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November 10, 2018
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There’s much going on in the Arizona, Georgia and especially Florida elections, where courts have twice (as of this writing) slapped down the election officials in Broward County, the longtime Democratic enclave of incompetence and corruption that seems to be manufacturing Democratic votes faster than Starkist cranks out cans of tuna, and Broward's product smells even fishier. This is a constantly-changing story that I’ll watch and catch you up on later. But today, there are more important people to talk about. Without them, we wouldn’t even have free elections. I refer, of course, to America’s veterans, whom we honor on this Veterans Day weekend.

The following commentary first ran on Veterans Day 2017. It is repeated here in updated form because in the current divisive political atmosphere, where patriotism and respect for the military are under increasing fire, it strongly bears repeating…

Today marks the 243rd birthday of the United States Marine Corps. The Continental Marines, America’s first marine force of the Revolutionary War, were founded on November 10th, 1775. This day is set aside to remember all the Marines throughout history who gave their lives defending America, our allies and countless victims of tyranny and oppression worldwide.

 

Of course, tomorrow, November 11th is Veterans Day, although the federal holiday is observed on Monday. Memorial Day is specifically reserved to honor veterans who died in the line of duty, while Veterans Day is designated to show appreciation for everyone who ever wore the uniform of the Marines, Army, Navy, Air Force or Coast Guard, past and present. But do you know the story of how it all began?


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Veterans Day was first proclaimed as Armistice Day by President Woodrow Wilson in 1919, to commemorate the official end of World War I on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. Other nations that fought in World War I have their versions of that holiday, such as Remembrance Day. But like the US Marine Corps itself, Veterans Day is something uniquely American.

 

Armistice Day was observed in the US for a couple of decades, but gradually, as the memory of World War I receded and another World War loomed, Americans began thinking of ways to honor veterans of all the wars who fought to security the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity (as the great military editorial cartoonist Bill Mauldin noted, “If World War I was ‘The War to End All Wars,’ then why did they give it a number?”)

 

In 1945, WWII veteran Raymond Weeks of Birmingham, Alabama, began a personal crusade to turn Armistice Day into a state holiday honoring all veterans. The idea quickly took hold, and in 1953, an Emporia, Kansas, shoe store owner named Al King took up the torch to make it a national holiday. The Emporia Chamber of Commerce joined his crusade, and the very next year, Emporia-born Congressman Edward Rees introduced a bill to create Veterans Day. It was signed by a President who just happened to be a retired Army man from Kansas himself: Dwight Eisenhower. Proving once again that if you want to get something done fast in Washington, let a military vet from the Midwest handle it.

 

These days, we’re bombarded with media-created heroes, from athletes to pop stars to endless movies filled with comic book superheroes. But they all pale into insignificance beside the real greatest American heroes: the men and women of the United States military, who took on the duty of protecting our freedoms, our homeland and the defenseless around the world. They knew it might require the ultimate sacrifice, but they didn’t turn and run. And since 1973, with the end of the military draft, they’ve not only stepped up to take on that burden and risk, they've done it entirely voluntarily.

 

There is nothing partisan about supporting our veterans. No matter where you are on the political spectrum, your rights are protected by them. Even the free speech right to shout misguided and slanderous nonsense about the United States military is defended by the United States military.

 

Today, fewer than 0.5% of the US population currently serve, and just over 7% have ever served. That means a relative handful of Americans have carried the load for the rest of us. When they come home after giving so much for us, you’d think they would be treated like royalty. Sadly, many aren’t. Some veterans return home suffering deep physical and mental wounds, and they deserve the best care possible. Those with scars from their service, whether they be physical or psychological, should never be allowed to “slip through the cracks” in the system. It is intolerable that so many veterans have suffered long waits and lack of attention from the VA system, and that as many as 20 a day commit suicide.

 

I know the debt is sky-high, and spending needs to be cut. But you don’t slash your top priority. Health care for our veterans should always be top priority, as should correcting the shameful recent lapses on the part of the VA. Anyone in that department who would place protecting the system ahead of protecting veterans needs to find a new career right now – forcibly, if necessary.

 

Americans haven’t always been as grateful to our veterans as they should be. During the Vietnam era, too many people shamefully transferred their hostility over an unpopular war to those who were sent to fight it. The Reagan era brought a renewed sense of patriotism, pride and gratitude for our armed forces. But in recent years, we’ve seen that gradually erode, as self-proclaimed "social justice warriors" (who would wet their pants at the thought of having to be in a real war) have put their personal crusades ahead of the most basic American traditions that show respect for America, its flag and its veterans. I saw a sign that summed up my feelings well. It read: “A man with a helmet defending our country should make more money than a man with a helmet defending a football.”

