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Those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it. Those who do study history are doomed to watch other people repeat it.

T

In the wake of the Friendship Journal debacle, Princess Twilight Sparkle receives an unexpected visitor in the form of a scarred war veteran. He has a story to share with her, one which will give both insight into the nature of good, evil, and gratitude.

War is a dread and terrible thing, and those that suffer through it emerge changed. But the grimness of war is not the end.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 13 )

Thank you for this, and I want you to know that I have very wet eyes at the moment from reading this. It is a wonderful story, and a great tribute to, not just our own fighting men and women here in the US, but to all the military services everywhere across this humble blue earth of ours.

From Valley Forge, to Flanders Fields, to the deserts of Iraq, we owe them all so very much.

It brings a lump in the throat to me especially, as I, too, have family in the US military, both past and present, that I am so very proud of them all.
One of whom who is my younger cousin, and who is now one of "The Few, the Proud, the Marines".
Hunter, wherever you are at this moment, be safe and be well, Marine.

I also had family who served in WWII, in all theaters, and I know of three especially who were aboard that venerable Lady, the USS Arizona, on that horrible "Day of Infamy" on December 7, 1941, and who, like many of their shipmates, went down with her, and as far as we currently know, their mortal remains still rest buried deep within the hull of the great ship and Lady that they all loved.

Rest well, cousins. You served your country well and faithfully.
Rest in Honored Slumber, Arizona, you great Lady.

And indeed, God bless, and God bless our troops.
May they all come home soon.

8549081
I got a little choked up seeing how moved you were. Thank you. I gotta admit that I'm nervous whenever I put something like this out there because I want to do right by the soldiers who have given so much fighting for freedom throughout history. I want to honor them properly, but since I haven't served myself, anything I write is based on my interpretation of what I've read or observed. Made my day to hear that you think I did right.

8549766 You're very welcome.

And you did a wonderful job, as far as I'm concerned.
On all counts.

Well done.

You have honored them more then everyone I have seen up to this point. It is stories like this that move me in a way few things can. This story is the best I have read in a long time, and vary inspiring. You are truly an author unmatched (In my opinion) by anyone, so please, continue to write stories like this.

I must thank you for this emotionally well written look into what our country is about. It has made my day.

You've written a wonderful piece of story. A wonderful message, relatable characters, a nice built-up, and a great resolution. After finished reading this, my eyes were still dry but my heart tremble from the emotion and the powerful moral. You've inspired and reminded not only about servicemen sacrifices everywhere but also a whole point of love and respect.
For the story and message, I kindly thank you.
Whitewolf is right.
Well done.

8549984
This sort of reaction is exactly why I do this kind of thing. I can't serve, so I use what talent I have to try to honor those who can as best as I am able. I do plan on playing around with a number of military fics (plus some more lighthearted fare), which I hope to start posting chapters of relatively soon, work permitting. Your praise helps motivate me to get off my keister and do it. Thank you.

WHOS CUTTING ONIONS

You've done well, my friend.

Such a pretty story. The U.S. Armed Forces have so many heroes that we just don't see, and then show up with their scars and tales, and all we really can do in return is thank them for their service. This story reminded me a lot of that one great movie American Sniper. You know, the one that touched the hearts of practically every person who saw it, military or not. This is quite moving for a stubborn boy who reads war fics.

Just like we have our heroes, the ponies of Equestria have their own. Assuming that the Star of Valor is their equivalent to the Medal of Honor, Hightower must've done something beyond. Unless it's like the Purple Heart, in which case, it fits better. Yeah, it's probably like the Heart.

As someone raised in a Navy family, it's a bit easier for me to appreciate their sacrifices. My dad and uncle are currently serving, and their dad retired after 20 years. My mom left after a few years to raise my siblings and me. I know a lot of people from the U.S. Navy clan.

I vaguely know the stories of the Indianapolis, Arizona, and other well-known warships. I thought those stories were moving enough.

Then I watched Saving Private Ryan. I watched The Pacific. I watched American Sniper. I read Tomb of the Fallen. I read this.

Each step of the way, I learned that there's always a more moving story. That no matter what you've seen, something new will touch your heart in ways you never thought possible.

Thank you for this story.

8555971
Hearing this sort of response is why I do this. I can't serve. So I write about those that do. It's hopelessly inadequate, but the best I can do. Your family and their comrades are really the ones who deserve the thanks.

As far as the Star of Valor, I did intend it to be effectively the Medal of Honor. The equivalent of the Purple Heart I intended to be among the other medals on this chest...which I just now realized I forgot to mention. Thanks for pointing that out. Better fix that. Originally I'd planned to go into the story of how he earned the Star, but I decided the main focus of the story ought to be on him coming to grips with what had happened. The closest I have to it is his passing mention of holding off an overwhelming force with grenades and stubbornness, which is somewhat reminiscent of real live Medals of Honor recipients Sgt Beauford Anderson and Cpl Charles Kelly.

I want to thank you for this story. When I came home from my time in the USAF, I, much like Hightower, found a very different place waiting for me from when I left. Although I never saw combat (as an aircraft armament systems technician, if I ever did, things had horribly gone wrong at that point), I know exactly how he felt, as I was much in the same place as him. Military service changes you, no matter what, and that was something that every member of my family noticed upon my return. It wasn't a very good change, overall, and I spent many years in self-imposed sequester just to get a handle on the vast difference everything in my home had become. Old friends gone or very different, all of my family having become something I barely recognized, and even the cities and towns I used to hang out in having been redeveloped. Worse yet, was the fact that I had become a very bitter and resentful person, and my already difficult time in dealing with people had become worse while I was in.

I spent four years shutting myself away from everything because I couldn't trust myself around anyone or anything, because like Hightower, I had come to resent everything I saw, and those were probably the most depressing years of my life. The most alone years of my life. It was only by the grace of my grandmother that I even had a place to live, and to whom I'm forever grateful for. She was the only one who seemed to never change, only getting older.

Ironically, just like Hightower, the adventures of those colorful mares we all know and love slowly helped me to work through (a significant chunk of) my anger, paranoia, and angst over the massive disparity and discrepancies that plagued me, as well as help me to overcome a lot of my social anxiety that had built up over the years. Eventually, I even managed to calm down enough to get a job and start working on slowly trying to reintegrate back into society a little. It's still very much a struggle, but these ponies have certainly helped me along a lot in terms of finding new friends, as well as reconnecting with old ones.

They're not very good at finding a girlfriend, though. We can't all bat 1.000, unfortunately...

Long story short, thanks for this story. And thanks for being someone who's taken a good, hard look at something that plagues us service people often, but is just as often lost in all the sales and weekend BBQs that happen around a day set aside for us.

8559035
God bless you and thank you for this service. It means a lot to know that this spoke to you. You and your fellow soldiers are why I write. I'm grateful to be able to help in some small way. Know that no matter how much things change, there are always good things and good people to find, even if there are years where it doesn't seem like it. I've struggled with depression at times and know how grey the world can seem, but in a way I'm grateful for it because it has given me empathy for other people who struggle with depression, anger, and frustration. In this I have learned that the grey can be transformed into colors if we let it. I just want to share that insight with people.

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