Some people still don't understand why military personnel do what they do for
a living. This exchange between Senators John Glenn and Howard Metzenbaum is
worth reading. Not only is it a pretty impressive impromptu speech, but it's
also a good example of one man's explanation of why men and women in the
Uniformed Services do what they do for a living. And an example of what those
who have never served think of the Military.
Senator Metzenbaum to Senator Glenn:
"How can you run for Senate when you've never held a real 'job'?"
"I served 23 years in the United States Marine Corps. I served through two wars. I flew 149 missions. My plane was hit by anti-aircraft fire on 12 different occasions. I was in the space program.
It wasn't my checkbook; it was my life on the line. It was not a 9 to 5 job
where I took time off to take the daily cash receipts to the bank.
I ask you to go with me...as I went the other day... to a Veterans Hospital
and look those men with their mangled bodies in the eye and tell them they
didn't hold a job. You go with me to the space program and go as I have
gone to the widows and orphans of Ed White and Gus Grissom and Roger Chaffee
and you look those kids in the eye and tell them that their dad didn't hold
a job. You go with me on Memorial Day coming up, and you stand in Arlington
National Cemetery, where I have more friends than I'd like to remember - and
you watch those waving flags, and you stand there, and you think about this
nation, and you tell me that those people didn't have a job.
I'll tell you, Howard Metzenbaum, you should be on your knees every day of your life thanking God that there were some men -SOME MEN- who held a job. And they required a dedication to purpose and a love of country and a dedication to duty that was more important than life itself. And their self-sacrifice is what made this country possible. I HAVE HELD A JOB, HOWARD! What about you?"
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