I Am the American Veteran. I was there when the thirteen colonies struggled to be free from British tyranny. I answered Paul Revereâs call âThe British are Coming.â I fought the Redcoats from behind rock and tree and stone fence. I fired âthe shot heard round the worldâ. On Christmas Eve, 1776, I crossed the Delaware with General Washington, and captured the Hessian Army by surprise. I was there at the Siege of Yorktown, and witnessed the surrender of British General Lord Cornwallis, October 17, 1781, ending the American Revolutionary War. [American Revolutionary War 1775-1783]
I Am the American Veteran. I was there on Lake Erie when nine vessels of the United States Navy defeated and captured six vessels of the British Royal Navy, and I was there when Andrew Jackson led us down the Mississippi to defeat the British at the Battle of New Orleans.
I was there on Christmas Eve 1814 when the Treaty of Ghent was signed ending the War of 1812. [War of 1812]
I Am the American Veteran. In 1836 I suffered defeat when Antonio Santa Ana led 1,500 Mexican troops against 100 of us who took a stand in the Alamo, but a month later, led by Sam Houston, we defeated Santa Anaâs army in the Battle of San Jacinto, a battle that lasted only about eighteen minutes, bringing an end to the Mexican-American War. [Mexican-American War â 1846-1848]
I Am the American Veteran. I was there in April 1861 when shots were fired upon Fort Sumpter in South Carolina. I was there when Union Forces routed a small Confederate detachment in Philippi, West Virginia, the first land battle of the Civil War. I was there in the battles of Bull Run, Shiloh, Fredericksburg, Vicksburg, Gettysburg, and a host of others. I was standing by at Appomattox Court House, in April 1865, when Ulysses S Grant and Robert E Lee signed the peace treaty, ending the American Civil War, and allowing those of us still living to return to what was left of our homes and families. [American Civil War 1861-1865]
I Am the American Veteran. I was there in Cuba, in 1898, when the Gatling Gun was used for the first time. I was one of the Rough Riders that Teddy Roosevelt led in the charge up San Juan Hill, in one of the bloodiest and greatest victories of the Spanish-American War. [Spanish-American War 1898]
I Am the American Veteran. In 1818, German U-Boats began sinking American passenger ships. After the sinking of the Lusitania with American passengers aboard, President Woodrow Wilson declared war on Germany, and I was sent over there. I fought Kaiser Wilhelmâs best in the bloody trenches along the Marne River in France. Many of my comrades lie âIn Flanders Fields where the poppies blow between the crosses row on row.â I was there on June 28, 1919, when the Treaty of Versailles was signed ending World War I.
[World War I 1917-1918]
I Am the American Veteran. I was on board the USS West Virginia when she was struck by six torpedoes and two bombs in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, on December 7, 1941, a day which President Franklin D. Roosevelt said âwould live in infamyâ. I was flying one of the bombers that later helped destroy much of the Japanese fleet in the Battle of Midway. I fought for freedom in places with strange namesâ¦names like: Saipan, Guadalcanal, Okinawa and Iwo Jima. I helped raise the American Flag after we captured the island of Iwo Jima. I was aboard the Enola Gay when the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. I was the pilot that flew the plane that dropped the second atomic bomb on Nagasaki. I was on board the USS Missouri on V-J Day (Victory in Japan Day), September 2, 1945, when General Douglas McArthur and the Japanese signed the peace treaty, ending World War II on the Pacific Front.
I Am the American Veteran. On D-Day, June 6, 1944, I landed on Omaha Beach in Normandy, France, under heavy enemy fire. Though many of my comrades gave their all, we were successful in driving the Naziâs out of France. I was also in Belgium, in the Ardennes Forest, in the Battle of the Bulge, as Hitlerâs Nazi Army began to lose itâs power. Americans today remember May 8, 1945 as VE-Day (Victory in Europe Day), the day Nazi German leaders signed an unconditional peace treaty with the Allied Forces, ending World War II in Europe. I and many of my fellow soldiers returned home, but many didnât. 10,482 of my comrades, who gave their all, lie at rest yet today in the Lorraine American Cemetery in St. Avold, France.
[World War II 1941-1945]
I Am the American Veteran. I was there in Korea at the Battle of Bloody Ridge, the Battle of Heartbreak Ridge, the Battle of Old Baldy, and the Battle of Pork Chop Hill, as we sought to keep North Korean military forces from crossing the 38th parallel and invading South Korea.
[Korean War 1950-1953]
I Am the American Veteran. I was there in the middle of the conflict between North and South Viet Nam. I have walked the Ho Che Minh Trail, to provide supplies for the South Vietnamese Military, called the Viet Cong. I have suffered in the prison camps of North Viet Nam. I was a part of the Tet Offensive. On my return home, I suffered the reproach and ridicule of those who were opposed to the Viet Nam War, and many of my comrades still suffer the devastating effects of Agent Orange. [Viet Nam War 1965-1973]
I Am the American Veteran. I was a part of Desert Storm, as we drove Saddam Husseinâs Iraqi army out of Kuwait. I flew the planes that dropped the bombs. I manned the guns on board the ships. I faced the hot desert sands in the clean-up action. Some time later I was a part of Operation Red Dawn that tracked Saddam Hussein down and pulled him out of the hole in the ground where he was hiding, thus ending the Gulf War. [Gulf War 1990-1991]
I Am the American Veteran. I was a part of Operation Enduring Freedom when we successfully drove the Taliban from power in order to deny al-Qaeda a safe base of operation in Afghanistan. I was there in Pakistan on May 2, 2011, when the compound of Osama bin Laden, the founder and leader of al Qaeda, was raided, and Osama was killed, bringing an end to the War in Afghanistan. [War in Afghanistan 2001-2014]
I Am the American Veteran. I was there in March 2003 when US forces invaded Iraq, in order to destroy Saddam Husseinâs weapons of mass destruction, and bring an end his evil dictatorship. I remained in Iraq until December 2011 when the last of our troops withdrew, ending the War in Iraq. [The War in Iraq 2003-2011]
I Am the American Veteran. I have been in many strange places around the world. Far too often I have had to say goodbye to friends and loved ones, not knowing if I would ever seen them again I have slept in fox holes and trenches, and dined on C-Rations and K Rations. I have seen many of my comrades fall in battle. I still suffer PTSDâ¦Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
I Am the American Veteran. When our founding fathers drafted a constitution to govern our great nation, they sought to insure, among other things, that every citizen of this country would have the right to "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness." I take those rights very seriously. I took the Oath of Enlistment:
"I, ___________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God." [Title 10, US Code; Act of 5 May 1960]
It has well been said, "All gave Some, Some gave All." I have given whatever is necessary to preserve "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness" for my family and my fellow man.
I Am the American Veteran.
Gene H Miller
3281 Rosedale Road
Shock WV 26638
Rom 13:7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due: custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.