 

If I take a knee, it will never be to disrespect our flag, our National Anthem, or those who fought to safeguard our freedom. It will be in respect and awe of the veterans to whom we owe a debt we can never repay.


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Today would be a great day to renew our commitment to placing respect and gratitude for America’s veterans back on top of our priorities lists. You can do that by writing your Congressional Representatives to urge them to support veterans (I suspect some of the newly-elected or empowered ones will need strong reminders), by attending a parade or other civic event, donating to or volunteering for one of the many worthwhile veterans’ aid organizations, picking up the check for someone in uniform at a restaurant, or just telling a veteran or active duty military member you happen to see, “Thank you for your service.”

 

Better yet, do all of the above. Because of the way the calendar falls, there are Veterans Day events taking place all weekend and on Monday. But even a long weekend isn’t enough time to show our appreciation for America’s veterans. They deserve to be thanked and honored not just on Veterans Day weekend, but all year ‘round.

 

 

 

P.S.  Many restaurants and other businesses are offering free meals and other deals and discounts to veterans this weekend. Visit this link for a list of many of those offers:

 

https://militarybenefits.info/veterans-day-discounts-sales-deals-free-meals/

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Comments 1-23 of 23

  • Karla Dorman

    11/11/2018 09:23 PM

    Thank you for giving honor to our men and women in uniform. Thank you for remembering that Freedom isn't free. No Veteran should be homeless or nearly so. They shouldn't worry if they're going to eat. They certainly should not go without top notch medical and mental health services. They paid for our Freedom with their service and sacrifice and should lack for nothing.

    My Daddy, his four brothers, Mom's brother, MY brother, several cousins served. All branches. They paved the way for my own service in the USAF. Most of them saw war. One of my Uncles had two ships shot out from under. Another survived Hell on Earth: Bataan. I never left Texas and still got injured twice on duty. 20 percent service connected disability rated.

    Would I do it again? If my body and age would let me: Yes, Sir. My God, my country, my family, my flag, Freedom means that much to me.

    Sorry I bent your ear. Just want to let you know I appreciate you.

    If I get some extra money, will order your book.

    God bless and take care,

    Karla Dorman, Texas.

  • Anita Mae Barker

    11/11/2018 04:51 AM

    Well spoken, Mike. Thank you.

  • Barbara Rush

    11/11/2018 02:10 AM

    Governor, Please take a look at these fascinating original photos from Kristallnacht that were posted on Twitter. I'd love to see these wind up at Yad Vashem. Apparently they were taken by a Nazi photojournalist from Nuremburg.

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DrkbML6X0AAZjT_.jpg

  • Priscilla Khweis

    11/11/2018 01:48 AM

    Many thanks to you with your daily commentaries that keep us truly informed ! This spewing out of hatred,untruth and discontent by the media (not Fox & there may be others ??)is horrible !!Let us see what they have to say about Veterans Day ! Many thanks for your vets reminder-it was great! I will be looking to treat some to a meal today!

  • Patrick Canan

    11/11/2018 01:10 AM

    Thank you for your tribute to our veterans, in particular the Marines on this anniversary of their founding. Indeed, we would not enjoy our freedoms without the service, bravery, and sacrifice of these men and women. That said, we must remember that Robert Mueller was a combat marine who served his country with distinction and wears the Purple Heart. Let's all agree to let him finish his investigation and make his report. If any wrong was done we need to know, and of none was done we need to be able to put this behind us.

  • Elaine Liming

    11/10/2018 10:42 PM

    Mike I agree we must do more for the few that are carrying the load. In California, the last Veterans' hospital was built in 1920. I don't have the resources like the Veterans Dept. has, but I bet if we checked each state in the US we would find that new, more updated technical hospitals are few and far between.

    I talked with a black man begging out side the drug store I shopped at and ask him to tell me his story. He was a recent Vet and didn't want to go back to the hospital he was at because of the screaming and carrying on with Vets in pain, mind an body. He was begging for 18.63 so he could keep his studio rental till his received his next disability check to pay his rent. If he didn't raise the money that day, he would be out in the street. I knew of a shelter and gave him some money and put him in contact with our homeless ministry in our church. It was all I could do as I'm a senior living on a fixed income. I share this story because this should not be happening in our country.
    We need mental hospitals for our Vets for the care their need and we must have more shelters and hospitals for our Vets.

    In many States we have empty office buildings empty and decaying; these buildings could be put to good use. These are the things our Congress should be researching and putting their creative heads together to solve the problems of our Vets and our poor. We have problems but they can be solved with solutions other than a welfare system that needs reforming and is wasting money that could be put to good use. Project Habitat was a good idea. We need one for our Vets. People helping people who will in turn enable others.

  • Elaine Kuebler

    11/10/2018 08:43 PM

    I'm watching Huckabee right now and I just want to say to you personally Governor, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE loose some weight and get healthier!!! We can't afford to lose you!!!!

