A Tribute to Our Amazing Veterans

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All gave some. Some gave all.”

Veterans know better than anyone the price of freedom, for they suffered the scars of war. We can offer them no better tribute than to protect what they have won for us.” President Ronald Reagan.

We have the greatest people on earth in our military.” President Donald Trump.

Hello Everyone, Happy Veterans Day.

Our topic of discussion for today is our amazing veterans. This column will be more personal than the rest, mixed in with much more, and for once, not political—let us keep it that way. As always, I appreciate your support in reading, especially on today as we celebrate our veterans. Us Americans who have not served in our nation’s military stand on the shoulders of giants; and without such giants, our freedoms as we know it would not exist. Our veteran’s service to our nation and its freedoms, liberties, and principles is something I am and always will be eternally grateful for. Because of our veterans, the United States of America always is and always will be the Shining City Upon a Hill which is the Beacon of Hope and Prosperity for the entire world. 

First and foremost, I would like to take this time to thank my father, Roy Alan Bettle, for his service in our United States Army. He never graduated high school and always tells me how proud he is of my accomplishments; but only one of us got rejected from the Army. For his service, I am eternally grateful. For his guidance and raising me as the man I am today, I am always thankful. For his continued and perpetual support and instilling in me my favorite quote, “never let small minds convince you your dreams are too big,” and forever being my rock and Superman, I am forever in your debt. Though our road has been bumpy and has played out like the Biblical story the Prodigal Son, I would not trade any of it for all the material world has to offer. 

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This handsome S.O.B. to your left is my Father. We clearly look nothing alike. Moreover, unfortunately, for myself, his genes which put him at 6’4 did not pass through to me, sitting shortly at 5’10 (on a good day). I am not salty about it; not one bit. Just your typical Italian-American who is shorter than my German-American side of the family. My little brother who is 13 towers over me. Again, 13; so growth isn’t done. 

All good. Still will whoop his butt. That, I believe, is a natural characteristic of being an older brother. One of my favorite titles. 

I digress. 

My father signed up to serve in our military for our United States Army when he was 17, back in 1985, during the middle of the Reagan Revolution. The son of a pastor and a nurse who never lived in more than one state for longer than he lived in Africa with my grandparents doing missionary trips, from what I hear, he was quite the rebel.The apple does not fall far from the tree. 

He was not content with life in Lebanon, Oregon and felt that serving our country would be a proper way out to a different life, earn new skills, and see the world. And that serving our country was something of importance for red, white, and blue bleeding Patriots as a civic duty, in one fashion or the other.

My father was sent to Fort Benning, Georgia, for his Basic Training and then thereafter took part in the other trainings and instructions the Army had to offer. He trained in such things as HALO (High Altitude, Low Opening. Which I hear is one way to definitely have to change your pants immediately after), Ranger School, Mortar School, Sniper School, Advanced Survival, inter alia. And apologies if my civilianness is not entirely accurate in terminology; I am a civilian. And this column is a surprise. 

After Basic and AIT Training, my father spent a total of eighteen months stationed at the 38th parallel in the Demilitarized Zone in Korea as a spec-ops Army Sniper. His duty was a part of our country’s mission to make sure peace was kept between the communist dictatorship in the north and Communist China and the fledgling democracy in the south—to keep the peace and stop the encroachments upon free countries in their genesis from the parasite that is communism. 

Yes, I have asked him the question. No, he hasn’t given me an answer.

After his time stationed at the DMZ and some time back on base at home, my father was offered OCS by his superiors and denied it, wanting to be a father and start his other careers—something he sometimes wish he had accepted, though does not regret it. Roy was honorably discharged with the rank of Corporal in 1989, having served four years for our country in our United States Army. 

Then, later, when he became a father, he continued instilling what the military had instilled in him, in us. Life was fun living under a Drill Sergeant. One of my favorite aspects was not being able to choose my own haircut until I was 18–and all my friends will remember the “Mushroom”

Head look. 

I will always remember him yelling at us upstairs that dinner is ready and if we moved too slow, “Private! I need you to get up, move out, and draw fire!” Or if something bad happened, “well that’s a SNAFU.” And when something was FUBAR. And I also learned from a very young age the respect for firearms. Among the many respects we were taught as kids. 

One of the most important things we learned was love of country and true discipline, though the latter has come and gone through time. The former is just as a part of me as my epidermis. We can love, respect, and cherish our country and its ideals, principles, and foundations, and not the person in the White House—and we most assuredly can always recognize, respect, and appreciate those who sacrifice some or all to make sure we continue being the Shining City Upon a Hill. Thank you for your service, Dad. 

Oh also, I almost forgot. One thing I will never forget is my dad telling me as a child that whatever the military and the government lets us know is technology, is about 20 years behind. I remember him detailing to me when I was a kid about the Rail-Gun and certain types of weapons that could look, bend, and shoot around the corner. I was astonished to the point of disbelief. Until these things came out…as true…over a decade later. 

