The following is a re-posting of a thread by me from several years ago....
Last November, I made a trip to the west coast. Primarily, I was there to see my son, his wife and our new grandson. I also took advantage of the trip to attend a Khe Sanh reunion with many of my Viet Nam buddies and others who were at that siege and major battle during the Tet Offensive of 1968. In order to coordinate with Veteran's Day and the USMC Birthday, our reunion was in San Diego and Camp Pendleton, Ca. On our visit to Pendleton, we had the opportunity to mingle, meet and socialize with some of America's finest for an entire day. Each of us 'old salts' left feeling comforted and secure in our belief that today's Marines and military are as fine a group of young men and women as our country could ask for. That visit reminded us, once again, that Americans always come to the forefront when circumstances might suggest, to some, that our country is in trouble.
On that trip, I took the opportunity to visit as many OPP posters as I could whom I was aware of on the route to and from those destinations. In similar fashion, this last May I took a trip east to attend a granddaughter's high school graduation in eastern Georgia. While heading to and from that destination, I again took advantage of my trip to visit yet another group of OPP posters. In light of both trips, I can say without hesitation that each was filled with memorable friends, visits and events that I will carry with me 'til my dying breath. I could not thank any of you nearly enough for the chance you provided for sharing time together. Each of you were absolutely wonderful!
Combined, my trips allowed the opportunity to meet over a dozen* members of the OPP forum. Allowing myself to make a personal observation/evaluation, that group ranged broadly from strong conservative to moderate & liberal thinkers. Each was gracious and hospitable towards me, and all proved to be enjoyable company. I might add...each lady was exactly that, and the gentlemen were just that...pure gentlemen. Just as noteworthy was my impression that each shared a common thread of being a proud American. As an American, I felt as proud of them as I did of my former unit and Veterans, albeit in a different way. I would be remiss if I did not mention those who could not meet on my trip due to circumstances, and the many with whom I have shared PMs, or had met in other trips. I have no doubt that any meeting between us would have proven just as memorable as the ones I shared with others.
I write all this after yet another episode of disappointment in reading so many vitriolic and bitter comments on the forum towards one another. I truly believe if we all had the same opportunity as I did to meet, we would find so much more in common than we may possibly realize. I refuse to give up on my belief in the overall goodness of Americans and of our country. Likewise, I do not hesitate in my belief that we, as a nation, will survive our greatest fears.
I close with a quote attributed to Harry Truman...one of my favorite sources for quotes..."I have no desire to crow over anybody, or to see anybody eating crow...figuratively or otherwise. We should all get together and make a country in which everybody can eat turkey whenever he/she pleases."
*I now have met, face-to-face, 18 OPP posters. I expect to meet a few more this month on a trip east.