Happy Veteran’s Day

This will put a smile on your face- a bunch of videos of dogs greeting their returning veterans. A sample:

Somewhat related, a USA Today piece on the decline of the VFW and American Legion.

Happy veteran’s Day!

107 replies
  1. 1
    soonergrunt says:

    Happy Veterans’ day to you too, and to all of our brothers and sisters.
    Applebees is giving free meals to vets today. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m going to hit the salad bar twice!

  2. 2
    Michael D. says:

    A poem for Rememberance Day:

    In Flanders Fields

    In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
    Between the crosses row on row,
    That mark our place; and in the sky
    The larks, still bravely singing, fly
    Scarce heard amid the guns below.

    We are the Dead. Short days ago
    We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
    Loved and were loved, and now we lie
    In Flanders fields.

    Take up our quarrel with the foe:
    To you from failing hands we throw
    The torch; be yours to hold it high.
    If ye break faith with us who die
    We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
    In Flanders fields.

    Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
    Canadian Army

  3. 3
    JenJen says:

    Happy Veterans’ Day to you, Mr. Cole! Those dog videos always rip me up, nice way to start the morning with a good cry, I suppose.

    I wonder if Tom Tancredo will ring up Markos today to thank him for his service?

  4. 4

    that was terrific – i love her “mommy” voice at the beginning.

    when I volunteered with the HSUS at their triage center after Katrina, we could always tell which people found their animals because they would return to the main desk covered from head to toe with muddy pawprints.

    >>I wonder if Tom Tancredo will ring up Markos today to thank him for his service?

    Happy Veteran’s Day to all vets.

  5. 5

    Yes, what happened to the American Legion and the VFW? What’s happening to service organizations in general They’re aging fast, they refuse to change, and they need to restructure in order to cater to younger tastes. Instead of a pancake breakfast or a steak night, maybe they should do something that young people enjoy, like video games or…I’m totally at a loss. I have no idea what young people like. Video games and what else? Dancing? Hip Hop? Dancing while listening to hip hop and playing a video game on one foot?

    Never mind the fact that the AL and VFW were primarily organizations that catered to men and that service organizations in general used to exclude women; now we have more female veterans than ever.

    It’s transformation in action. Change or be put out of existence because of apathy.

  6. 6
    khead says:

    90th Veterans’ Day parade today in Welch WV.

    Once upon a time, the big Democratic pols made the trudge to the parade so they could kiss the ass of 50K miners. How things change….

  7. 7
    dSquib says:

    Good god I can’t take it. Ever see that documentary about the dog handlers serving in Vietnam who had to leave their dogs behind when they were returned home, leaving the dogs to be mostly euthanised? I forget the name. My wife’s seen it, devastating of course.

  8. 8
    John Cole says:

    @Norman Rogers: I think another problem is that the VFW has come to be seen as overtly political, and that turns off a lot of people.

  9. 9
    WereBear says:

    Thank you for your service, John.

    Thank you to all veterans.

    My brother was a Marine. I think he saw some ugly things in the first Gulf War, but he won’t talk about it. And yes, he is a bit messed up, thanks for asking.

    Maybe the staggering rate of PTSD from this war will force a change.openope so.

  10. 10
    WereBear says:

    Rather, “I hope so.”

  11. 11
    Legalize says:

    I love it when puppies flip out so much that they can’t control their wagging and wiggling. Of course, someone usually gets bopped in the nose.

  12. 12
    Michael D. says:


    I love it when puppies flip out so much that they can’t control their wagging and wiggling.

    My dog is like this every time someone new comes to my house and every day when I come home.

  13. 13
    Leelee for Obama says:

    Happy Veterans Day to all of you Vets, as well as all of you currently serving. Thanks for your service and know that you are remembered and appreciated.

    As far as the decline in American Legion and VFW membership-I think someone up-thread has it right. They need to appeal to a different demographic, not entirely, but partially. Video games, book clubs, seminars about getting back into the community, day care, adult day care, old-fashioned pot-luck dinners, there are so many things that everybody needs, but these organizations could be addressing Vets and their families.

    I used to love the summer Clam-Bake at the local American Legion when I was a kid-and they used to rent the hall for weddings and other occasions, to keep the rent paid.

