November 11, 2017

Veterans Day 2017

Being there: A Veterans Day message

By Col. Keith Nightingale, U.S. Army, retired

Once a year, our nation honors its veterans. Every day, veterans honor us all, with the fruits of their service.

The veteran recalls, reflects and remembers the very personal and unique aspects of time served in uniform. 

All veterans have a binding thread that only they can know and share: knowledge that they were part of something larger than themselves.

As years go by and the conflicts of history dim, veterans speak of their wars and their place in them. "I was a soldier. I was a sailor. I was a Marine. I was a Coasty. I was in the Air Force. I was there."

When the nation sent them there, they did things no one else could do, and saw things they did not want to see but would always remember. They were there.

There is where they knew people for a millisecond and remembered them for a lifetime. There is where no one else could go, except them.

There has had many forms: sea, air and land. Wet, dry, unbearably hot and insufferably cold. There might be urban, rural, jungle, mountain or utter desolation, drenched in rain, heated from the sun and cooled by the chill. Bureaucratic base camps, comfortable ports and airfields could be found there, as well as some of the most austere environments imaginable. There, as a large enterprise, treated its many and various parts differently but imparted a unifying memory that could only be shared by those that had been there. 

There is a special place that comes out of slumbering memory for pensive moments in time, many years later. 

As they retreat into the dimness of time, veterans are awarded the luxury of reflection about being there, among a sea of faces, voices, friends and experiences. The most horrific experiences are tempered by time, remembrances of comrades and immense inner pride in having been there.

A sergeant is remembered today who quickly sized up a situation at an explosive and deadly moment while there. His voice is calm an focused. "I will take 6 to 12. You take 12 to 6. Lay out your magazines like this. Load like this. Focus and aim on movement.

Don't fire on auto. We could be here a while." 

Several times throughout the night, he would reassure them, bring more ammo, share water and provide an immense comfort despite being there. They can't recall his name, and they never saw him again, but they will always remember his craggy face and calm demeanor when they so desperately needed it. It is his face that wells from their memories, despite thousands of other faces recorded over time in the images of their minds. His face was from there.

As life progressed, the world could be divided between those who knew what it was like to have been there, and those who did not.

Someone may run the board room and draw a seven-figure income but was never responsible for the lives of soldiers in a flicker of time. The responsibility was 100 percent theirs. Wealth and status mean little in comparison to the choices they made, the orders they gave and followed, and the companionship that could only be earned by being there. 

Being there provided a theater of life unequaled by anything done before or since. There was something visceral and primordial about all those helos rotating on the strip, tanks rolling down the road, close-in airstrikes loosing their bomb loads directly overhead, the last-second hover over the burning LZ before the bird lands, the snap of the cable and steam rising from the catapult, the crash of claymores, the surprise detonation of a bomb, the shock of the first sharp rifle crack impacting on the man ahead of them, the smoke, dust and confusion of the millisecond after entering a grenaded room, the inharmonic snap of many rifles firing and brass expending, the thump of grenade launchers, the over-arching staccato of machine guns, breathless weighted soldiers running, bodies flying, people yelling and screaming, leaves, trees and mud-walled enclosures exploding around them, the quiet rythmic hissing and popping of a sucking chest wound as the blood seals the plastic wrap and the torn and bleeding body by the roadside in your uniform. These and a thousand more sounds and images stick with veterans who were there. They stick forever. 

I was there. 

In quiet solitude, there is a single thread that binds veterans. It is an immense pride about being part of something larger than themselves. It is the knowledge of having done much more than most ever do, performed well, took great risks, relied on good people and served a real purpose, by being there.

An anonymous soldier wrote a poem for all of them, those who were there:

SOLDIER

I was that which others did not want to be.

I went where others feared to go, and did what others failed to do.

I asked nothing from those who gave nothing, and reluctantly accepted the thought of eternal loneliness... should I fail.

