Thank the veterans for the gift of freedom this country enjoys
Citizens in this country, from the wealthiest aristocrat to the needy poor, you have been given the gift of freedom made possible by men and women veterans that served under our flag in times of needed defense of our nation. They are the people who donated a portion of their life to make a difference for all. Their reason for serving falls into a variety of circumstances that are too numerous to mention. They either volunteered to join or were drafted by our government and accepted the responsibility, when called upon, to protect America. Some were educated in prominent colleges and became leaders in our military. Others never finished high school, deciding the military was the right path to follow in their life at that time. For some, their service time might have been short, maybe two years, and others made a career out of serving in the armed forces. It was a pleasant experience for some, and for others, conditions were unimaginable, beyond what any human could be expected to endure. Young enlistees that took an oath for this nation would be changed forever.
Some of the change would be a good learning experience for adults and good citizens; for others, it will haunt them for the rest of their lives! Many were innocent and naive, not knowing what would face them in war. Some knew for what they were headed, and being mature and brave would accept the situation in defense of our country. It was an experience for all. Most would not want to repeat it. They were more happy to “get out” when their time of service ended.
What makes veterans different from many people is their acceptance of risk to help protect this nation; to give its citizens freedom, peace and happiness in everyday life. Veterans do not really consider themselves heroes. Heroes were the comrades they served with that never returned from the war or were maimed physically or psychologically for life. In their veteran’s heart and soul they feel proud and happy to say, “I have served my country! The United States of America — One Nation Under God!”
May we never forget those who paid the ultimate price for our country. May they rest in peace.
Paul Lawson, McDonald
The writer is a veteran of the U.S. Army who served between 1963 and 1966.