Armistice Day

Although I never wore a blood chit on my uniform, I confess to having an eerie interest in the silk documents containing declarative statements—written in several languages—always with one in stilted-English:
I am a citizen of the United States of America. I do not speak your language. Misfortune forces me to seek your assistance in obtaining food, shelter, and protection from the communists. Please take me to someone who will provide for my safety and see that I am returned to my people. I will do my best to see that no harm comes to you. My government will reward you.
I ponder finding oneself in such a confluence of fortuitous-unluckyness that a document sewn inside a jacket determined if one lived or died. I wonder about the soldiers who resorted to requesting those documents be read; as well as about the foreigners who did the reading, and the possible outcomes of those reading transactions (payments, retributions for "conspiring with the enemy," Ann-Frank-esque hidings, etc.).

Building a collage of the unit crests, patches, awards, and other insignia I wore* was my way to rock down to Electric Avenue Remembrance MSR.

*Two of the ribbons were created after my retirement, but are authorized to be awarded retroactively to soldiers who qualify, which I do. (mouse-over to identify, click for Wiki pages)

I've come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that's as unique as a fingerprint - and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you. — Oprah Winfrey

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