I have seen the face of terror; felt the stinging cold of fear; and enjoyed the sweet taste of a moment's love.

I have cried, pained, and hoped...but most of all, I have lived times others would say were best forgotten.

At least some day I will be able to say that I was proud of what I was...a soldier.

 

Col. Keith Nightingale, U.S. Army, retired, is a Vietnam War veteran and frequent contributor to The American Legion Magazine.

 

Wednesday, Oct. 17: All times Eastern
M:
2:00 PM
Washington and Jefferson at St. Vincent
M:
Final - OT
at Ramapo 2, Kean 1
Recap
M:
Final
SUNY Delhi 2, at Cazenovia 1
Video Recap
M:
Final
at Bowdoin 3, Bates 1
Recap Recap
M:
3:00 PM
John Jay at Hunter
Video
M:
Final
Plymouth State 2, at NVU-Lyndon 0
Video Recap Recap
M:
Final
Williams 1, at Hamilton 0
Recap Recap
M:
3:00 PM
Delaware Valley at Eastern
M:
2nd half - 00:00
3 Manhattanville
1 FDU-Florham
M:
Final
at Lasell 3, Rivier 2
Recap
M:
Final
Westminster (Pa.) 2, at Bethany 0
M:
Final
at Franciscan 3, Mount Aloysius 0
Recap
M:
Final
at La Roche 6, Pitt-Greensburg 3
Video
M:
Final
Penn State-Behrend 10, at Hilbert 0
Recap Recap
M:
Final
at Mary Washington 5, Penn State-Harrisburg 0
Recap Recap
M:
Final
at Staten Island 4, Baruch 0
Recap
M:
Final
Johns Hopkins 2, at McDaniel 1
Video Recap
M:
Final
Husson 4, at Maine-Presque Isle 0
Video Recap Recap
M:
Final
at Colby-Sawyer 1, Norwich 0
Recap Recap
M:
Final
at Medaille 5, Pitt-Bradford 0
Video Recap
M:
Final
King's 2, at DeSales 0
M:
Final
Anderson 2, at Earlham 1
Video Recap
M:
Final
at St. Mary's (Md.) 3, York (Pa.) 0
Video Box Score Recap Recap
M:
Final
Defiance 3, at Manchester 1
Video Recap Recap
M:
Final - 2OT
Kenyon 1, at Ohio Wesleyan 1
Video Live stats
M:
Final
at North Carolina Wesleyan 4, Averett 0
Video Recap
M:
Final
at Greensboro 2, Methodist 1
Video
M:
Final
at Neumann 3, Gwynedd-Mercy 1
Video
M:
Final
Calvin 5, at Olivet 1
Recap Recap Recap
M:
Final
at Wooster 1, Hiram 0
Recap Recap
M:
Final
Lebanon Valley 1, at Hood 0
Video Recap
M:
Final
Roger Williams 2, at Curry 0
Recap
M:
4:00 PM
Medgar Evers at Brooklyn
Video
M:
Final - 2OT
Clarks Summit 1, at Wilson 1
M:
Final
at Salisbury 1, Christopher Newport 0
Video Recap
M:
Final
at Ferrum 4, Guilford 1
Video Recap Recap
M:
Final
Washington and Lee 3, at Bridgewater (Va.) 0
Recap Recap
M:
Final - 2OT
Denison 0, at Wabash 0
Recap
M:
Final
Adrian 2, at Trine 0
Recap Recap
M:
Final
at Covenant 3, LaGrange 0
Recap Recap
M:
Final - 2OT
at Huntingdon 2, Brevard 1
Recap Recap
M:
Final
Greenville 4, at MacMurray 0
Recap
M:
Final
Dominican 3, at Concordia-Chicago 0
M:
Final
at Concordia (Wis.) 1, MSOE 0
