Well, let's check the definition of a military veteran:
(taken from wikipedia)
Now, I don't mean to be rude. I know that not everyone is clear on the definition of a military veteran.
The proof is in the pictures, right?
Well this alone should be proof enough that my husband is a veteran:
Hello? That's a tatoo on a sailor. Not just any tattoo either. It's a tribal tattoo that he got while on deployment- in port at Perth, Austrailia. (his favorite port I might add) An Aborigine tatted him. Although John points out it was in a regular tattoo shop. I happen to love frogs and purple. Coincidence? :)
Ok enough silliness...
So, what do I have to say to those that would think my husband is not a veteran?
And then I decided to ask my husband a few questions and add some more thoughts:
Back to the pictures..
This is one of my favorite pictures. It was when John returned from his 1st deployment. (USS John Hancock March 1999) This is John holding/meeting his daughter Tristan for the 1st time. She was 3 months old. A stranger took this picture of our little family and then we were lucky enough that the picture made it's way to us. They were so sweet when they took the picture, they said we were just the cutest little Navy family.
Here are the pictures from the "famous" 10 month deployment. (USS Shiloh CCG 67 April 25,2003) These pictures were either in the newspaper or found on the internet. I don't know who to give credit to, but we're in them, so how about that?
Story Number: NNS070926-30
Approximately 1,000 friends and family members turned out at pier 13 at Naval Station San Diego to welcome the Sailors and civilians returning from Southeast Asia and Oceania.
As the crowd neared the pier, members of the Navy Southwest Region Band played popular songs to add to the festivities.
“The Peleliu wanted to go all out, so we did,” said Senior Chief Culinary Specialist (SW/AW) Russ Paje, the coordinator for the homecoming event. “Everything is running smoothly, and that’s always good.
As the ship neared the pier, the crowd began cheering loudly. Applause and random comments about the ship’s stature, as well as how remarkable it is to see Sailors manning the rails, could be heard throughout the crowd.
“It’s truly exciting,” said the spouse of Peleliu Chaplain Lt. Kevin Nortin, who was one of approximately 12 spouses who were allowed onto the pier for the coveted "first kiss.” “It has been a long time coming,” she said.
For some Sailors, such as Boatswain’s Mate 3rd Class Mark Carlson, it was a special family reunion. Carlson’s parents and grandparents traveled from Nebraska to welcome him home.
“It is an exhilarating experience,” said Jo Anne Carlson, Carlson’s grandmother, of her first time witnessing a homecoming. “I’m so proud of him and all the Sailors on the ship.”
“It’s chilling, exciting and emotional,” said Linda Carlson, Carlson’s mother. “I’m glad everyone has come back safe.”
For the spouse of Damage Controlman 2nd Class John Reeder, the day was twice as special. In addition to seeing her husband for the first time in four months, the day also marked their 10-year wedding anniversary.
“I’m a little nervous, but excited at the same time,” she said, who was on hand with the couple’s two young daughters. “It’s always a flood of emotions when John returns.”
Throughout the deployment, Peleliu served as a platform for military and civilian personnel, who provided medical and dental care, as well as, education and preventative medicine to more than 31,600 people in the Philippines, Vietnam, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and the Republic of the Marshall Islands.
For more news from USS Peleiu, visit www.news.navy.mil/local/lha5/.