Literally, this is how Tom passed last Veteran’s Day. From Chapter 10 of The Substitute:
He was just sitting down when Bolt addressed him by name:
‘Dr. Ironsides! Dr. Ironsides, please stand back up. In addition to holding a Ph.D., our favorite sub [many of the kids applauded that], our favorite sub also served in the Marine Corps, retiring as a Colonel, wasn’t it? And, many of you don’t know this, but he also worked for the CIA. Dr., Col. Ironsides, can you please say a few words? And, on behalf of all of us, thank you for your service!’
Tom waited for the renewed applause to die down and then he spoke, without the need of any microphone: ‘You don’t know what I did!’ He hadn’t expected to say those words and they had a silencing effect on the whole room.
‘I spent almost thirty years as a warrior, destroying and killing as ordered. For the most part, I waged war so rich men could get richer. I watched poor men die. I killed many of them. Some of their wives. A few of their children. People much like you… You’re welcome.’
The very few who knew, looked him in the eyes as he sat down. Most were shocked by the blunt and horrifying short speech. There was no more applause.