Video Recap Recap
M:
5:00 PM
CCNY at Lehman
M:
Final
at Regis (Mass.) 2, Anna Maria 1
Video Recap Recap
M:
Final
at Gustavus Adolphus 2, Viterbo 0
M:
Final
at Carleton 2, Hamline 0
Video
M:
Final
Carroll 3, at Beloit 0
M:
Final
Simpson 1, at Saint Mary's (Minn.) 0
Video Recap
M:
Final
Cabrini 1, at Marymount 0
Recap
M:
Final
at Frostburg State 8, Southern Virginia 0
Recap
M:
6:00 PM
Crown at Bethany Lutheran
M:
Final - 2OT
at Loras 2, Wartburg 1
M:
Final
Roanoke 3, at Emory and Henry 0
Video Recap Recap
M:
Final
Wesley 1, at Immaculata 0
Video Recap
M:
Final
at Babson 3, Eastern Connecticut 0
Recap Recap
M:
Final
Dean 1, at Eastern Nazarene 0
Video Recap Recap
M:
Final - 2OT
at DePauw 3, Wittenberg 2
Recap Recap
M:
Final - 2OT
Salem State 2, at Pine Manor 2
Video Recap
M:
Final - OT
at Rowan 2, Rutgers-Camden 1
M:
Final
New Jersey City 7, at York (N.Y.) 0
Recap
M:
Final
at Washington College 4, Swarthmore 0
Video Recap
M:
Final
Centenary (N.J.) 4, at Bryn Athyn 0
Video
M:
Final - OT
at Shenandoah 2, Randolph 1
Recap Recap
M:
Final
at Gallaudet 7, Valley Forge 0
Video Recap
M:
Final
at Franklin and Marshall 1, Gettysburg 0
Video Recap
M:
Final
Worcester State 1, at Western New England 0
Video Recap Recap
M:
Final - OT
Susquehanna 2, at Juniata 1
Recap
M:
Final
at Albertus Magnus 3, St. Joseph (Conn.) 1
Video Recap
M:
Final
Keystone 5, at Rosemont 1
M:
Final
at Hope 6, Alma 1
Video Recap Recap Recap
M:
Final
at Transylvania 1, Hanover 0
Video Recap Recap
M:
Final
Middlebury 1, at Castleton 0
Video Recap Recap
M:
Final
at Ohio Northern 4, Heidelberg 1
Video Recap Recap
M:
Final
Eastern Mennonite 3, at Hampden-Sydney 1
Recap Recap
M:
Final
Catholic 1, at Goucher 0
Video Recap Recap
M:
Final
at St. Joseph's (L.I.) 1, Stockton 0
Video Recap
M:
Final
at Johnson and Wales 3, Emmanuel 0
Recap Recap
M:
Final - 2OT
Albion 1, at Kalamazoo 1
Video Recap Recap
M:
Final
at Messiah 2, Lycoming 0
M:
7:00 PM
TCNJ at Stevens
M:
Final
at Marietta 1, Mount Union 0
Video Recap Recap
M:
Final
Elizabethtown 2, at Moravian 1
Recap
M:
Final
at Wilmington 1, Otterbein 0
Video Recap
M:
Final
at Capital 7, Muskingum 1
Recap Recap
M:
Final - OT
at Mount St. Joseph 2, Bluffton 1
Recap Recap
M:
7:00 PM
Widener at Alvernia
M:
Final
at Gordon 2, Nichols 0
Recap
M:
Final - OT
at John Carroll 3, Baldwin Wallace 2
Video Recap Live stats
M:
Final
at Endicott 4, University of New England 1
Recap
M:
7:00 PM
Skidmore at Clarkson
M:
Final
at Scranton 3, Drew 0
Video Box Score Recap
M:
Final
Dickinson 3, at Muhlenberg 0
Video Recap
M:
Final - 2OT
Brandeis 2, at Clark 2
Video Recap Recap
M:
Final
at Thomas 1, Me.-Machias 0
Video
M:
