A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
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“Mondays are the potholes in the road of life” (3/22)
“Chocolate is nature’s way of making up for Mondays” (3/22)
“All you need is love and a good cup of coffee” (3/22)
“Caffeine isn’t a drug, it’s a vitamin” (3/22)
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Entry from May 25, 2015
“A veteran is someone who wrote a blank check to the United States of America”

The following definition of a veteran was cited on the newsgroup parklandwatch on August 4, 2007:

VETERAN
A Veteran - whether active duty, retired, or national guard or reserve - is someone who, at one point in his or her life, wrote a blank check made payable to “The United States of America,” for an amount of “up to and including my life.” That is honor, and there are way too many people in this country who no longer understand it.


The author is unknown.


Google Groups: parklandwatch
What is a Veteran
Art Allen
8/4/07
Occasionally we talk about the worldpolitik - admiration for our military fighting their hearts out in an untenable battle zone - disdain toward those who put us into war.  We know many of our national parks have long honored veterans..

Reed Jarvis has discovered a great definition of a:

VETERAN
A Veteran - whether active duty, retired, or national guard or reserve - is someone who, at one point in his or her life, wrote a blank check made payable to “The United States of America,” for an amount of “up to and including my life.” That is honor, and there are way too many people in this country who no longer understand it.

Honolulu (HI) Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, November 12, 2007
Hawaii pays tribute to heroes on Veterans Day
By Suzanne Roig
Advertiser Staff Writer
(...)
That’s why veterans come out each holiday — in November and in May — to remember what it took to preserve freedom, said Gene Castagnetti, director of the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.

“A veteran is someone who wrote a blank check, payable to the United States of America for an amount up to and including his life,” Castagnetti said. “The currency of freedom is the blood, sweat and tears of a nation’s people.”

Orlando (FL) Sentinel
OTHER VIEWS - My WORD
Face of America on Parade
November 13, 2007|By H. Terrell Griffin
On Saturday, I saw the face of America. Downtown Orlando streets were awash with veterans, come to pay homage to those who once served a great nation. All the military branches were there; Army, Navy, Marine, Air Force, and Coast Guard, joined by ROTC units from high schools and colleges.

It has been said that a veteran is a person who at one time wrote a blank check payable in full to his nation, with the amount being everything up to and including his or her life. A lot of those checks have been cashed over the years, and many of those who were lucky enough not to have to pay the full measure, were there on Saturday. They all paid something.

Google Books
Around Mulberry
By Stephanie L. Dukes and Essie N. Helper Morgan
Charleston, SC: Arcadia Pub.
2008
Pg. 103:
These unattributed famous words best describe the dedication of those serving in America’s armed forces: “A veteran whether active duty, retired, national guard or reserve, is someone who at one point in his life wrote a blank check made payable to ‘the United States of America’ for an amount of ‘up to and including my life.’”

Google News Archive
14 February 2008, The Hartford “Area” News (Hartford, SD), pg. 1, col. 3:
What Is a Veteran?
Definition of a Veteran. A veteran—whether active duty, national guard or reserve—is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to “The United States of America,” for an amount of “up to and including my life.” That is Honor, and there are way too many people in this country who no longer understand it. (Author Unknown).

Twitter
Rob La Gesse
‏@kr8tr
A veteran, at one point in their life, signed a blank check made payable to the USA, for an amount of ‘up to and including my life.’
10:48 PM - 13 Sep 2008

Google News Archive
23 December 2008, Bangor (ME) Daily News, “Milo man aims to fund military service memorial” by Diana Bowley, pg. B2, col. 2:
Quoting an unknown author, Knowles said, “A veteran is someone, whether they are on active duty, retired, National Guard or Reserve, who at one point in his or her life wrote a blank check payable to the United States of America for an amount up to and including their life.”

23 May 2009, Winchester (VA) Star, “Memorial to sacrifice, selflessness” (editorial), pg 4, col. 1:
A wise man once said that a veteran is one “who wrote a blank check made payable to ‘The United States of America’ for an amount for an amount ‘up to and including my life.’”

Hawaii Reporter (Honolulu, HI)
Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010 | Posted by Duane Vachon
Victory Over Japan Day: 106,207 Heroes
(...)
There is a short ditty that I am fond of,:

“What is a Veteran?  A Veteran is a man or woman who at one point in their life wrote a blank check payable up to and including their life.  For these Veterans the check was cashed and stamped “Paid In Full”.

Orlando (FL) Sentinel
Patrick D. Deans: Orlando soldier killed in Afghanistan
Spc. Patrick D. Deans, whose father is a corporal with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, was killed Sunday in the Kandahar province of Afghanistan.

December 14, 2010|By Gary Taylor and Susan Jacobson, Orlando Sentinel
It’s clear from Spc. Patrick D. Deans’ Facebook page that he understood the danger inherent in becoming a soldier.

“A Veteran is someone, who at one point in their life, wrote a blank check payable to the United States of America for an amount up to, and including their life,” Deans posted on his wall Nov. 10. “That is beyond honor, and there are way too many people in this country who no longer remember that fact.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • Monday, May 25, 2015 • Permalink