    Maybe more service orientation/entertainment and less politics would help them? I know that part of it would make me uncomfortable during Vietnam-we went anyway to help out, but it was an issue. I’m not involved now, so, just throwing stuff out there.

  14. 14
    Cat Lady says:

    I love those dog videos, but where are the returning vet cat videos? Oh, right…

    Many thanks to all those who have served and sacrificed. The VFW near me keeps advertising a “meat shoot”. I don’t know what that means, and I don’t think that’s going to do it.

  15. 15
    JenJen says:

    This is interesting… in South Carolina, the Charleston County Republican Party has voted to censure Sen. Lindsay “Wingman” Graham.

    Why, you ask? Well, for cooperating with Sen. John Kerry on a bipartisan energy bill. Oh, and for calling some opponents to immigration reform “bigots.” Seriously.

    “U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham — in the name of bipartisanship — continues to weaken the Republican brand and tarnish the ideals of freedom, rule of law, and fiscal conservatism,” the resolution reads.

  16. 16
    Leelee for Obama says:

    @John Cole: BJ mind meld!

  17. 17
    Molly says:

    The video of of the veterans surprising their children when they returned home had me, literally, bawling.

    For all of our veterans, I will simply say “thank you.”

  18. 18
    GReynoldsCT00 says:

    Happy Veterans day to all… with special thoughts for my dad who survived two tours in Nam… love you Murph!

  19. 19
    soonergrunt says:

    @John Cole:
    I’m still a member of the VFW here. I go have a beer every couple of weeks, but I haven’t been to a meeting in a while. Very few of the meetings discuss anything that matters to me, being, at age 39, young enough to be the grandson of most of the men there.
    There’s a difference between the national organization and the local posts. My post didn’t forward dues to the national org last year because the national org endorsed republican non-vets over veterans in 2006 and 2008.
    I’m also a member of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America but they don’t have a post system.

    I wouldn’t be caught dead in an American Legion hall. The legion started out as a Italian-American “friendship society” founded with the support of Mousellini’s fascist state, and changed their tune when they started to get into trouble with the federal government over the exact nature of the organization. The fact is, the Legion never did move very far from their fascist origins. Read their magazine some time. It’s like the red scare from the 50’s never ended.

  20. 20
    R-Jud says:

    Last scene of the last episode of Blackadder (the WWI series). Funny and heartwrenching. We were in the shop this morning during the moment of silence.

  21. 21
    Leelee for Obama says:

    @JenJen: So, he’s getting “Scozzafava’d”? Who woulda thunk it? I swear, there will be only fringers left before the 2010 election. They will hold so few seats, both houses of Congress will be able to caucus at the C-Street house for real.

  22. 22
    donovong says:

    @JenJen: It is truy sad that us Sandlappers are left with having to acknowledge that Lindsay Graham is the least insane one in our bunch. Sigh.

  23. 23
    donovong says:

    And Happy Veterans Day to all who served, especially to our families who waited for us back home.

    Semper Fi, Hooah, Bombs Away and, lest we forget, Pass the Sunscreen!

  24. 24
    Michael D. says:

    @JenJen: Way to go, South Kakalaki!!

  25. 25
    RedKitten says:

    I’ve posted this before, and it’s a little long, but it’s worth re-reading, and as most of us here love dogs, I think you’ll enjoy it…

    From Rilla of Ingleside, by L.M. Montgomery:

    One spring day, when the daffodils were blowing on the Ingleside lawn, and the banks of the brook in Rainbow Valley were sweet with white and purple violets, the little, lazy afternoon accommodation train pulled into the Glen station. It was very seldom that passengers for the Glen came by that train, so nobody was there to meet it except the new station agent and a small black-and-yellow dog, who for four and a half years had met every train that had steamed into Glen St. Mary. Thousands of trains had Dog Monday met and never had the boy he waited and watched for returned. Yet still Dog Monday watched on with eyes that never quite lost hope. Perhaps his dog-heart failed him at times; he was growing old and rheumatic; when he walked back to his kennel after each train had gone his gait was very sober now–he never trotted but went slowly with a drooping head and a depressed tail that had quite lost its old saucy uplift.

