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Hand Salute: Happy Veterans Day From!

Veterans You’re Mentioned Somewhere, Somehow In This List!

Official US Navy photograph

Happy Veterans Day! From the grunts to the wing wipers, boomers and gas passers; to the brown shoes and the black shoes; wearers of desert boots, jungle boots, boondockers, jump boots, flight boots or deck boots; MOPPs, cranials, brain buckets, ACHs, MICHs, SPHs, HGUs, berets, boonie hats, pith helmets, leather helmets, dixie cups, 50-mission crush hats, M1 steel pots, flak helmets, or Kevlar PASGTs; scrambled eggs or plain visors on your combination cap; campaign hats or pisscutters- thank you.

Crew of the Memphis Belle. Official US Air Force photograph

Whether you turned out in OD green, BDUs, ACUs, fatigues, dress blues, chokers, pinks, or whites; tiger-stripe, chocolate chip, woodland, coffee stain, MARPAT, or NWU camo; khakis or cracker jacks; Mae Wests, exposure suits, heated suits, space suits, or blue suits; dayglow orange, sage green, or desert tan Nomex zoombags and speed jeans; with facepaint or flash cream- thank you.

Official US Marine Corps photograph

Whether you were gomers, aggressors, stick shakers, paddles, nose gunners, tail gunners, tube slugs, or tanker toads; are HM, HMH, HMM, HMX, HML, HMLA, VMM, VMA, VMAQ, VMB, VMF, VMF(N), VMFA, VMFA(AW), VMFAT, VMCJ, VMFP, VMGR, VMJ, VMO, VMP, VMR, VMS, VMSB, VMTB, VMX, VMU, ZMQ, HAL, HC, HS, HSC, HSL, HSM, HT, HU, RVAH, RVAW, VA, VAH, VAK, VAL, VAQ, VAW, VB, VBF, VC, VCF, VCP, VD, VF, VF(AW), VFA, VFC, VFP, VH, VJ, VO, VP, VPB, VPU, VQ, VR, VRC, VS, VT, VU, VUP, VW, VX, VXE, VXN, of even ZP alums (whew!)- thank you.

Official US Navy photograph

To the graduates of Canoe U or the Blue Zoo, Quantico, USMA, USMMA, or USCGA; AOCS, NACCS, SERE, or ENJJPT; who went to boot camp, recruit depot, or basic training; COs, XOs, JOs, CAGs, NFOs, BNs, FEs, GIBs, FNGs, or OODs; wing kings, PJs, dot chasers, BB stackers, EWOs, DSOs, FACs, crowd pleasers, or one stripers; served in TFWs, TRWs, ARWs, AACSs,  ACCSs, ARSs, SRWs, SBWs, SOSs, TAC, SAC, MAC, ACC, AMC, ARRS; were PPCs, FAWs, TACCOs, or R2D2s; were bus drivers, flat hatters, trash haulers, ravens, snipes, weasels, ferrets, roof rats, sensos, riggers, rotorheads, bubbleheads, squids, deck apes, toads, spooks, sparks, grapes, swabbies, Coasties, pingers, ordies, shooters, tweakers, missile pukes, or nukes- thank you.

Official US Navy photograph

Whether you ate C rations, K rations, MREs, sliders, rollers, Barney Clarks, or SOS in a chow hall or a mess deck; drank lifer’s juice or bug juice, climbed stairs or ladders; slept in a bunk under a ceiling, in a rack under an overhead in a berthing compartment, in CHUs, or under the stars; closed doors or hatches; stormed beaches, assaulted atolls, fought in trenches, called in artillery, flew CAS, guarded arsenals, swabbed decks, stood watches, had the duty, deployed almost anywhere on earth, came home, and deployed again far too soon- thank you.

Official US Air Force photograph

To all of you active duty, reserve, guard, and retired jarheads, dogfaces, tunnel rats, desert rats, G.I.s or leathernecks wearing MOLLE or ALICE; chest plates or shemaghs; 11Bs, 13Ts, 14Zs, 15Rs, 19Ks or 25Ls; 0211s, 0331s, 0317s, 0481s, 0521s, 0681s, 0844s, 0911s, 4212s, 8026s, or 7556s; ABs, AEs, ATs, BMs, CTs, EODs, GMs, NSs or PRs; ‘gators, wizzos, airdales, cones,  jocks, scope dopes or shellbacks; CHENGs, COBs, TAOs, CWOs or PFCs- thank you.

Official US Navy photograph

Whether you carried an M1, M1 Garand, M14, M16, M4, MP5, M9, M1911A1, M79, M249, M60, or M107; rode to war in an LCVP, HHMMWV, Jeep, AMTRACK, 6X6, M117, or DUKW; crewed a Grant, Sherman, Chafee, Stuart, Pershing, Patton, Sheridan, or Abrams; took to the skies in a Camel, SPAD, Jug, Forked-Tail Devil, Whale, Scooter, Drumstick, Warthog, Hog, Big Mac, Able Dog, Banjo, Stoof With a Roof, Vark, Drut, Rhino, Turkey, Deuce, Six Shooter, Spooky, Spectre, Stinger, Shadow, Snoopy, Snake, Guppy, Loach, Queen, Bone, Hummer, Hoover, Stratopig, Bug, Jolly Green, Phrog, Habu, Ghost, Smurf, Tweet, Angel, Superfort, Dumbo, BUFF, SLUF, Zipper, or a Pig- thank you.

Official NASA photograph


If you were Delta, Ranger, SEAL, Force Recon, Night Stalker, DEVGRU or AFSOW; snake eaters, frogs, operators, weekend warriors or hurricane hunters; docs, jaw breakers, nurses, techies, secret squirrels, weather guessers, medics, tops, gunnies or chiefs; man or woman; young or old; newbie, nugget, old hand or old salt; whether your slogan was IYAOYAS or YARFO or FM- from someone who was one once upon a time to all the rest- past present and future:  Bravo Zulu and thank you and your families for your sacrifice, service, and devotion to America.

Official US Navy photograph

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Bill Walton

Written by Bill Walton

Bill Walton is a life-long aviation enthusiast and expert in aircraft recognition. As a teenager Bill helped his engineer father build an award-winning T-18 homebuilt airplane in their Wisconsin basement. Bill is a freelance writer, an avid sailor, engineer, announcer, husband, father, uncle, mentor, coach, and Navy veteran. Bill lives north of Houston TX with his wife and son under the approach path to KDWH runway 17R, which means they get to look up at a lot of airplanes. A very good thing.

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