I am proud today. Why? Read on.
I served four relatively quiet years in the Air Force from 1986-1990, and am proud of the fact that we saw the Berlin Wall collapse and the beginning of the end for the Soviet Union during my watch. Cool things, and I know that some of the things I worked on helped make that come about — me and several million other folks!
The thing that kinda annoyed me, though, was that for all that, I was ineligible for membership in the American Legion. That’s for wartime vets only, and, prior to Desert Shield/Storm, there hadn’t been a war since Vietnam, right?
Last week, I got a envelope from the American Legion, wanting me to join. I came within a gnat’s whisker of calling and saying “Thanks, but there’s no wartime service in my record.” I read the packet instead, and discovered that there are a couple of small windows after Vietnam, and before Desert Shield/Storm, for which vets were considered in wartime by acts of Congress. One was at the very end of my stay in the Air Force, and I couldn’t for the life of me remember anything of any account going on during Dec 1989-Jan 1990.
I started looking around, and discovered that Operation Just Cause took place during that time, and was, essentially, a period of time when we were actually in a state of war with Panama. I sure don’t remember much about there being any heightened security on base — of course, I was in the middle of nowhere at the time!
The check’s in the mail today, so, one of the very high points that I wished to achieve as a part of my military career can now be attained. Only wish I’d known earlier.
A proud day, indeed.