A military salute from Kiss

Today is a day to put aside your political leanings and give a shout out to our troops who commit to protect and serve. When I was young, the military draft was active and many of my friends served in some capacity.

It was the Vietnam era. Most came back, some with issues and some with stories. A few didn’t. Their names are on the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington D. C.

When I visited the wall I thought it was a “sight-seeing” trip but I was very moved as I saw the flowers and the cards laid along the path. Even so long after the fact, the pain runs deep.

Courtesy of winfieldks.org

Vietnam War Memorial courtesy of winfieldks.org

Today the military is all-volunteer. I know two families with kids in the service. Perhaps they are looking for adventure or opportunity. It takes a special person to be able to forego control of your own life and join the military.

This is a video with Gene Simmons from Kiss entertaining the troops. It was filmed in Iraq during a USO tour of a marine base. I marvel at how young the audience is. I can’t watch it without sobs stuck in my throat and watery eyes. Perhaps it’s from my past experiences or I am a patriotic softy. Either way it is what it is.


30 thoughts on “A military salute from Kiss

  1. That’s a great video. You’re right, it does bring tears to the eyes. There’s something about those old familiar songs sung to a marching beat by a responsive group. My granddaughter, who plays the violin and sings, has just started playing the snare drum so she can join her college marching band. It sounds like fun.


  2. We never go to DC without visiting the VN memorial. I think my husband’s favorite movie is “In Country”, a girl’s visit to the Wall to see the name of the father she never met. Gripping and poignant movie. Go to college or find out more about her father by living with her Uncle Emmett who takes her to the Wall were her 17 year old choices. Must see movie.


      • My ex-husband was a disabled Vietnam vet. I feel those who serve in the military deserve to be supported. That’s not how many felt returning from Vietnam.

        When I see the tributes veterans receive today, I do get choked up and wish that all veterans experience such a warm welcome home.


  3. I loved this Kate, and I too have poignant memories visiting the Vietnam wall. My Lin, not spelling it right, did such a beautiful job in its simplicity. I love how it starts low then ends higher and higher, the names increasing. They always put up a Christmas tree and people hang messages on it. Very moving indeed. Also, anything that’s left…mementos, tributes, are all collected and archived…nothing is thrown away. I think that says to the world how important these men and women were and still are, in our collective memory. Loved the video 🙂


  4. We watched The Monuments Men this week . . . not a stellar movie, but it did get me thinking about the sacrifices made to ensure that WWII didn’t end with Hitler prevailing.


  5. My husband, Michael, joined the National Guard when he was in college. The 45th was mobilized for the Korean ‘Conflict’…he returned and remained in the Guard…a ‘weekend warrior’. A few years later he applied for and was accepted for active duty in the Army…now a 24/7 warrior, indeed. It was our choice, our joint decision…weighing all the pros and cons.
    He served in Viet Nam early on…we had to read up on it as no one knew much about it at that time. After his return he didn’t talk about it for several years…and as has been mentioned earlier, friends and loved ones welcomed him home…very trying times!
    He served well, he served proudly and retired with 32 years of distinguished service…from a private to a colonel; patriotism is in our blood and we are proud. The parades, the flag, the anthems never, ever fail to bring us to tears and I believe they always will.
    Proud that we had the opportunity to serve this awesome nation; ‘freedom is never free’. The price is indeed high. Thank God for those who have given their service.


  6. The first time I visited the Wall in Washington, I was also very surprised to see people crying as they traced their family members names, left letters or flowers. I found that to be extremely powerful. War leaves scars that run very deep.


    • Yes it does. I cried most of the walk down the wall and I didn’t have a close relative or friend on it — just some of my classmates and more distant friends. Whoever came up with the idea was a genius! Those names bring it home.


  7. Love the Kiss video and tribute. As a new citizen himself, Gene Simmons is tremendously patriotic and I love his love of this land 🙂

    I can’t hear patriotic/military songs without bawling. When I became a citizen I was a puddle on the floor … still get chills thinking about it!

    Happy Memorial Day,


  8. A marvelous tribute to our troops.
    You had two brother who served in their time. I am moved every time I see a display like this. We were cheered when we came home. I feel so bad for the Nam vets; they got terrible treatment from people who should have known better.
    I remember, while playing golf several years ago, a total stranger walked up to me about this time of year and asked if I was a veteran. He shook my hand and said “Thank you” It moved me.


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