    One passenger stepped off the train–a tall fellow in a faded lieutenant’s uniform, who walked with a barely perceptible limp. He had a bronzed face and there were some grey hairs in the ruddy curls that clustered around his forehead. The new station agent looked at him anxiously. He was used to seeing the khaki-clad figures come off the train, some met by a tumultuous crowd, others, who had sent no word of their coming, stepping off quietly like this one. But there was a certain distinction of bearing and features in this soldier that caught his attention and made him wonder a little more interestedly who he was.

    A black-and-yellow streak shot past the station agent. Dog Monday stiff? Dog Monday rheumatic? Dog Monday old? Never believe it. Dog Monday was a young pup, gone clean mad with rejuvenating joy.

    He flung himself against the tall soldier, with a bark that choked in his throat from sheer rapture. He flung himself on the ground and writhed in a frenzy of welcome. He tried to climb the soldier’s khaki legs and slipped down and groveled in an ecstasy that seemed as if it must tear his little body in pieces. He licked his boots and when the lieutenant had, with laughter on his lips and tears in his eyes, succeeded in gathering the little creature up in his arms Dog Monday laid his head on the khaki shoulder and licked the sunburned neck, making queer sounds between barks and sobs.

    The station agent had heard the story of Dog Monday. He knew now who the returned soldier was. Dog Monday’s long vigil was ended. Jem Blythe had come home.

  26. 26
    R-Jud says:

    @R-Jud: Huh, there were two more sentences on that comment when I hit “submit”. The more important of which was: thank you to all our veterans.

    I’ll phone the last living WWII vet in my family later. She isn’t due back from her aerobics class until about 11 am EST.

  27. 27
    GReynoldsCT00 says:


    that’s beautiful… anybody have any tissues? *sniff*

  28. 28
    SpotWeld says:

    To cross the two topics of today’s post I would like to share a link to a site dedicated to National War Dog Memorial

  29. 29
    Leelee for Obama says:

    @RedKitten: Sweet, Red Kitten, I remember reading that as a kid. My Pop’s family are from P. E. I., so Montgomery is required reading at my house.

  30. 30
    Seanly says:


    Further proof that the wingnuts are becoming unspoofable. And that there is no Peak Wingnut.

    Love that doggie video. However, my dogs act like that when the wife & I get back from being out for an hour…

  31. 31
    PanAmerican says:

    Very few of the meetings discuss anything that matters to me, being, at age 39, young enough to be the grandson of most of the men there.

    If they’re not offering much for middle aged white guys imagine the disconnect with a 23 year old Hispanic vet.

  32. 32
    dmsilev says:

    Given the subject of the thread, I think this image might be appropriate.


  33. 33
    RedKitten says:

    Man…those videos definitely brought on the waterworks.

  34. 34
    Shell says:

    Good Veteran’s Day to all.

    I guess Snoopy is headed on over to Bill Mauldin’s for that root beer.

  35. 35
    eric says:

    the first kid on the last video at the link….that was some serious stuff right there…….and the girl volleyball player….given that teenage girls may sometimes forget they have parents ;)

  36. 36
    JenJen says:

    @Seanly: I dunno. I still hold out hope that there really is such a thing as Peak Wingnut. Please?

  37. 37

    Thanks to all the veterans for their service.

  38. 38
    Mr Furious says:

    Smile on my face? If that’s the video I saw last year, I was bawling my eyes out…

  39. 39
    Mr Furious says:

    Ah, hell. Put a NSFW tag on this already. That last one is the one that got me the first time, and again today.

    Great stuff.

    Dogs are so loyal, innocent and fundamentally good—any way we can replace Congress with 500 canines? They’d be just as short-sighted, but so much more pure of motive.

  40. 40
    JoJo says:

    I’d feel sorry for the VFW people if they hadn’t treated my brother-in-law, a marine who served in Vietnam, like shit back in the 70’s the one time he visited the Lake Orion, Michigan post. I don’t believe that his experience was unique.

    My father, a WWII vet, went to a VFW post once in the 70’s and complained that “they just sit around and talk about the war – 30 years later!”. So yeah, I can’t feel too sorry for people who won’t move with the times or welcome younger members.

    As for Lindsey Graham, the wingnuttia just keeps on getting better and better.

  41. 41
    Mr Furious says:

    When I said “last” I meant “fourth.” I didn’t see the next five downscreen.