Final - 2OT
Albright 0, at Stevenson 0
Recap Live stats
M:
Final - 2OT
Salve Regina 4, at Wentworth 3
Recap Recap
M:
Final
at Rose-Hulman 1, Franklin 0
Recap Recap Recap
M:
7:00 PM
Misericordia at Wilkes
M:
Final
at Lynchburg 4, Virginia Wesleyan 2
Video Recap Recap
M:
Final
at Allegheny 3, Oberlin 1
M:
Final
Haverford 3, at Ursinus 0
Video Recap Recap
M:
8:00 PM
Cornell at Clarke
M:
Final
Carthage 1, at Chicago 0
Recap
M:
Final
at Edgewood 2, Rockford 0
Recap
M:
Final
UW-Platteville 7, at Lawrence 0
Video Recap
M:
Final
North Park 1, at UW-Whitewater 0
Recap
M:
Final
at Illinois Tech 3, Lakeland 0
Video Recap
M:
8:00 PM
Millikin at Wheaton (Ill.)
M:
8:00 PM
Rhodes at Christian Bros.
M:
Final
at Wisconsin Lutheran 3, Marian 0
Recap Recap
M:
Final - 2OT
Macalester 1, at St. Scholastica 1
Video Live stats
M:
8:30 PM
North Central (Ill.) at Elmhurst
Video
M:
Final
Central 1, at Buena Vista 0
Video Recap
M:
8:30 PM
Coe at Luther
M:
Final
at Nebraska Wesleyan 2, Dubuque 1
M:
Final - 2OT
Westminster (Mo.) 1, at Fontbonne 0
Recap Recap
M:
Final - 2OT
at La Verne 2, Whittier 1
M:
Final - 2OT
at Occidental 2, Chapman 1
Video Recap Live stats
M:
Final
at Redlands 3, Caltech 1
Recap
M:
Final
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 2, at Cal Lutheran 0
Video Recap Recap
W:
Final
Pitt-Bradford 1, at Medaille 0
Video Recap
W:
Final
Mount Aloysius 2, at Franciscan 1
Recap
W:
Final
Pitt-Greensburg 1, at La Roche 0
Video
W:
Final
Penn State-Behrend 8, at Hilbert 0
Video Recap Recap
W:
1:30 PM
York (N.Y.) at Medgar Evers
W:
Final
Dominican 2, at Concordia-Chicago 0
W:
Final
Greenville 1, at MacMurray 0
Recap
W:
Final
at Gordon 4, Nichols 0
Recap
W:
Final
Mount St. Joseph 4, at Bluffton 1
Video Recap
W:
3:00 PM
New Paltz State at Ramapo
W:
Final
Mary Washington 2, at Penn State-Harrisburg 0
Recap Recap
W:
Final
Colby 9, at Maine-Farmington 1
Video Recap Recap
W:
Final
Massachusetts Maritime 4, at Pine Manor 0
Recap
W:
3:30 PM
Houghton at Elmira
W:
Final - 2OT
at Defiance 5, Manchester 4
Video Recap
W:
Final
at Hanover 1, Transylvania 0
Video Recap Recap
W:
Final
at Anderson 6, Earlham 1
Recap
W:
Postponed
0 TCNJ
0 New Jersey City
Video Live stats
W:
Final - 2OT
Randolph-Macon 0, at Virginia Wesleyan 0
Recap Recap
W:
Final
at St. Joseph (Conn.) 4, Albertus Magnus 0
Recap Recap
W:
Final
Rosemont 2, at Notre Dame (Md.) 0
W:
Final
at Eastern Nazarene 6, Newbury 0
Video Recap Recap
W:
Final
at Endicott 3, University of New England 1
Recap
W:
Final
at Cabrini 3, Marymount 1
Video Recap
W:
Final
Berea 2, at Oakland City 0
W:
Final
at Guilford 2, Emory and Henry 1
Recap Recap
W:
Final
Brandeis 3, at Westfield State 1
