HomeMilitaryMilitary HeroThe origin of the phrase: "All gave some, Some gave all."

The origin of the phrase: “All gave some, Some gave all.”

The widely used phrase “All gave some, Some gave all.” is mainly related to the United States military members wounded or killed in action. You will probably hear it more often around Memorial Day every year, and it’s not for Veterans Day. Many Americans get this confused, and we’ll be honest — it can be a little annoying to all of the living veterans out there.

Memorial Day is a time to remember those who gave their lives for our country, particularly in battle or from wounds they suffered in combat. Veterans Day honors all of those who have served the country in war or peace — dead or alive — although it’s primarily intended to thank living veterans for their sacrifices.

But let’s go back to the phrase “All gave some, some gave all.” Do you know its origin?

All gave some; some gave all origin.

It was attributed to the Korean War veteran and purple heart recipient Howard William Osterkamp from Dent, Ohio. He served in the Army from 1951 to 1953, during which he experienced heavy combat in Korea with his unit, the C Company, 5th Regimental Combat Team. Osterkamp’s unit was stationed at Camp Breckenridge, Kentucky, and Fort Sill, Oklahoma, Korea. For his service, Howard Osterkamp was awarded a Purple Heart.

All gave some; some gave all - Arlington cemetery
All gave some Some give all. The now-famous phrase was first uttered by Howard William Osterkamp of Dent, Ohio, a Korean War veteran and recipient of the Purple Heart. (Photo: Pinterest/Washington Post)

Honor our fallen heroes

On Memorial Day, please take a moment to offer thanks to the extraordinary men and women who have fought and died to protect our nation throughout history. To brave men and women in uniform, we honor you today and every day. Home of the free because of the brave. To all who have put their lives on the line in defense of the flag, thank you.

All gave some; some gave all.

Eric Sof
Eric Sofhttps://special-ops.org
Eric Sof holds a master's degree in Political Science, specializing in International Peacekeeping Studies. He has over a decade of experience as a former member of an elite counterterrorism unit. Additionally, he is a firearms instructor and currently serves as a member of the SWAT unit.


  1. As Americans, we should have immense respect for people in the military who were killed or wounded in action. They gave up everything for us. I also have a lot of respect for everyone who served in the military, because each one is willing to make that sacrifice if necessary. Not everyone gave everything, but each one gave up something. “All gave some, some gave all” has special meaning for me because of this.

  2. When I visited The Vietnam War Memorial during a women’s gathering, the mother I spoke to had come with her husband. He could not speak to me, we found his name did a rubbing and I offered her a rose. She took it and placed it directly below the column. She said “He never married” I understand what she meant, he was drafted at such a young age. He served, fought for Freedom for Our Country. He could be KIA or MIA or Died in Service. All Veterans struggle but as active duty they hail the chief. I Am an Army Veteran. Proud of All Who Serve, but my heart, my heart goes to MIA, I once wore a silver band with Major Moon who was killed in Cambodia. Where we weren’t suppose to be. I recently gave that silver band to an Active Duty Army soldier who use to wear one from his buddy in Afghanistan but wore it out. Peace to All. Just felt compelled today to share that. Maybe this is the appropriate to do that. All VA facilities are easily recognizable by the Gone But Not Forgotten MIA Flag that flys under the US flags. It’s color, Black and White. Absorbs All, Emits All. In Light & Love Lala


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