Melissa Harris-Perry: All right, everyone. Glad you're with us. Veterans Day is about honoring those who served, and we asked you to tell us about the veterans you hold near and dear.
Lynette: My name is Lynette Brent. I'm calling from Midlothian, Virginia. The veteran that I think about and who's on my mind, and who I love, is my brother Roderick. He is a veteran of the Vietnam War, he is a victim of Agent Orange. He has had a wonderful life. He pastored a church for 25 years, but now he has Alzheimer's, and they are looking at all of the things that he endured during the war and thereafter that could have impacted him. That breaks my heart, but I am grateful for the service he gave to the country, to our family, and to many people who don't know him. That's the veteran I'm thinking of today.
Melissa: Some of you are thinking about parents and grandparents who dedicated their life to service.
Chase: I want to thank my grandfather, Fred. Although he's passed away, I want to thank him for serving in Europe as an 18-year-old, fighting in the Battle of the Bulge under Patton. Going back to Europe after getting his English degree from UC Berkeley, and then working in the army. I wouldn't speak French today if he had not spent a good majority of his professional life in the army, working for the French Marshall Plan, and being able to visit him when he retired also in France. Thanks, grandpa Fred. This is Chase in Portland, Oregon.
Melissa: Many of you also told us about the hardships the veterans in your lives have endured.
David: Veterans Day is important to me because of my father who served for 32 years in the Army, retired a colonel. He has now suffered the long-term effects of Agent Orange, cancer, brain tumor. He is still one of the most wonderful people in the world. He built hospitals all over this planet for the army as well as public and private sector. My father was a combat medic in Vietnam. He is, in my opinion, my belief, one of the greatest human beings ever to have walked this earth, and on top of the fact that he is just a humble and modest man. My name is David. I live in Flemington, New Jersey. Happy Veterans Day.
Jackie: Hi, my name is Jackie. I'm calling from Johnson City, Tennessee. My favorite veteran was my father. He was in several wars and committed suicide when I was 27, and he was only 57. I always think about him and the other veterans.
Susan: Susan Brights in Dallas, Texas. My uncle Buddy Giler, who lives in Uvalde, Texas, served in the Navy. Great guy, he was in Vietnam, suffered quite a bit, post traumatic stress. Overcame it and it's been a great uncle to me. I love you, Uncle Buddy.
Melissa: So much love, even in the loss. Your calls were a reminder not to forget those who have served.
Sheila: My name is Sheila. I'm calling from Buffalo, Minnesota, and I wanted to tell you about Garland Bechtold. He's 91 years old, he fought in the Korean War, and he said how terrible it was, but nobody seems to remember it or talk about it. He still won't get in a boat after taking one over there in 22-foot waves, and how sick everybody was. He handled German Shepherd dogs and was Border Patrol and lead his unit. He's one of the most remarkable men I have ever met in my life. I love him so much, and I have learned so much from him, and I'm so grateful that he served our country and to this day is so proud of it.
Melissa: As always, we're right there with you with the love, with the pride, with the joy, with the sorrow. We just want to say thank you to everyone who called in and shared the stories of your veterans with us. Happy Veterans Day weekend.
New York Public Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline, often by contractors. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of New York Public Radio’s programming is the audio record.