Video Recap Recap
W:
4:00 PM
Thiel at Grove City
W:
Final
Salve Regina 2, at Wentworth 1
Recap Recap
W:
Final
at Oneonta State 1, Hartwick 0
W:
Final
at Agnes Scott 1, Wesleyan (Ga.) 0
Recap
W:
Final - 2OT
Haverford 1, at Scranton 1
Video Box Score Recap Recap
W:
4:00 PM
Washington and Jefferson at St. Vincent
W:
Final
Pfeiffer 3, at Salem 1
W:
4:00 PM
CCNY at John Jay
W:
Final
at St. Scholastica 1, UW-River Falls 0
W:
4:30 PM
St. Norbert at Ripon
Video
W:
Final
Edgewood 6, at Alverno 3
Video Recap
W:
Final
at Lynchburg 1, Washington and Lee 0
Video Recap Recap
W:
Final
at Thomas 5, Me.-Machias 0
Video Recap
W:
Final
at Randolph 2, Sweet Briar 0
Video Recap Recap
W:
Final
Frostburg State 4, at Southern Virginia 0
Video Recap
W:
Final
Westminster (Pa.) 5, at Bethany 0
W:
Final - OT
at St. Olaf 2, Grinnell 1
Video Recap Live stats
W:
Final
at St. Thomas 4, Concordia-Moorhead 1
Recap Recap
W:
Final
at UW-Eau Claire 3, Gustavus Adolphus 1
Video Recap
W:
Final
at Keene State 3, Bridgewater State 1
Recap Recap
W:
Final
at St. Joseph's (Maine) 4, Colby-Sawyer 1
Video Recap
W:
Final
Lasell 4, at Norwich 1
Recap
W:
Final - 2OT
Mount Holyoke 0, at RPI 0
Recap
W:
Final
Greensboro 3, at Meredith 1
Video Recap
W:
6:00 PM
Lehman at Brooklyn
W:
Final
Wesleyan 5, at Rhode Island College 0
Video Recap Recap
W:
6:00 PM
Coe at Luther
W:
6:00 PM
Carthage at North Park
W:
Final
Central 3, at Buena Vista 0
Video Recap
W:
Final
Roger Williams 3, at Curry 1
Recap
W:
Final - 2OT
Trinity (Conn.) 1, at Connecticut College 1
Recap Recap Recap
W:
Final
Neumann 2, at Gwynedd-Mercy 0
Box Score
W:
Final
at Elms 4, Bay Path 0
Recap
W:
Final
Union 3, at Bard 0
W:
Final
Regis (Mass.) 2, at Rivier 0
Recap Recap
W:
Final
Ursinus 1, at Rutgers-Camden 0
Video Recap
W:
Final
St. Mary's (Md.) 2, at York (Pa.) 1
Video Box Score Recap
W:
Final
Averett 1, at William Peace 0
Video
W:
Final
Capital 3, at Muskingum 1
Video Recap Recap
W:
Final
Johnson and Wales 2, at Simmons 0
Video Recap Recap
W:
Final
at Penn State-Altoona 3, Penn College 1
Video Recap
W:
Final
at Denison 1, Thomas More 0
Recap Recap
W:
Final
Emmanuel 1, at Suffolk 0
Recap Recap
W:
Final - OT
at Methodist 1, North Carolina Wesleyan 0
Recap Live stats
W:
Final
at Mount Union 5, Marietta 1
Video Recap
W:
Final - 2OT
Ferrum 0, at Roanoke 0
Video Recap Recap
W:
Final
at Baldwin Wallace 3, John Carroll 2
Video Recap
W:
Final
Alfred 2, at D'Youville 1
W:
7:00 PM
Yeshiva at Sarah Lawrence
Video
W:
7:00 PM
Nazareth at St. John Fisher
W:
Final
at Eastern Connecticut 1, Western New England 0
Video Recap Recap
W:
Final - 2OT
Wesley 4, at Immaculata 4
Video Recap
W:
