My Navy Time 17

To understand a veteran

To understand a Military Veteran you need to know:

We left as teenagers or in our early twenties for an unknown adventure.

We loved our country enough to defend and protect it with our own lives.

We said goodbye to friends and family and everything we knew.

We learned the basics and then we scattered in the wind to the far corners of the earth.

We found new friends and new family.

We became brothers and sisters regardless of color, race or creed.

We had plenty of good times, and plenty of bad times.

We didn't sleep enough.

We smoked and drank too much.

We picked up both good and bad habits.

We worked hard and played harder.

We did not earn a big paycheck.

We experienced the happiness of mail call and the sadness of missing important events.

We didn't know when, or even if, we would ever see home again.

We grew up fast, and yet somehow we never grew up.

We fought for our freedom, as well as the freedom of others,


Some of us saw real battle, and some of us did not.

Some of us saw the world, and some of us didn't.

Some of us dealt with physical warfare, and most of us dealt with psychological warfare.

We saw and experienced and dealt with things that we cannot fully describe or explain because not all of our sacrifices were physical.

We participated in time honored ceremonies and rituals with each other, strengthening our bond and camaraderie.

We counted on each other to get our work done and sometimes to survive.

We faced victory and tragedy.

We celebrated and mourned.

We lost a few along the way.

When our adventure was over, some of us went back home, some of us started somewhere new and some of us never came home.

We told great and hilarious stories about our exploits and adventures.

We share an unspoken bond with each other that most people do not experience and few will understand.

We speak highly of our own branch of service, poking fun at the other branches.

However, we know that if needed, we will be there for our brothers and sisters and as one, stand together in an instant.

Being a veteran is something that had to be earned, and it can never be taken away.

It has no monetary value, but at the same time it is a priceless gift.

People see a veteran and thank them for their service.

When we see each other, we give that little upward head nod, or a slight smile, knowing that we have shared and experienced things that most people have not.

So, from myself to the rest of the veterans out there, I commend and thank you for all you have done and sacrificed for your country.

Try to remember the good times and make peace with the bad times.

Share your stories.

But most importantly, stand tall and proud because you have earned the right to be called a veteran.



Dutch New-Guinea veteran

My person in Veteran's outfit
Three generations of goods managers.  Left Jan van Werkhoven, center Hans Melkert.

My person in Veteran's outfit

Three generations of goods managers.

Left Jan van Werkhoven, center Hans Melkert.

Finally it is allowed again

2022 Veterans Day

2023 Veterans Day

The images below speak for themselves

This is a silent protest against the state of Indonesia

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Monument to Papuan Warriors

Monument to Papuan Warriors

We will always remember them

In a firefight with Indonesian Paras near kampong Weij on Misool in the Radja Ampat, conscript Marine 2 class Peter.M.G.C.Mannie was killed on Aug. 14, 1962 shortly before the ceasefire and truce were declared.

Click on the photo for a brief interview

Interview with the "WeesperNieuws" Extra (local newspaper), Saturday, May 9, 2020

© 2000 PCL