Challenge Coin Update – Catholic War Veterans – #VeteransDay

You may recall that I had challenge coins made. I’ve been giving and exchanging here and there, as well as receiving from kind readers.

One just came in from an interesting organization: Catholic War Veterans. Appropriate.

I was unaware of this organization.

Many thanks for the challenge coin!

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Semper Gumby says:

    A Happy Veteran’s Day to all Veterans. And also to those families and friends who raised them, educated them, sent them on their way, and brought them home again. And to Servant of God Fr. Vincent Capodanno, Killed in Action 1967 and awarded the Medal of Honor.

    Outstanding coin and letter, the CWV was approved by Pius XI and Federally Chartered by President Reagan, “Ronaldus Magnus.” Excellent.

  2. stephen c says:

    Thanks, Semper, from a fellow veteran, for your happy Veterans Day to all veterans, but my family and friends did not bring me home again. My family did not help me when I was overseas in a war that I did not want to be in. And my friends could not have helped if they wanted to (although they would have if they could). My fellow soldiers get all the credit. Not my family, not my friends in the United States. And the letter from the CWV, as good as it was, names John F. Kennedy, and nobody but Kennedy. A rich guy who was brave and who was not a coward – I know what it is like to be far from home, within range of the enemy who wants to kill, and I give him credit – but he was rich, and got so so much credit, and so many worldly rewards, for what he did, and almost all my fellow soldiers were not rich, and got next to no credit. I know not one person in a hundred will understand and sympathize with this comment -(I mean who calls the Catholic War Veteran Organization sycophantic, besides me) – well, the rich Kennedys of the world are the heroes, not the non-rich Stephen C’s, I know that – so 99 out of a 100 people reading this will not understand what I am trying to say – but maybe you are than one person in a hundred, Semper. Maybe next year the Catholic Veterans can write a better letter, without the sycophantic reference to Kennedy, as the only veteran they bother to name. Until they do that, they can keep their pretty coin. As for me, I spent today remembering the dead who nobody remembers. Lieutenant Walton. Woody. The General. Thanks for remembering them, too. Their names: Lieutenant Walton, Woody, the General. No, none of them were rich (although the General had a nice pension), and none were in the beloved “Special Forces.” Just a bunch of guys who died for their country. When I and their other friends their age get old and die, not too long from now, they will probably all be forgotten by their fellow American soldiers. Maybe the ones who have grandkids will be remembered for a while. Welcome to my Veterans Day.

  3. Semper Gumby says:

    stephen c: Thanks, Happy Veteran’s Day.

    True, I could have been clearer when I wrote “and brought them home again.” As you know, there is a difference between physically returning from overseas duty and the relaxation of being “home.” From your comment you may have served in Vietnam and possibly as a draftee. That indeed adds an additional element of complexity to returning.

    Regarding the CWV letter, perhaps they mentioned Kennedy because of the Reagan reference- a bi-partisan moment. And as for “wealth”: Kennedy came from a wealthy family while Fr. Capodanno died no doubt with meager savings. Rich or poor, the battlefield and military history books (other than an anecdotal aside) simply don’t care.

    Certainly, there are combat experiences that can leave a mark. Sometimes friends depart abruptly aboard a medevac helicopter. Sometimes friends depart at the end of the deployment, Stateside, when personnel are reassigned or discharged. It is heartening that those killed in action were, at the moment of violent death, doing what they volunteered to do, even felt called to do, and were amongst their brothers-in-arms.

    Ok stephen c, whaddya’ say we switch gears a bit for some post-Veteran’s Day humor. You might remember from your time spent training in the States enduring those “Safety Briefs” before being released on a four-day weekend or “96.” (Exhausted servicemen and women, having completed a ten-day field exercise, would sometimes drive 500 miles or more overnight to spend two days at home. The resulting car accidents are a bit of a problem). Anyway, the “Combat Center” (nickname for the huge Marine Corps desert and urban live-fire training base at 29 Palms CA that battalions rotate through before deployment) decided to make a different sort of safety video. Here, young 29 Palms Marines (training support, tank mechanics, etc.) are stocking up at the PX before hitting the highway. Lo and behold, manning the cash register is the Sergeant-Major…

  4. stephen c says:

    Thanks, Semper Gumby ( it takes an effort not to say Semper Gunny – I think Semper ‘Gumby ‘was after my time, although I heard it once in later-on years, I think – but I though it was original with the guy who said it. I remember, now, asking him about the clay horse – whose name I forget – Pokey, I think. Obviously I was not in the Marines). I completely agree, on further thought, with your paragraph 4, which describes the applicable situation better than I did – so I retract, to that extent, what I said on that specific subject, but I was talking from the heart, believe me…. and I really appreciate the rest of the comment. So many people have had it worse than me that I feel bad about complaining – but, as the purpose of some of these internet comments is, one hopes, at least sometimes, to scout up a few extra prayers – or just one extra prayer – for those we care about – it would have been easier, I guess, if the Lieutenant and Woody had not been burned to a crisp, and had had an open casket funeral. As for the guy we called the General – well, everybody who met him knew he would always give his all. Maybe they don’t need our prayers, maybe they do, but I’m asking. If you’re reading this, I hope you had a good veteran’s day too.

  5. stephen c says:

    Sorry , meant to say that your paragraph 3, about Reagan, Kennedy, and Father Capodanno , describes the applicable situation (the letter Father Zuhlsdorf reproduced) better than I did. Paragraph 4 is still a really good paragraph, though … and thanks for the youtube link…

  6. Semper Gumby says:

    stephen c: You’re welcome with that youtube link. As you know, Sergeant Majors take an interest in the health and welfare of young troops in their own special way. God bless ’em all.

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