    [/reaches for kleenex]

  42. 42
    Demo Woman says:

    To Vets everywhere, thank you.
    Red Kitten thank you for sharing the story with us.
    Now off to find more tissue.

  43. 43
    Walker says:

    It would have been really nice if the reporter to that US today piece had gotten some perspective on the other side. How hard is it to get a few anecdotes from younger veterans on why they are joining these organizations?

  44. 44
    burnspbesq says:

    Our uniformed military give so much, and we give them so little in return, that saying “Thank You” feels like a wholly inadequate gesture.

    Call or email your Congresscritters tomorrow and kick their asses about getting, among other things, better mental-health services for our service people.

  45. 45
    ellaesther says:

    If by “smile on your face” you mean “tears running down your cheeks,” then, yeah! Sure! Exactly!

  46. 46
    Max says:

    Happy Veterans Day to the men and women who have served.

    I think its great that this day is kept fixed on the 11th and not Memorial Day’ified so that it loses it resonance and becomes about BBQ’ing.

    Oh, and what type of dog is that above. I want to make sure I never get one. That barking is no bueno.

  47. 47
    bemused says:

    @Cat Lady:
    Returning cat videos….I can’t stop laughing. The royalty of the house are much more likely to bitch at you saying, “Where’s my dinner?”
    We did have a cat who yowled, not meowed, at us when we returned from a trip. She glared at us accusingly while yowling in long, stretched out wails letting us know how pissed off she was.

  48. 48
    ellaesther says:

    Oh course, if y’all want to cry even more, there’s this little girl getting a surprise visit in her classroom….

    Tricked on Halloween

  49. 49
    John PM says:

    The VFW post by my house is a dilapidated building set far back from the street. They rent the building out for weddings and parties, but I do not see who would rent out the building for a wedding. My family went there a few times for the Friday Night Fish Fry (all you can eat), but the place was very dirty and full of smoke (this was prior to the ban on all indoor smoking).

    It seems to me that the VFW and American Legion were mainly for WWII and Korean War veterans, and to a lesser extent for Vietnam veterans. I think the main problem (and really, I hesitate to call this a problem) for these organizations is that between 1975 and 2001 we had no major wars, including Gulf War I. That means that several generations of veterans have almost nothing in common with veterans who stormed the beaches at Normandy or served multiple tours of duty in Vietnam. My dad served one tour of duty from 1963-65, which included 2 months in Vietnam, although he was in the office pool during that time. My one uncle was in the Army for two years in the early 1970s and spent his entire tour Stateside. My other uncle also served two years in the Army around the same time, but in Germany, during which he developed a fondness for skiing, German beer and some other substances that were making the rounds at that time. None of these three have ever been involved in either the VFW or the American Legion. I also knew a guy in college who served in the Marines during Gulf War I; very nice guy, and one of the biggest potheads I knew. As far as I am aware, he never participared in these organizations.

    While we have been busy minting battle-hardened veterans for the last eight years, the numbers are not as big as those who served in WWII, Korea or Vietnam because we are now an all-volunteer military. Theoretically, this should present the possibility for an increase in membership for the VFW and American Legion. However, as others have pointed out, the demographics of the current veterans do not match up with the traditional demographics for these organizations. I would not be surprised to see the development of new organizations, such as HVFW (Hispanic Veterans of Foreign Wars) or WVFW (Women Veterans of Foreign Wars).

  50. 50
    Cat Lady says:


    Exactly- bitchy mewling doesn’t really make for great video. Maybe if you hide in a box when you get home next time….

  51. 51

    @John Cole: That is exactly my problem with the VFW. I wouldn’t give them a penny. Plenty of other ways to support my fellow veterans without giving to an organization that supports right wing nuts. If they want to survive they have to get out of politics not related to veterans issues because most of us aren’t crazed xenophobic idiots looking for a place to play bingo or bitch about how much tougher it was to serve back in the old days. “Old days” being a relative term, of course.

  52. 52
    Persia says:

    Thanks for your service, John and all our vets.

  53. 53
  54. 54
    thomas says:

    @John Cole:
    not just political but rethuglican political. As a VN era vet we were not welcome at either VFW or AL unless we thought more of our generation should go to VN to be sacrificed to the great god Nixon.
    My dad was WWII vet who didn’t belong to either because of the jingoistic blowhards.

