The Dogtag Chronicles
He is just some old guy trying to hand you a cheap fake flower. You just need to get some milk or pick up something for dinner on your way home and it seems like there is always someone out front of the store trying to get something from you. Sometimes it is for you to sign a petition, sometimes it is girl scouts trying to sell cookies and twice a year it is old guys passing out fake flowers.
Those that casually stroll by on their way to something more important don’t know that he is Erving Schmidt. One Sunday morning he and a buddy were on their way to church when they heard the sounds for battle stations. Japanese planes were attacking Pearl Harbor.
They ran to their ship and manned their stations. It was hit and on fire. The fumes overcame everyone in the compartment. The next thing Schmidt knew he was waking up outside. As they were abandoning ship, other sailors dragged the unconscious crew on deck. Schmidt grabbed a couple new crewmen and went to his secondary battle station. With the ship on fire, they carried heavy ammunition boxes in the pitch black upstairs to guns mounted by the bridge. They fired at the planes as they were leaving the area.
Midway through the war he switched to the submarine corps. He would be on the sub that sank the last Japanese ships before the unconditional surrender. So he was in the first and last Pacific battles of WWII. When you hear him speak, he talks of the Empire of Japan as the enemy. Not the Japanese people. And, he will remind you, we aren’t at war with them anymore.
Now, he calls every fellow Navy vet “shipmate” and every other military member “comrade” no one has ever seen him without a smile. Twice a year, with his VFW post he passes out red poppies made by disabled veterans. The VFW buys them and the money goes towards programs for disabled veterans. Schmidt won’t sell them, but he will happily give them away. All donations go to a fund to help veterans in need and their families.
Next time when you see an old vet passing out flowers, take a moment to smile and take one. If you like, thank them for their service before you go about your day. It is my opinion that men life Schmidt have earned at least that.

He is just some old guy trying to hand you a cheap fake flower. You just need to get some milk or pick up something for dinner on your way home and it seems like there is always someone out front of the store trying to get something from you. Sometimes it is for you to sign a petition, sometimes it is girl scouts trying to sell cookies and twice a year it is old guys passing out fake flowers.

Those that casually stroll by on their way to something more important don’t know that he is Erving Schmidt. One Sunday morning he and a buddy were on their way to church when they heard the sounds for battle stations. Japanese planes were attacking Pearl Harbor.

They ran to their ship and manned their stations. It was hit and on fire. The fumes overcame everyone in the compartment. The next thing Schmidt knew he was waking up outside. As they were abandoning ship, other sailors dragged the unconscious crew on deck. Schmidt grabbed a couple new crewmen and went to his secondary battle station. With the ship on fire, they carried heavy ammunition boxes in the pitch black upstairs to guns mounted by the bridge. They fired at the planes as they were leaving the area.

Midway through the war he switched to the submarine corps. He would be on the sub that sank the last Japanese ships before the unconditional surrender. So he was in the first and last Pacific battles of WWII. When you hear him speak, he talks of the Empire of Japan as the enemy. Not the Japanese people. And, he will remind you, we aren’t at war with them anymore.

Now, he calls every fellow Navy vet “shipmate” and every other military member “comrade” no one has ever seen him without a smile. Twice a year, with his VFW post he passes out red poppies made by disabled veterans. The VFW buys them and the money goes towards programs for disabled veterans. Schmidt won’t sell them, but he will happily give them away. All donations go to a fund to help veterans in need and their families.

Next time when you see an old vet passing out flowers, take a moment to smile and take one. If you like, thank them for their service before you go about your day. It is my opinion that men life Schmidt have earned at least that.

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  13. ashmariie reblogged this from kasey-james and added:
    I’d like to get some life tips from him. I bet he has some wonderful stories and advice about life.
  14. ajm1218 reblogged this from peashooter85 and added:
    I always salute or shake the hand of a Vet when I see him/her.
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