  • Kathy Todd

    11/10/2018 05:52 PM

    God bless every one of our veterans! And God bless the USA! So proud of my husband, my father, and all family and friends who have served.

  • Sandy Aldrich

    11/10/2018 05:35 PM

    Thank you Gov. Huckabee for your faithful commitment to our MILITARY. Thank you for standing up for this Republic of America!! I keep praying for God to protect our nation, but I'm fearful that we are slowly watching this country implode...greed for POWER is driving many.
    As far as gun control...people's HEARTS is what needs to be changed through Jesus Christ....
    Your daughter, Sarah, BRAVO to her for her strength!

  • Bryan Keith Reist

    11/10/2018 03:39 PM

    Thanks Mike, I truly appreciate what you and your daughter are doing to make America great again and thank you for supporting our Veterans, as for me I proudly served in the USAF for almost 4yrs as a Security Specialist 14 months at Andersen AFB Guam and at Beale AFB California as a central security control I enjoyed my service protecting our country and would do it all over if needed. I know you are a righteous man as I am also saved by Jesus Christ thank God, I turned ugly after I got out the service 3 failed marriages one I was only married to for just 30 days but that's a story for another time maybe lol, but anyways I thought I had it all. Sadly I hit the bottom I wanted to die that's when God showed up and used my childhood hero John Wayne to lead me to Christ, but I won't bore you with that unless you wanna see it cause also had me run or trying to run a drug and alcohol addiction program that will get people off of heroin cocaine meth alcohol ect. God told me to name it The Cross of Recovery and He gave me the vision to see an old rugged cross on a hill with blood stain wood and a narrow path leading up to the cross and with a light shinning from heaven on that cross...but any how that's who and what I am a sinner saved by Gods amazing grace and as the Duke quoted " everyman deserves a second chance but keep an eye on him " if you wanna hear my testimony I'll send it.to you and some information on the Cross of Recovery thank you Mike got you and your family in my prayers stay strong go Trump God bless

  • Linda Clipp USA SFC, RET

    11/10/2018 03:19 PM

    Sir: Your comments vis-a-vis Veteran's Day, brought tears.

    They serve as eloquent reminders of a grand, and sometimes shameful past.

    Thank you for your support.

    Respectfully,
    Linda Clipp

  • Dawn Street

    11/10/2018 03:04 PM

    My husband was one of those Vietnam Veterans who had to change out of his uniform before entering the airport to go home. He was a Navy Seabee, a noncombatant branch of the service. They defend themselves but they are primarily there to support those who go out to do battle. They build barracks, mess halls, air strips, bridges, roads, bunkers, latrines and showers. They are innovative and able to make a lot from very little. Most of the men who return from war suffer from a form of PTSD. Even the support staff and the medical staff have that thousand yard stare and it is heart breaking. Most veterans want to sit with their back to a wall and facing the door. There is a reason for that.

    When you see a veteran wearing a unit cap or jacket signifying Marine, Navy, Army, Air Force, etc. and you say thank you to him or her, you will get a big broad smile back in acknowledgement with either "you're welcome" or a humble "thank you". That is happening more and more often and they do appreciate your gratitude for their sacrifices.

    My family has contributed soldiers, sailors and marines to this country's armed forces since the French and Indian Wars. One of the greats was in the Green Mountain Boys and that was not a rock band!! Revolutionary War, War of Northern Aggression, and more recently in WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Operation Desert Storm and the other wars fought in the Middle East. My grandfather, my father, my uncles, my brothers, my husband, my son, my daughters, my nephews, my cousins... I wanted to join the Air Force when I graduated from high school but my Grandfather (WWI), my Father (WWII) and my uncle (Korea and Vietnam) told me "NO".

    My Daddy was in the Philippines, the liberation forces, when I was born and he was going to be part of the Invasion of Japan. Thank God for the atomic bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the Japanese surrender!! The loss of life if there had been an invasion would have astronomical on both sides! Instead he went in as Occupation of Japan and shortly after that he came home. I was 5 months old.

    I am thankful for a day when I can pause to remember the sacrifices of my grandparents, my parents and my family. Please do not hesitate to say "Thank you for your service" to our veterans.

  • Judy Anderson

    11/10/2018 02:45 PM

    Thank you for your Veterans Day tribute. Both my husband's father and mine served in World War 2 and our only 2 grandchildren are both serving currently in the Navy. Our grandson Aric is an aviation mechanic and our granddaughter Jessica is aboard the USS HARRY S. TRUMAN aircraft carrier, currently deployed. We are so proud of both of them and thankful for their voluntary service. Thank you for honoring them, our fathers (now deceased) and the multitudes of others past and present.
    Thank you too for being a voice of reason in an unreasonable time and for the Dad who raised such an awesome daughter in Sarah Huckabee Sanders. She is one amazing woman and I never tire of watching her do her job. She was made for it!
    Sincerely,
    Judy Anderson

  • CATHY HOBBS

    11/10/2018 02:39 PM

    Thank you ever so much for sharing your thoughts and information. My husband and I appreciate everything you, and also your daughter Sarah, do for us. My God bless you and your family.