  55. 55
    Punchy says:

    Veterans Day? Today’s the day we thank all our animal doctors? I’m down wit dat.

  56. 56
    wilfred says:

    In England it’s called Remembrance Day, and it’s worthwhile to remember the kind of people who produce dead veterans:

    WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton are coalescing around a proposal to send 30,000 or more additional American troops to Afghanistan, but President Obama remains unsatisfied with answers he has gotten about how vigorously the governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan would help execute a new strategy, administration officials said Tuesday

    Johnson committed Us troops to combat in Southeast Asia days after signing Medicare into law, and went to his grave saying how they forced a war on him in exchange for the Great Society. This is how it’s done.

  57. 57
    Brian J says:

    I think you’ve shown that video before, only with a Green Day song playing in the background. I’m not afraid to say, I got a little misty eyed each time I have watched it. It’s just a very, very sweet video.

  58. 58
    Violet says:

    Happy Veterans Day, John Cole. And thank you to veterans everywhere for their service.

    The dog videos make me cry with happiness. Those dogs are so wonderful.

  59. 59
    ellaesther says:

    @AnneS: This is what I’m saying.

  60. 60
    Dog is My Copilot says:

    Have tears in my eyes here, big time. Dogs are so wonderful. Thank you to all the veterans out there for your service to our country.

  61. 61

    @John Cole: I was going to add that what’s REALLY missing are the WWII vets and the Korean War vets who rejected the VFW and the American Legion. Has anyone heard stories of how some looked at them as bogus service organizations for men who didn’t actually do any fighting in the war and which consisted of members who liked to throw their weight around, even though all they did was run a supply dump in Georgia or stay well to the rear when they could have been in a front line unit? Am I alone in having that perspective here?

    I won’t go into details, but I do know of men who were members of elite American units that fought from D-Day to VE day and went home to find that the VFW consisted of jerks, assholes, and boasting fools who had never heard a shot fired in anger but were quick to yammer about their “war records” while having phony medals or no medals worth displaying. These men rejected those organizations and joined the Kiwanis, the Elks, the Sertoma Club, etc., in large part because they didn’t want to sit around hearing war stories from people who didn’t know the first thing about war.

    There were quite a few who just didn’t want anything to do with the war. They avoided it where possible. Not all, of course–there were exceptions. I do think that the surviving combat veterans that spent more than 30 days in the front lines had a visceral reaction to war nostalgia and rejected it and went home and lived their lives very differently than the loudmouth supply clerk at the end of the bar who liked to claim that he shot forty Germans with a Springfield rifle while a french farmwife held onto his big meaty thigh.

    Politics being what they are, certainly, that comes into play. But I believe that the pro-war and pro-Republican stance of the VFW in particular may stem from the fact that many older combat veterans refused to join.

  62. 62
    woody says:

    As a veteran, I ask you to please, don’t ‘thank’ me, I served in an illegal, immoral, murderous invasion and occupation, a ‘war-of-choice.’ I enlisted in order to avoid the draft. I served in non-combatant billets. I spent my tour of duty tending sophisticated, secret machines in an air-conditioned trailer on top of a mountain overlooking China Beach. The closest I came to harm, after Basic, was when an rpg barrage fell into our compound the opening day of the Tet offensive.

    If you want to ‘thank” us vets, work for peace, so that the country need not again send its children to die in vain, for the mistakes, lies, and vanity of its ‘leaders.’

  63. 63
    The Saff says:

    A big thanks to all the vets today on Veterans Day. I think the best way to thank our military families is to end both wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and bring our soldiers home.

    And thank you, John Cole, for that video. It made me smile. I needed that after finding out this morning that my kitties’s birth mama has advanced breast cancer.

  64. 64
    Mary Gianelli says:

    A big thank you to all of the men and women who served our country.

    I pray for the safe return of all of our military personnel. And I thank their families as well.

    there is a company called prescription audio offering free products to help veterans deal with the symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder. http://www.prescriptionaudio.com/pages/ptsd

  65. 65
    slag says:

    Thank you, John. And thanks to all our veterans today and every other day.

  66. 66
    Svensker says:

    Yeah, the videos made me cry. God damn soldiers shouldn’t be away from their god damn dogs or kids. No reason for it. Bring them home NOW, make all the dogs and kids happy.

