Veteran's Essay - Joe Scotti
CVS-20 - May 1962 - Sep 1963

     Veteran's Essay
     Tue, 8 Feb 2000 09:58:22 -0600
     "Scotti, Joseph E" (

Last November, Boeing, St. Louis, Military Aircraft and Missiles Group (where I have worked for the past 35 years) held a contest titled "Why I'm Proud To Be A Veteran".

My essay was picked from among many other good essays written by Veterans working here.

I would like like to share this with all of my Bennington shipmates since some of my essay was inspired while stationed aboard the Bennington.

{{vet}} Joe Scotti
CVS-20 May 1962 - Sep 1963
Navy tour Sep1959-Sep1963


"Why I'm Proud To Be A Veteran"

Many decades ago I raised my hand and swore allegiance to my country. I, as many young men and women before me had now put myself in harms way.

I, along with others now in the armed forces, had become the bulwark between aggression and freedom.

While far at sea, standing on the front of the flight deck, with the sea splashing against the ship's bow and the winds racing into my face and through my hair, I turned and looked up and over my shoulder. There high above me was the Stars and Stripes rippling and blown straight by the wind. Each individual can only feel the feeling at that moment.

As I got older, my active duty time was over, and it was time to leave the Navy, leave it to a younger American to carry the standard.

When I left the Navy I became what is known as a Veteran. The dictionary defines a veteran as (1) one who has a long record of service in a given activity or capacity. (2) one who has been a member of the armed forces. So it is.

The Veteran is a special breed of person; and November 11 is dedicated to this person.
On November 11 as other occasions, I display the American flag, our symbol of freedom, but all too many do not. I look around my neighborhood, am I the lone American? the lone Veteran? I don't think so!

These are my beliefs, of which 40 years of my life in many forms have been dedicated to our freedom and the beliefs of others that have put this country before them. The freedoms we all enjoy are not available in any other country and are not to be taken lightly as attested to by the sacrifices of others before us.

As Veterans we are no longer the front guard, as others have taken our place. But, we are still here, trained and available at a moment's notice if the need arises.

It's our country, kept free by the Veteran, past, present and future!

Joseph E. Scott
Dept. 538W
U.S. NAVY 1959-1963


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