  • Stephen Russell

    11/10/2018 01:26 PM

    National Voting Rights Act:
    Voter Fraud is prosecutable to 15 Yrs Min+
    Seize assets of those committing Voter fraud.
    Count votes in Fraud to other side IE GOP, add to count.
    Vote absentee.
    Scrap voting machines.
    Indie party oversees Voting systems: NO GOP or Dem ties.
    Indie Team reports to White House, Senate, Congress & state houses.
    Data Made Public.
    NO Voter suppression.
    Those fomenting Voter suppression Prosecuted as well.
    IE Black Panthers etc et al.
    NO blocking polling sites.
    Or nothing gets Done.

  • Buzz Miller, MSG U. S. Army Retired

    11/10/2018 12:39 PM

    Thank you for your support, we love your show but we canceled our cable subscription due to poor service and high cost. Are they posted on the internet?

  • Karen Johnson

    11/10/2018 12:28 PM

    Thanks for this. We can't let our veterans down.

  • Trudie Jo Benham

    11/10/2018 12:23 PM

    Thank you for reminding us how we are able to enjoy the great freedoms we have. It is shameful to see what is going on with our Country. Some trying to take away the freedoms our men & woman fought and died for so that we could live in a free& safe Country. And I am proud to say thank you to all who are serving and have served to give me freedom and safety. And may God be with all that serve our great Country.

  • Sid Levin

    11/10/2018 12:17 PM

    Thanks for your great thoughts about us Veterans.
    In our house, it gets a bit nutty. Today, November 10, marks my Bride’s, the Marine Corps and our Puppy’s birthdays.
    The Marine Corps. And I were both born in the same city, Philadelphia.
    Tomorrow we will celebrate Veterans Day.

  • Michael Galloway

    11/10/2018 11:27 AM

    A salute and honorable mention and thanks to all veteran's past and present. Watched a special last night on soldiers and PSTD, especially among those who served in Vietnam. I thought to myself, this program and many others showing our military history should be shown in junior high and high school as part of history, but sadly we know they won't in our public school system. Whether you like or agree with our nation's history, the soldiers were just doing their job and not making it about the politics of war. So they should be recognized often throughout the year, but especially on Veteran's Day.

    As per your article on CNN Confusion and Jim Acosta. He should have been banned a long time ago. When you have a press briefing, the person giving the briefing is in charge. And that is what President Trump did and he should have. Enough is enough of so many in the mainstream media thinking they run the show. If the WH does not take charge of the press briefings then its like the animals running the zoo instead of the zoo keeper. The briefing is and should be under control of the person giving the briefing and not putting up with a constant bombardment of questions and trying to get a debate going to suit their agenda. The President did the right thing !!!

  • Sharon Smith

    11/10/2018 11:01 AM

    Thank you for always recognizing the Veterans. My husband served in the Marines and recently suddenly passed away at age 65. While we had never talked much about what we wanted when we passed away, the Lord directed me to a beautiful Veteran's cemetery in Winchendon MA. The service was beautiful with the honoring of him as a veteran. He never would have anticipated this. I am so proud of him and all the servicemen from every branch and I thanked my husband every Veteran's Day for fighting to keep our country free. I wish all Americans would do the same and forget about politics on these days. Thank you sir for your knowledge, wisdom and loving the Lord. You are a hero also. Pvt. Russell S. Smith remains in my heart always.

  • Lawrence E. Foster

    11/10/2018 10:52 AM

    As a veteran - also a retired soldier from Eisenhower territory (East Colorado) - , thank you for you kind words. Veterans don't really expect to be treated as special, we just want to be treated with the same respect everyone should receive. The most disrespectful thing anyone can do is pretend to be a veteran to get something they don't deserve (Hear me senator Blumethal from Connecticut?) It's hard to imagine a state that would re-elect someone after they find out he got elected the first time by lying about his military service, but Connecticut seems to have an endless supply of gullible voters. Happy Veterans day to you, Governor Mike. I'll be at the Vietnam Memorial in Washington DC tomorrow, to connect with sme fellow veterans.

  • Flora Lee Rauch

    11/10/2018 10:48 AM

    Love you soooo much Mike Huckabee, all your humor and love of God and country are much appreciated! May God continue to anoint your work and mission for His Glory and our expanded commitment to His Will for our lives and country in Jesus name Amen