  67. 67
    Leelee for Obama says:

    @woody: Thanks for the reminder that the best way to honor sacrifice is to try to prevent there being a need for more sacrifice. Well said, Woody.

  68. 68
    thomas says:

    I’m with Woody (except the closest I got to Nam was Texas). If you want to honor vets fight against war.

  69. 69
    ellaesther says:

    @woody: It’s funny you say that.

    I just came back with a funny little thing to post as a gift to all of y’all on the board (and John!) who have served, because I’ve been struggling as I read through these comments with: “Should I say thank you? But it’s so complicated, and for so many people!” So, yeah. Moral quandaries over what to write in the comment section of a blog….

    But now, having read what you wrote I will say this: Thank you for writing it. No matter what we think of any wars (and I am against about 99% of them), the single best way to honor and respect the sacrifices made is to see to it that the wars, someday, end. That no more Americans come home in boxes, that no more Americans are sent home in one piece but shattered within — I think also of the lives shattered on the other side, but I think it’s fair to think of our own, on this one day.

    So, thank you for saying that. But also: Thank you to everyone who has tried their best in a situation not of their choosing (and even if you volunteer, you don’t get to pick the war) to serve with honor and protect what we share. And I give you this, as a gift, because it made me laugh:

    Cake Wrecks

  70. 70
  71. 71
    Brachiator says:

    In the UK, this day is commemorated as Armistice Day. The UK Daily Mail has some moving photographs of the ceremony at Westminster Abbey (where the tomb of the British Unknowns is located), and at various sites where British troops are stationed, including Kabul (Brown Joins Queen for Armistice Day Tributes to World War I Generation).

    In the whole world, there are now only 5 surviving veterans of what was once called the Great War or the War to End All Wars.

    Frank Woodruff Buckles is, at age 108, the last known living American veteran of World War I. He currently lives at Gap View Farm, near Charles Town, West Virginia. Like the UK’s Harry ‘Last Fighting Tommy’ Patch, who died recently, he never talked about the glory of war or fighting. Buckles stated in an interview with The Washington Post on Veterans’ Day 2007 that he believes the United States should only go to war “when it’s an emergency.”

    To those who have served, and who serve now, many thanks.

  72. 72
    Jane_in_Colorado says:

    My father was a WWII vet. He was in the infantry, in Patton’s army. Liked the “our blood, his guts” joke about old blood-and-guts, though he admired the guy. Took part in Patton’s race across Europe. He was proud of it, but only spoke of it after a few drinks (which was rare). He never had anything to do with the AL or the VFW.

  73. 73
    R-Jud says:

    Speaking of peace:

    Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy commemorate Armistice Day in Paris. This is the first time a German chancellor has attended services in France.

  74. 74
    Leelee for Obama says:

    @ellaesther: Cake Wrecks is my go to place when I’m so depressed I can’t see any more.

    Suppot owl trrops and Honer Amercia today, People. It’s the very least we can do.

  75. 75
    Leelee for Obama says:

    troops, troops, troops! I have no right to laugh at these people, do I?

  76. 76

    @Jane_in_Colorado: You don’t know how many times I have heard that same type of story about such good men. Thank you.

  77. 77
    donquijoterocket says:

    @JoJo: The wingnuts are always going on about the alleged spitting that occurred when our guys came home from the nam.I had a harder time with the VFW and Legion guys in my area( rural nebraska) coulterizing me for why it wasn’t going all that well.By and large the college kids and hippies were sympathetic and understanding. So for that and several other reasons I find it hard to darken the door of either organization even when, as is sometimes the case in more lightly populated areas, they run the best bar in town.They’re never going to be what they once were because they can’t come to grips with the fact that not all wars are as black and white as the one that most of them fought.

  78. 78
    ellaesther says:

    @Leelee for Obama: (But we didn’t pay you for your comment — and you actually caught your error! So it’s ok. I promise!)

  79. 79
    ellaesther says:

    @R-Jud: Germany and France are my go-to happy place when I get beyond hopeless about Israel and Palestine.

    I mean, the Germans and the French were at it hammer and tongs for what, more than a century? If you had suggested in 1945 that they would one day be marking the end of the war together, you would have been laughed out of the room. And just look at what happened today.