Final
Ohio Northern 1, at Heidelberg 0
Video Recap Recap
W:
Final
at Christopher Newport 2, Salisbury 0
Video Recap
W:
Final
at Springfield 3, Smith 2
Video Video Recap
W:
Final
Gettysburg 1, at Susquehanna 0
W:
Final - OT
at Fontbonne 1, Westminster (Mo.) 0
Recap Recap
W:
Final
Dubuque 1, at Nebraska Wesleyan 0
W:
Final
at Chapman 1, Occidental 0
Video Recap Recap
W:
Final
Redlands 2, at Caltech 0
Recap Recap
W:
Final
at Emory 4, Covenant 0
Recap Recap
W:
Final
Muhlenberg 1, at Kean 0
Recap
W:
7:30 PM
Stevens at TCNJ
W:
Final
Rose-Hulman 2, at Franklin 0
Video Recap Recap
W:
Final
at Maryville (Tenn.) 3, Brevard 0
Video Recap Recap
W:
Final - 2OT
at Saint Mary's (Minn.) 3, Carleton 2
W:
Final
at MSOE 3, Concordia (Wis.) 2
Video Recap Recap
W:
Final - 2OT
Aurora 0, at Benedictine 0
Video Live stats
W:
8:00 PM
Elmhurst at North Central (Ill.)
W:
Final
UW-Stevens Point 3, at UW-Oshkosh 1
Video
W:
Final
Augsburg 4, at Northwestern (Minn.) 1
W:
Final
Illinois Tech 8, at Lakeland 0
Video Recap
W:
8:00 PM
Illinois Wesleyan at Augustana
W:
Final
UW-La Crosse 4, at UW-Stout 0
W:
Final
at Marian 6, Wisconsin Lutheran 0
Recap Recap
W:
Final
UW-Whitewater 1, at UW-Platteville 0
Recap Recap
W:
Final
Culver-Stockton 4, at Simpson 1
Video
W:
Final
Whitworth 3, at Whitman 0
Box Score Recap
W:
8:30 PM
Crown at Bethany Lutheran
W:
8:30 PM
Wheaton (Ill.) at Millikin
Video Live stats
W:
Final
Wartburg 2, at Loras 1
W:
Final
at Whittier 1, La Verne 0
W:
Final - 2OT
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 0, at Cal Lutheran 0
Video Recap Recap
Wednesday, Oct. 17: All times Eastern
M:
Final
at Mary Washington 5, Penn State-Harrisburg 0
Recap Recap
M:
Final
Johns Hopkins 2, at McDaniel 1
Video Recap
M:
Final - 2OT
Kenyon 1, at Ohio Wesleyan 1
Video Live stats
M:
Final
Calvin 5, at Olivet 1
Recap Recap Recap
M:
Final
at Franklin and Marshall 1, Gettysburg 0
Video Recap
M:
Final
at Messiah 2, Lycoming 0
M:
7:00 PM
TCNJ at Stevens
M:
Final
at Hope 6, Alma 1
Video Recap Recap Recap
M:
Final
at Lynchburg 4, Virginia Wesleyan 2
Video Recap Recap
M:
Final
Carthage 1, at Chicago 0
Recap
M:
Final
North Park 1, at UW-Whitewater 0
Recap
Wednesday, Oct. 17: All times Eastern
W:
Postponed
0 TCNJ
0 New Jersey City
Video Live stats
W:
Final
Brandeis 3, at Westfield State 1
Video Recap Recap
W:
Final
at Lynchburg 1, Washington and Lee 0
Video Recap Recap
W:
Final
at St. Thomas 4, Concordia-Moorhead 1
Recap Recap
W:
Final
at Christopher Newport 2, Salisbury 0
Video Recap
W:
7:30 PM
Stevens at TCNJ
W:
8:00 PM
Illinois Wesleyan at Augustana
W:
Final
UW-La Crosse 4, at UW-Stout 0
W:
8:30 PM
Wheaton (Ill.) at Millikin