"How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes."
-- Maya Angelou
I'm downright disgusted over the inability between BART management and the union to reach agreement over contract issues for the sake of those riders who are the real victims and will have to foot the bill once it's settled.
Even more significant is the unabashed clash between the President and House Speaker and their failure to resolve an impasse over how to reopen the federal government and pay the nation's bills.
Among the people hardest hit are those countless families and individuals who depend on federal moneys for medical and other critical needs. It is at least reassuring to know that payments to our military personnel will not be affected during the deadlock.
On Nov. 11, our nation will be observing Veterans Day to pay tribute to all the men and women who have served in the armed forces.
It's been 50 years since I discharged from the Army. While recently rummaging through the closet I came across my old Army fatigues and tried them on. Surprisingly they still fit -- that is, except for a slight bulge around my midriff!
Modern warfare is completely different from the training I received in the '50s. The weapons, equipment, and even the tactics used in combat are far superior to those of my time. Even though I might be considered a well-seasoned veteran, I'd be no more than a greenhorn in today's Army.
It's laudable that so many of our young people are willing to volunteer for the service. Like police officers whose job is to safeguard our homefront, their mission is to defend our country and establish world peace -- a tall order by any standard.
Our young volunteers know what they're getting in to, and they're committed all the way. The steady flow of young people anxious to serve has more than supplanted our country's need to restore the draft.
At the moment, fighting seems to have subsided in those areas where our troops are stationed. While that may sound encouraging, the situation is the Middle East remains extremely tense and could erupt at any moment. Even more reason why we shouldn't forget our troops wherever they are stationed, especially during this coming holiday season.
I owe a special thanks to the Army for the lifelong friendships I made, serving overseas with the guys during the best and worst of times.
Many years have passed since we all got together for lunch in Berkeley and went our separate ways. We rarely keep in touch now, but I will always cherish the roles they played in that segment of my life.
Sad to say, not all the veterans fared well. There were those who never readjusted to civilian life and ended up as vagrants. We have all witnessed that scene played time and again.
The United States isn't the only country faced with that problem. Other nations, I'm sure, share the same concerns. I pray for a brighter tomorrow. After all, every veteran deserves a better way to live out his or her life.
I recently received an invitation from the county Veterans Services Office inviting all veterans, their families, and the community to attend their Veterans Day ceremony in Martinez.
The event will take place at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12, in the Board of Supervisors chamber. The ceremony is being held to recognize all those men and women who served in all branches of the military forces.
It's one way to express your thanks to all our veterans. Looking forward to seeing you all there!
Eizo Kobayashi is a Concord resident and a member of the Concord Senior Citizens Club. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.