  80. 80
    slag says:

    @ellaesther: The first pic was hilarious.

    And yes, we can both thank soldiers for their service and do our part to prevent them from having to serve in more wars. We can multitask.

  81. 81
    Ed Drone says:


    Ever see that documentary about the dog handlers serving in Vietnam who had to leave their dogs behind when they were returned home, leaving the dogs to be mostly euthanised?

    The destruction of war dogs was a well-kept secret, even in WWII:

    Blind Boy’s Dog

    I gave my dog to Uncle Sam in 1943
    He sailed across the sea
    And died for Liberty.
    Now that you are sending heroes home
    I just don’t understand
    Why don’t you send my dog home, Uncle Sam?
    He’d sleep beneath Old Glory
    Right here on Daddy’s farm.
    I’d be close by to keep him from all harm.
    No one knows how much I miss him,
    And how lonesome now I am.
    Why don’t you send my dog home, Uncle Sam?

    I gave my dog to Uncle Sam– he was so brave and smart;
    We both knew from the start
    That we would have to part.
    You wrote he died a hero,
    It was in the telegram!
    Why don’t you send my dog home, Uncle Sam?
    I know he’ll never lead me
    Like he did in days of yore.
    He’ll never be a blind boy’s pal no more.
    No one knows how much I miss him,
    And how lonesome now I am.
    Why don’t you send my dog home, Uncle Sam?

    From the singing of Hank Snow (though I learned it from Utah Phillips)


  82. 82
    Tsulagi says:

    Nice to occasionally have a non-cynical or snarky post.

    A tradition in my family is when having a drink give a quick thought to family who’ve served or buddies. If at a party having a great time, keep doing what you’re doing, just a fast mental shout out to those not there. Multitask.

    Grandpa, look for some good scotch coming your way later today. Yeah, the rest of you guys will get yours too.

  83. 83
    woody says:

    I doubt any of us would reject the offer if it sere a dram or a dopplo of decent scotch…

  84. 84
    Leelee for Obama says:

    @ellaesther: Thanks, ella-I hate my typese dyslexia!

    @ellaesther: I was watching a former German leader on BookTV once, who said he would always be grateful to the United States, because his generation was the first in German history that had never been at war with France. I cried like a baby-Kodak kinda moment.

  85. 85
    woody says:

    “dopplo” to my rank fingers, was supposed to be “dollop.”

  86. 86
    phoebes-in-santa fe says:

    Thanks to all of you who posted videos of kids and dogs. And thanks to all of those who served. I won’t be “political” about wars but I want to say ” thanks”.

    Oh, and as an “owned-by-three-cats” person, I’d say WE’D never get a welcome like those soldiers in the videos did.

  87. 87
    Ellen says:

    There’s another veteran video of great note. This one focuses on human family members. Have a tissue handy!


  88. 88
    Nuetron Flux says:

    @woody: Thank you for saying this better than I ever could. Thank you.

  89. 89
    Shell says:

    I think one of those dogs is a beagle.? They have a distinctive baying sound.

  90. 90
    Vlad says:

    @RedKitten: Good piece; reminds me of the story of Hachikō, though with a happier ending.

  91. 91
    briber says:

    @woody: Here’s my train of thought: “A dopplo…isn’t that like three jiggers?” ha ha

  92. 92
    mak says:

    Perhaps a nice way to honor our veterans today would be to try and convince Senator Coburn to stop denying them care for injuries they suffered in wars he supported.

    This ‘hold’ by Coburn was done anonymously, of course, and remained a secret until it broke in the Marine Corps Times. http://www.marinecorpstimes.co.....d_110309w/

  93. 93
    fraught says:

    I’m a first generation American citizen from an Irish family which, as far as I can tell, never had anyone serve in an capacity in any military, ever. I am in awe of our country’s men and women who willingly enlist and find those who were drafted even more awesome in their ability to serve in wars they might not have agreed with. These Bush wars are the most despicable in our history but what amazing work these young people are doing to honor their commitments and respect their commander in chief. Also, any dog is better than Bush on his best day.

  94. 94
    kamper says:

    In the interest of fair play, here is a video of every cat ever welcoming back its owner.