Another veteran in my family I would like to thank, though, unfortunately, I never really got the chance to know him because of my young age and family circumstances at the time, is my step-grandfather, Steve Hougland. Grandpa Steve served in our United States Army during the Vietnam War during the 60s as a helicopter gunner and other jobs. I wish that was his only job because he was also a part of the teams who dropped Napalm and Agent Orange. I do not regret our military’s actions in a war (different from individual actions)—all is fair in love and war. However, the latter was proven later to have caused cancer in many of our veterans and my grandpa Steve passed away when I was twelve due to stage four brain cancer. Thank you for your service, Grandpa. See you someday, Grandpa Steve. 

To my Uncle Mark, one of the quirkiest, most eccentric, literally bat-shit crazy (in only great ways), fun-loving, and big-hearted softie I think that I know, thank you, as well, for your service in our Untied States Marine Corps in Korea. 

There is only one person on this earth who I know has and would expect to take a 2008 Dodge Charger, look at it, and go “I wonder how much horsepower I can put in this thing while also maximizing fuel efficiency.” And, tens of thousands of dollars later, quad-sequential turbos, chips, and other modifications, and importantly, 850 horsepower and 42 MPG later, he succeeded. Then he took an old beat up 1970 Chevy Truck and did the same. Wild. 

It was also extremely fun to drive both of those on the open roads in Acme, Washington. Like, really, really, really fun. I think it is the only time I have actually experienced increasing G Forces outside of an airplane. And going 0-100 in three seconds; talk about an adrenaline rush. All the while Uncle Mark is yelling, “WOOOOOOOOOO!!!! HOOORAHHHHHH, BABY, YEAHHHH! THAT’S WHAT IM TALKING ABOUTTT!!!!”

Moreover, I would like to thank the veterans who are executives in our company, Everest: Erik, Patrick, and Cameron. These gents all went to Annapolis and studied engineering and are among the smartest people I know. Erik and Patrick are officers in our United States Navy, and Cameron is an officer in our United States Marine Corps. Man oh man, is it fun to watch them all go at it. I cannot thank you gentlemen for your service enough, and our work for our company. I am looking ever so forward to our future in building Everest Creek. Rome was not built in a day.

To Cait Elam, our Managing Editor here at the Rogue Review, thank you for your service in our United States Navy and also for your husband’s service in our United States Marine Corps. And thank you for also confirming to me that the Navy and Marines like to go at each other constantly. 

There is a large list of many other veterans who I know personally who have impacted my life greatly, though I will not list all of them for a multitude of reasons. To you all, men and women, thank you for your service, sincerely, and thank you for your beneficial impacts on not only my life, but Our Beautiful United States. Though, one of my favorite Marines who, like Forrest Gump, took a “million-dollar wound” in Afghanistan, Elmer, miss you and Patch, Brother, hope all is well. You have to be the toughest S.O.B I know.

Actually, lastly, to Kalanie, a veteran of our United States Marine Corps—the Caramel Lightening to my White Thunder—I truly miss wrecking people on the pitch with you and putting on our weekly exhibition on how the position wing (11/14) is truly played in rugby by two Americans. Stomping on the Islanders and Kiwis was always the best. I hope all is well with you and yours. We will catch up soon. Thank you for your service, Brother. And also to Coach Mark, a veteran of our United States Marine Corps who served multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan—and by the Grace of God, has reflexes like the matrix—our Fly Half—who always, oddly, preferred calling “Jaguar” to me, and not “Lion” to you—maybe I should have been the one to have lightening in my name. And the other veterans on our squad, the O.C. Ravens. Thank you all for your service. 

That is that for my personal thanks to our veterans whom I know personally. 

To all of our veterans, thank you for your service, sacrifice, and struggles for our great and Beautiful United States of America. I am forever in your debt, and always feel free to reach out to me via social media or my email (on my social media). 

Our United States Military Service Men and Women & Veterans from all branches of our military are among the elite in the world—and especially in these United States. Truly, a top 1%, as only 1% of our population goes into the military. It is quite the group to be among. There are war games studies done, and I highly recommend those who have not seen or read about them them to do some research. 

That being said, our military and the service men and women who comprise of our military branches, reserves, and veterans, they are so advanced, well-trained, equipped, and prepared, that if the entire world were to engage in war with our United States—that is, if it was America vs. the World—we would win, many times over, and quickly. 

Whether it was Europe in World War I and World War II, the Pacific as well in World War II, our fight against global terrorism, our continuing battles against communist aggression, and in the past of Vietnam, Korea, and throughout the world, inter alia—without the commitment, sacrifice, and dedication of our veterans—where all gave some and some gave all—the world as we know it would look drastically different than what it does today. It most assuredly would have less freedom and liberties, and the pursuit of happiness would be essentially nonexistent. 

It is due to our veterans and service men and women—no matter of the engagement they were sent to—that we enjoy all that we do today. Our military and veterans are not and should not be the global police force, that is my opinion, but they are the first one called upon when peace is disrupted, and the world always looks to them for liberty.

Thank you to all of our veterans, past, present, and future, for your service. 

God Bless.

(Unrelated to veterans, and to end on a highly personal note, Happy twenty-fifth Birthday to the bane of my existence thirteen days out of the year, my little brother and Irish twin, Austin Roy Bettle. I love you, little brother.)

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