We are rapidly losing the Veterans of the Greatest Generation. Over 16 million Americans served during WWII, and now we are down to 566,000. Not only are we losing the heroes themselves, we are also losing the experience that they lived through – the crushing poverty of the Great Depression, the genuine fear of losing our liberty and national identity, what it means to stand up when it mattered and risk everything to protect those that you love.
Everyone who puts on the uniform of our armed services is a hero.
But war is a horrible, nasty thing. Something to be avoided. And if it can’t be avoided, it needs to be done with complete resolve and all needed resources to get the job done and over with. Sadly, that awfulness makes us want to forget it ever happened.
And that forgetfulness makes us also forget to be grateful to those who have sacrificed for us.
44 million people have served during wartime in the US military and another 10 million served between the wars, ready to fight for us if called upon. Presently there are 2 million people in the armed services and reserve groups, heroes all.
In my personal life, I’ve lost many heroes in from the past era, but I still have living examples whose dedication to service should make us all stand in awe and hang our heads in recognition that they took on the tasks that we did not. My two older brothers both served during the Vietnam era alongside my dad who is now passed. My little sister flew for the Strategic Air Command during the Cold War. I have two nephews who have seen service during this current era of unrest and conflict, one of whom is currently deployed.
I could never give them the level of appreciation that they deserve.
So today, reminded this one time each year to reach out to them and my many friends and neighbors who have also served, I say Thank You.
I urge everyone to say Thank You to the many Veterans in their lives too.