Salute to our vets
Next Monday marks our annual celebration of the men and women in uniform who so selflessly served the country as members of the United States Armed Forces – Veterans Day. It’s an important holiday, and one all citizens should participate in.
Sometimes it’s easy to ignore occasions like this one. People are busy, work is hectic and there’s just simply too much else going on. However, all of those excuses seem hopelessly futile when you really stop and think about it. Our veterans gave the country and its citizens a commitment that’s almost impossible to understand. They sacrificed time, energy and many other things to serve the country they love, and that’s certainly commendable.
Franklin County, and pretty much all of Iowa for that matter, has many veterans who’ve given us their all. Each day we bump into these individuals without even knowing or acknowledging it, and that’s certainly a shame. Many of these veterans would prefer to remain humble and stay out of the limelight, but it’s important we show our appreciation whenever given the opportunity. Veteran’s Day provides us with an excellent platform to express our thanks.
It’s hard to fully understand just how much our these people gave during their service. Their situations differ – some were drafted into war, some enlisted, and yet others just signed on because they felt a need to serve their country. The circumstances they faced once they joined our nation’s armed forces were as varied as the reasons that brought them there. Some were thrust into combat while others joined during times of peace. In any case, their service is commendable no matter what decade they served.
We live in relatively safe and secure times, but there’s always an air uncertainty within the global political climate. America has definitely seen its fair share of entanglements over the past 15 years and it’s important to remember the potential for war always exists. The threat of terrorism has continued to plague America and its allies after the events of Sept. 11, 2001, led us into war more than a decade ago. We recently avoided intervention in Syria, but that potential conflict only highlighted a reality about the world in which we live – we never know what’s coming around the corner, but we can be thankful that we have troops ready in case something arises.
Times are certainly changing. Census data states roughly 21.2 million veterans live in the United States, 9.6 million of which are 65 and older. These veterans from World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam War are dying off and dwindling in numbers each year. It’s important we reflect upon their service and acknowlege their efforts while we still have a chance, because time is running out. We are definitely indebted for their selfless service and dedication to our nation.
America’s armed forces – be it the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force or Coast Guard – are constantly adapting to defend our freedoms and liberties in the 21st Century, just like they’ve been doing for the past 200-plus years. Please take the time and show your gratitude to a veteran next Monday. Attend a community program, buy them a coffee or just simply shake their hand. They’ve shown their appreciation to our country through the sacrifice of military service. The least you can do is tell them you noticed.