Except for the 27 years I spent with my wife, my time in the Navy would have to go down as the best years of my life. Left to right, onboard the USS Coronado in 1976 killing time waiting to evacuate Americans from the Beirut embassy, Boot Camp 1973, and my last day in the Navy, October 4, 1985.

Those who served have a special bond. We value our friends who chose other paths. We revile those who mock our service. And we have nothing but contempt for those who claim to have served, but did not.

We are the veterans of the United States Armed Forces.

Happy Veterans Day.