and fought for freedom, our gift of life has a special meaning. One that the protected will never know and most will never understand!


Howard T. Anderson, WW II veteran, Valparaiso