Thank you Veterans, for your sacrifice. Thank you for your service. Many did not join the military for the altruistic reasons we like to promote on these special days. They were just young men and women looking for their place in the world, who decided to try the military. Some had no choice at all, they were drafted. That makes their service no less valuable. That takes nothing from the gratitude we all owe. Whether they counted the cost, or enlisted on an impulse, many gave their lives, their health and their families happiness, and I am grateful.
My dad was career military. He served during that particular time in our history marked by the Vietnam conflict. My childhood, and I think my very soul were marked by his prolonged absences in order to serve our country in that particular theatre. Thank God, he always came home. There are many who did not.
The photo is my Great Uncle Henley, taken two days before his death. He died in 1944 in Italy. He was a simple farm boy with a young wife and daughter. His name is still spoken in our family. We remember him as a promise cut short. His daughter still asks her family to tell her about her Dad. She's in her 60's. We've all paid a price for the freedom's we enjoy, we've lost fathers and sons, uncles and nephews, daughters and aunts and mothers. Let's remember them today, and let's work together in our daily lives to preserve and protect that which they've purchased at great cost. Let's put petty differences behind us. Let's negotiate the rest. It's too precious a prize to let fall. Their sacrifice deserves nothing less.