    Welcome Home

  95. 95

    I’d consider joining my local VFW if it wasn’t run by the right wing politics they espouse and some of the members weren’t fucktard teabagrrrrs.

    When they went beyond simply advocating veteran’s rights, and they have crossed well over that line to the detriment of many veteran’s issues, they wrote their own obituary.

  96. 96
    Matt says:

    The VFW and AFL have also been pretty politically active with some very partisan issues which younger vets cant relate to.

  97. 97

    […] John Cole) Tags:Veterans […]

  98. 98
    RedKitten says:


    @RedKitten: Good piece; reminds me of the story of Hachikō, though with a happier ending.

    And then there’s Greyfriar’s Bobby

    Anybody who says dogs don’t have souls is an asshat. If anything, they’ve got finer, better souls in the tip of their tail than most humans have in their entire carcass.

  99. 99
    aliensoup says:

    To Woody: I also joined to avoid being drafted to get into a non-infantry position so as to not live with having to kill someone for a totally bogus war. All who want to honor vets should indeed do whatever they can to prevent sending anyone into that kind of situation. There is nothing glorious or honorable about war. It is death and destruction.

    To donquijoterocket: That old meme of spitting and baby-killer signs was and is so over-done. I think there was only one recorded event of something similar happening at an airport for some returning vets and it was only one or two signs. Most of my friends, family and strangers I encountered were quite sympathetic and understanding – very supportive. Never heard anything bad directed at us.

  100. 100
    Ruckus says:

    Same situation, different job, similar results, same request.

  101. 101
    LD50 says:

    Ever see that documentary about the dog handlers serving in Vietnam who had to leave their dogs behind when they were returned home, leaving the dogs to be mostly euthanised?

    You know who else killed his dog? Hitler, that’s who!

    (sorry, couldn’t resist)

  102. 102

    […] contains numerous videos of American soldiers returning home and being greeted by their dogs  (h/t John Cole).  Particularly for dog owners, but really for anyone, there is something quite affecting and even […]

  103. 103

    […] contains numerous videos of American soldiers returning home and being greeted by their dogs  (h/t John Cole).  Particularly for dog owners, but really for anyone, there is something quite affecting and even […]

  104. 104
    kbeagle says:

    I played this video and all my beagles (4 of them) came running into the room to see what the ruckus was about. They agree…this is the proper way to greet your human on their return. They greet me like this every day when I return from work. If I was a soldier, I would hope I would have this waitng for me on my return. What a joyous racket.

  105. 105
    Jager says:

    My WW2 pilot Dad was a VFW and AL member. The reason; Blue Laws…no alcohol on Sunday, strict closing times, etc , etc. When I got back from my government sponsored trip to SE Asia, the old man and I went to the VFW club for a drink, by the second drink I was berated by some WW2 asshole about the what was happening in Viet Nam (this was late 1969) I told the guy to fuck off. My Dad told me later that the guy was a supply Sgt in Italy in 1944, never saw a minute of combat and was probably trading US supplies for pussy!

  106. 106
    ellie says:

    My uncle was in Merrill’s Marauders in World War II. He mentioned two things about it: when the tigers would roar, the whole jungle floor would shake and when a donkey that was promised to a local tribal chief drowned, someone had to dive into the water and cut off its ear to prove that it drowned. That was it. He never joined the AL or VFW.
    On the other hand, my dad was in Korea and he joined the VFW when he got out. He called it the beer joint and we would stop by when we were kids and he would say, “Don’t tell your mother we stopped at the beer joint.” Of course that was the first thing we said when we got home.

    Happy Veteran’s Day. I pray every day for peace.

  107. 107

    Awww…this is so great! To see a welcome home by the family pet is a perspective we do not see to often. Staying on things that aren’t typical, it seems sometimes that Vets who aren’t in combat or don’t face combat may not be considered when we salute Veterans for serving the country. I have started a discussion regarding this and invite you to share your thoughts.


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] contains numerous videos of American soldiers returning home and being greeted by their dogs  (h/t John Cole).  Particularly for dog owners, but really for anyone, there is something quite affecting and even […]

  2. […] contains numerous videos of American soldiers returning home and being greeted by their dogs  (h/t John Cole).  Particularly for dog owners, but really for anyone, there is something quite affecting and even […]

  3. […] John Cole) Tags:Veterans […]

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