Thursday, November 11, 2010

Really? My husband's not a military veteran?

I let you know last year how I feel about Veteran's Day. I believe that if you are a veteran and are now employed as a civilian, that you should get the day off with pay! My husband was kidding around yesterday saying how he should get today off or at least 1/2 a day. He was met with the response of "You're not a veteran. You didn't go to war." Or "You didn't retire, you weren't in for 20 years" ETC.

Woah, wait a minute. That's a bunch of HOO HA! My husband also received a text from his sister asking if he was a vet. Where was she when he was on deployment and the war 1st started?

Well, let's check the definition of a military veteran:
 (taken from wikipedia)

The most common usage is for former armed services personnel. A veteran is one who has served in the armed forces, especially one who has served in combat. It is especially applied to those who served for an entire career, usually of 20 years or more, but may be applied for someone who has only served one tour of duty. A common misconception is that only those who have served in combat or those who have retired from active duty can be called military veterans.

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.
Look at all those roses. They were all for me. How sweet!

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?

                        Yeah we were kind of happy to see each other.
 Is that not the sweetest thing you've ever seen? The way Jeremy is holding on to his daddy. That's John's mom off to the side holding little Tristan who has a balloon for a face. Darn it.

These are from his deployment on the USS Peleliu LHA 5 when they returned to San Diego on our 10 year anniversary: 9/20/2007. And I was even interviewed-

riends and family wait pierside as amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5) pulls into port
070920-N-8878B-037 SAN DIEGO (Sept. 20, 2007) - Friends and family wait pierside as amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5) pulls into port. Peleliu departed June 1 for a four-month humanitarian mission to Southeast Asia and Oceania. Peleliu Sailors and partner nation military medical personnel and non-governmental organizations provided medical, dental and construction programs to countries in Southeast Asia and Oceania. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Michael C. Barton (RELEASED)
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Peleliu Returns Home
Story Number: NNS070926-30
By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class (SW/AW) Brian Gaines, Fleet Public Affairs Center Pacific
SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- USS Peleliu (LHA 5) returned to its homeport of San Diego following their four-month Pacific Partnership 2007 deployment Sept. 20.

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

                                                John's view- Coronado

            Jeremy got to be on the ship with John from Hawaii to San Diego.
             Jessica being silly with her daddy, obviously glad to have him back.

                        Jessica and Tristan with John in his new uniform.
                        He was with the MA department towards the end.

I am proud to have been a military wife for 10 years.
Thank You to all military past and present. Happy Veteran's Day!


  1. Happy Veteran's Day from a proud military wife. Thank your husband for serving our country for me!

  2. Congrats!
    Happy Veterans DAY!
    nice interview!
    And I LOVE love the pictures!!!

  3. He's a veteran in every way! Those other people are just haters! :-)

  4. Happy Veteran's Day to your husband! I have to say that I am more than a little shocked that anyone would not consider him a veteran.

  5. Nice blog!!! Dont worry what people say or think sweetie. We did what we did so they would have the freedoms to think and say what they feel, idiotic or not!!


  6. Thanks for all the support!.

    Donnie- that is very true! What upset me was the way they were treating him. They made him feel like he did not deserve even 1/2 a day off. Next year I think he should put in for a paid vacation day on Veterans Day.


Thank you for your comments! I'll try to return the favor.