The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Food

November 9, 2011

Honoring our soldiers on Veterans Day

Do you support our troops and veterans? Think about it.

No matter how we feel about the war we are in now, we must support our troops. They are simply doing their job of protecting this country and carrying out orders. All our men and women who are presently our troops are volunteers, and knew what they might get into. They are right where they volunteered to be. We must support them and let them know how we feel about them.

We will be celebrating Veterans Day this week and honoring those who have already served to defend our nation in one way or another. Only about 10 percent ever see combat, but everyone who serves does a job, and all jobs are important to the security of our nation.

Who are these veterans we are honoring? They are in every branch of the armed services and serve their country with pride. These veterans have the quiet dignity of men and women who know the price of freedom. Their politics do not matter. Whether they are Republicans, Democrats or Independents, they are first and foremost Americans.

They are grandparents, parents, brothers, sisters, or someone’s spouse. However they are related, they are basically real Americans whose first love was and is the home front.

They are plumbers, doctors, salesmen, factory workers, farmers, bankers, mechanics, teachers or other career people. They are Catholic, Protestant, Jewish of another doctrine, but regardless of the religion they have chosen they know this country was founded on faith and they stand ready to defend its beliefs and its land.

Veterans, more than anyone else, love peace, because they know the price of war. They love this country with its purple mountains majesty and its fruited plains. They know the frightening existence of war and they never forget that strife, and always cherish the calm and comfort of home.

Veterans like the same sounds and sights that we all like, but they hear and see them through different eyes and ears. They hear “Taps” with a different respect than we feel. These wonderful veterans are leaders. They may not be high-ranking officers, but in their way, they were all leaders. In their war effort, they were all peacemakers. They are the first to volunteer to solve any trouble and the last to give up until disputes are settled.

They know history because they are part of it. They are living legends, having withstood many adverse actions to be here today. They served at Gettysburg, Valley Forge, Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima. There marched where seemingly no one tread, swarmed in shoulder-deep water onto the beach of battle, slept in foxholes where conditions of noise and fear were unbearable. Yet these veterans do not complain, because they were simply doing their duty in the best way they could.

Jim was the guest of honor this year at the Oklahoma City and surrounding area annual Marine Corps Birthday Ball. He gave his usual patriotic speech honoring all veterans and those who are serving now.

Those speeches he gives bring back so many memories of buddies who lost their lives fighting for this country’s freedoms.

We must never take their sacrifices nor our freedoms for granted. Jim is just one of thousands and thousands of young men who have willingly served this great country in battle. Aren’t these News & Eagle articles about our veterans wonderful?

There cannot be enough said or done for the veterans who fought to make and keep America free. We owe them our deepest appreciation and honor for their jobs well done. We must never forget those who gave the supreme sacrifice of their lives in tribute to the country they love. They must be honored and remembered and revered.

No matter how gray a veteran’s temple grows, or how many inches are added to the mid-section or how stooped they are from time and age, they always walk with a distinctive pride not given to lesser people. We can walk with pride too, in a free country, just because of what our veterans gave. They deserve honor. We salute them all.

We were at the mall recently when a roomfulof people were giving an evening, and I am sure a lot more of their time, to pack boxes to send to our wonderful service people.

They packed more than 350 boxes the post office picked up to mail. What dedication of these people who make life a little better for our servicemen and women. They are to be commended and appreciated for what they do for our veterans.

Again this year, Taft School have asked Jim to represent all veterans at their assembly for Veterans Day. The kids are so respectful, and many of them have members of their families serving in the military now. What a privilege for Jim to honor all veterans and the job they are doing and have done.

The next time you see a veteran, tell him or her how you appreciate what they did and are doing for our great country. You will feel better, and so will they.

Periodically, we send “care packages” to our young Marines we met and adopted while they were in pilot training here. They truly touched our lives and we appreciate what they volunteered to do for this country. Last year on my birthday, they took me to pick up pecans. I still have a few left that I use in cookies or something for them, like these easy bar cookies:

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